It's no secret that unified communications can save time and money that would otherwise be wasted on inefficient internal collaboration. According to Inc., nearly 50 percent of organizations are able to save an average of 20 minutes every day, per employee, by being able to get in touch with workers in one try. What's more, greater than 75 percent of organizations have experienced enhanced productivity and collaboration between remote offices with audio and video conferencing.
This latter statistic is especially important to the public sector, and the reasons are fairly self-evident. Running and overseeing a municipality is a joint effort between a variety of departments, including education, infrastructure planning, zoning boards, public transit, law enforcement and residential services such as garbage collection, emergency notification systems, and health and human services. Collaboration between these and other municipal departments must be highly coordinated to create the best quality of life for residents.
Unified communications helps achieve this in the following ways:
A single communication portal for all municipal employees
There's a good reason for why the UC market is slated to be worth more than $75 billion by 2020. The ability to create a single, consolidated control panel for every possible channel of communication that allows fast and easy connections with any worker(s) using the solution is nothing short of incredible. For cities, this is especially true. There's a lot of red tape in government bureaucracies that needs to be negotiated, and sometimes the biggest challenge really just comes down to poor communication and collaboration between departments.
The beauty of UC is that it makes this communication much more manageable by storing contacts in such a way that phone calls, audio conferences, instant messages and emails can be initiated with the click of a button. This contact can happen within departments, but also between them. Add in screen-sharing, video conferencing, mobile VoIP – which is especially useful for transportation and law enforcement officials – and the potential to cut back on productivity waste is substantial.
Not to mention, as departments scale up or down, so too, does the UC solution. This is a lifesaver for cities with strapped budgets since it makes it easier to only pay for what's actually being used.
Better public outreach
"Create clearer, more resilient lines of communication with the people."
The ultimate goal of city governmental departments is to serve the people. While having streamlined communication among departments can improve this service by bolstering productivity, it's also important to have open lines of contact with the public. This might come in the form of being able to easily reach out to city officials and vice versa, as well as the ability of government to send mass, automated messages to a city or town's entire population – for instance, with weather advisories and school cancellations.
UC underpinned by a strong VoIP system can do these things, and that helps city governments create clearer, more resilient lines of communication with the people they serve.
When all is said and done, UC doesn't just unify communications. By strengthening productivity within and among city government agencies, and creating stronger lines of communication with the public, UC also unifies communities. In doing so, it harbors opportunities to create better lives for the residents of cities and towns.