Unified communications and collaboration: the ROI case

28 Aug 2008

Separating unified communications and collaboration (UCC) hype from reality is not easy. The way to sanity is to not regard UCC as a product - or even as a set of products - but as a relentless journey towards productivity drives that deliver measurable improvements.

Careful navigation

The milestones along that road are discrete UCC components. Navigate your route by choosing UCC waypoints with the best payback and you'll arrive at your destination in great financial and competitive shape. However it's a fact that, as a company, you've got to really understand where you're going before you set off on the journey.

Why should the boardroom sanction spend, particularly in current conditions, unless a return on the investment is outlined. Nevertheless, be warned. The ROI is emerging fast and smart companies are now making their move.

Widening gulf

Within the last six months a UCC survey conducted by BT INS reported soundings from 137 professional IT practitioners around the globe. It found that nearly 60 per cent of organisations either had no UCC activities underway or planned, or were only exploring UCC feasibility. Among non-starters, 58 per cent blamed their lack of activity on not understanding the potential benefits.

However, of the 10 per cent who professed to have already implemented a comprehensive UCC solution, the preponderance were major corporations: not only reflecting their greater investment power, but also their more sophisticated understanding of how to improve business processes.

The productivity argument is starting to resonate with enterprises.

Firing imaginations

UCC can indeed deliver greater productivity, lower costs and new business opportunities. BT's latest investigation into UCC and productivity outlines a range of applications in stock control, finance, human resources, call centres and many others, that demonstrate how the technology is increasingly answering its critics and moving, ever more rapidly, out of the hype circle.

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