The UC&C sector is on the rise with organisations investing approximately $8.1 million in these services and technologies. The increase in use is justified with companies using these collaboration tools reporting higher productivity across the organisation. Research has also found that companies using collaboration tools to improve productivity achieve 47% higher returns for shareholders.

Research also found that a lack of suitable communication tools within organisations can prove costly with around $37 billion estimated loss due to employee misunderstandings and poor communication.  To put this loss in simple terms, a business of 100 employees can stand to lose an estimated 17 hours a week in seeking clarification, resulting from misguided communication.

Regarding organisational culture shift, modern tech-savvy employees now expect employers to supply more than just basic collaboration services such as conference calling.  They require additional features such as voice, video, chat or audio.

IT and business leaders are now facing the pressure of providing staff access to the right collaborative solutions to ensure a productive and efficient workforce. They also need to ensure that they meet the organisation’s needs, scale and reach. So, what should business leaders consider when they look to develop their UC&C technology direction?

What is the organisational need

When starting the process, it’s important to understand the needs of your organisation thoroughly.  Questions to answer include:  What is my organisation’s unique collaboration mix?  And what technology do we lack in that my organisation needs?

Each organisation, department and team member have a unique collaborator profile, so it’s important to ensure that your teams aren’t being overloaded with tools that are unnecessary, irrelevant or that don’t drive maximum efficiency across your enterprise.  These factors are important when considering your UC&C direction.  With these in mind, you can then begin to build a reliable UC&C strategy and business case.

Know who you’re buying from  

Before committing to a supplier, it’s important to do your research. Do they have a positive reputation and what is their history? Are they able to provide customer references?

While there are many collaboration technology providers in the market, few are truly equipped to support the collaboration needs of the largest global corporations or provide evidence of successful use cases.

Security

As with any technology used in the enterprise, security should be top of mind. It is important that conferencing tools implemented are secure and resilient. Employees disclose confidential company information on their conference calls daily, making these channels targets for cyber-criminals.

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Consider which tools can provide you with enterprise-grade security and encryption, ensuring valuable company data is protected.

Scaling up  

Businesses are always aiming to grow, it’s crucial then, that their technology is also able to grow with them. Carefully evaluate whether a vendor’s capabilities meet the needs of your company, based on your size and scale requirements. For large enterprises, demonstrating the capabilities to support thousands of employees at any given time becomes crucial, both in terms of simultaneous users and simultaneous meetings on your technology provider’s network.

Training

Once the decision is made to deploy technology in your enterprise, training programmes and resources become paramount to driving usage and adoption to maximise ROI.

When employees aren’t engaged in the UC&C technology early on or don’t understand the value to their specific work flow, they are less likely to adopt the UC approach.

Support when you need it

When implementing new technology, it’s important that you have access to support regardless of the strength of a provider’s network infrastructure and resiliency.  Organisations will usually experience minor complaints, so it’s essential to have access to multiple support avenues, including in-meeting support, live chat, phone support and customer communities globally.

To empower your modern business collaboration, IT and business leaders must think of how their chosen technology works within the context of their people, culture and process.  The cost of delays attributed to technical difficulties, install delays and missing credentials, is incalculable and potentially detrimental to the business. Every productive moment that is lost or gained in the enterprise makes an impact. So, businesses need to ensure that their employees are communicating and using UC&C effectively.