How UC can help small businesses save money

How UC can help small businesses save money

The barriers to foreign markets are shrinking, as cutting-edge unified communications (UC) systems become more common. With video conferencing and telepresence platforms, businesses can easily connect and consult with clients in far away markets rather easily. By implementing these technologies into the workplace, companies can limit the amount of travel that is required, as they will be able to reach clients without even leaving the office.

Despite these promising cost reductions, a large number of small businesses are still spending an excessive amount of travel. In fact, Concur reported that 89 percent of small companies actually increased the volume of trips they completed in fall 2013 compared to the same period in the previous year. Moreover, the source noted that data from The Global Travel Association found worldwide business travel is likely to spike 7.2 percent this year. For small business alone, that will account for $288 billion in largely unnecessary expenses. 

Certainly, eliminating all business travel is hardly a viable solution. For example, the first interaction with a new client or attending a conference will mean that traveling abroad or across the country is required. However, with UC technology in place, businesses can reduce the number of follow-up trips they take to review performance and sales numbers with partners, or even limiting the need to travel to another branch to share information with colleagues. 

Quality UC tools not allow professionals to communicate through a variety of channels, but they make sharing documents and simultaneously accessing files a simple prospect. For this reason, UC is proving to be a solid driver for cost-reduction at many companies. Although small business appear to be slow adopters of the technology it's never too late to jump on the UC bandwagon. However, it will take some careful and practical planning. 

Create a launch plan
According to InformationWeek, rolling out new technologies can be one of the biggest disruptions to the workplace, particularly when it comes to UC. In order to keep the office performing while new technology is deployed, the source suggested executives create a comprehensive training plan to ensure all employees are capable of using new programs and hardware. 

First, the company needs to take the necessary steps to educate the IT team about new solutions. Then, those tech professionals can establish a plan to pass on their knowledge to other departments. 

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