Unified communications generates interest as an important
business tool to improve business processes and reduce costly business delays
for time sensitive situations. However, many IT managers have difficulty in
building a business case for upgrading to UC-enabled infrastructure. While UC
offerings are based on sound technology and can enhance existing IT
investments, business process improvements represent the most potential gain
from adoption of UC. Key business process improvements with UC include shorter
sales cycles, increased access to experts, rapid problem resolution, reduced
travel – and therefore carbon footprint – and training costs, improved customer
experience and faster project completion. Important factors to consider for a
business case include:

  • Develop a cross functional SWOT team to evaluate its
    benefits for your organization and include business units
  • Identify user groups within an organization that have the
    greatest need for improved collaboration for time sensitive issues.
  • Evaluate your current environment to determine its
    readiness to support UC and include
    network upgrades, current release of existing software and mix of vendors
  • Quantify the potential business value of upgrading to UC.
    While worker productivity is increased, it is best to build your business case
    of process improvements, as the savings are more easily quantified.
  • Include all costs for an upgrade. This includes desktop and
    server software, supporting hardware, professional services, training, support
  • Determine payback period for rollout.
  • Train users to minimize impact of those who are resistant to

My most recent document, "How To Evaluate Business Value For Unified Communications," discusses the value, challenges and returns of deploying UC in your organization. I’m eager to hear your thoughts.

By Elizabeth Herrell 

Check out Elizabeth’s research