Five Business Benefits of Unified Communications

In today's digital economy, external stakeholders a great deal of influence over the ways they want to interact with your business. They expect cohesive messaging experiences, otherwise known as Unified Communications as a Service, or UCaaS.

  • Existing customers often want to find information themselves, on their schedule, on a self-serve knowledge base or mobile application
  • Prospects often find online instant messaging applications and web conferences to be a comfortable way to evaluate your company's products and services in the early phases of the sales and marketing funnel.
  • Executive decision makers and technical influencers often prefer to talk on the phone to your subject matter experts
  • Many existing customers want to be able to interact with your business across any of these integration channels and be able to get a consistent, personalized response. This usually requires CRM integration and diligent web content teams.

Here are five business benefits of UCaaS and one drawback.

1. Unified Communications Allow for Seamless Connections

A UCaaS application like Virtual Office is a big part of what allows 8x8 customers to communicate with colleagues, patients, citizens, customers, and prospects. When integrated with complimentary cloud applications like Salesforce.com, Zendesk or Microsoft Dynamics, UCaaS ensures your employees can all be "on the same page" as far as their interactions with customers.

Marketing teams and sales team can present cohesive campaigns to customers. For example, when an industry conference takes place, booth attendee contact profiles can be loaded into CRM, and the Contact Center automated and predictive dialer functions can ensure days or weeks don't pass before prospects receive follow-up emails, phone calls or SMS messages with consistent calls to action. Employees have one phone number across all devices.

If you've been on the "prospect side of the desk" after a conference and received concurrent, yet confusing campaign messages as to the benefit of UCaaS as an event marketing solution.

2. Enable Telecommuting/Cloud Working and Reduce Your Office Footprint

The idea of open concept offices was to stimulate collaboration and increase productivity. Unfortunately, according to scientific research studies by Harvard University and other organizations, the reverse is true. Open offices isolate employees into headset wearing employees that struggle to maintain focus on their everyday tasks while at their desks. Instead of installing walls or sound barriers, many companies are implementing policies for remote working.

Companies that adopt Unified Communications solutions can set up hoteling workstations instead of assigned desks, and reduce/optimize their office space for when employees need to meet at the office. UC is ideal for a distributed workforce, enabling teams to schedule video chats for meetings as required. For quick one-to-one collaborations, instant messaging or ad hoc calls are effective. UC lets users see when colleagues are available, and when they're not.

3. Small Businesses Can Level the Competitive Playing Field

UC can help small businesses reach broader markets through web conferences, just like their larger competitors. Much like the what went on behind the curtain on the Wizard of Oz, UC gives the impression of business strength and size, even for small businesses competing in a "higher weight class" than usual.

UC also makes bookkeepers and accountants happy, by consolidating multiple services into a single expense line item in financial journals and balance sheets.

4. Security and Regulatory Compliance

Businesses that contract separate companies for VoIP, instant messaging, web conferencing, and other channels are entrusting their communications to multiple companies, which can create security and data privacy vulnerabilities. Regulated industries require evidence that cloud services are certified against regulatory standards like FISMA, SSAE 16, PCI, ISO 27001, ISO 9001 and HIPAA.

8x8 Unified Communications consolidates both the security safeguards and the compliance certifications, providing peace of mind that your business would meet these compliance requirements in the case of an audit. These certifications can be shared with your customers to demonstrate your business communications are confidential and secure.

5. UC as an HR Recruiting and Retention Strategy

When unemployment is at record lows, and young, talented employment candidates are looking for work-life balance and flexible working arrangements, Unified Communications is a great hiring incentive. In traffic-congested cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and Toronto, UC enables teams to collaborate without commuting.

Employers can empower their team to use their choice of devices, either in a Bring Your Own Device program or use the Apple, PC, or Android device of choice. A survey conducted by 8x8 found Generation Z and Millennial employees and candidates believe:

  • Their smartphone is their hub of communications (62% Gen Z)
  • Landlines and email are their least favourite communications channel (95% and 79% respectively)
  • 3 in 4 of Gen Z employees surveyed said they felt remote communications were more effective, though they believe a physical office is necessary for occasional meetings.
  • 57% of Gen Z employees, 51% of Millennials and 47% of Gen X employees feel flexible workstyles should be a priority for everyone

The only drawback of UCaaS is that employees who enjoy commuting to work every day, or frequently visiting their company's international offices may not do so as regularly. UC provides lots of opportunity for remote video communications.

Is your business looking for ways to make employees communicate and collaborate more effectively while adopting flexible and remote working arrangements? Want to attract and retain top talent, while safeguarding your communications and meeting regulatory requirements?

Your business needs every cog in your machine to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Team Messaging System your business gets the unified messaging it needs without the need for multiple disparate systems. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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