While vendors tout multiple benefits for Unified Communications (UC), many IT managers struggle to apply vendor claims for benefits to their own company business processes when considering UC solutions. With so many potential areas for savings I find the best way to justify UC is to clearly identify communication bottlenecks and decide which groups of workers can take advantage of its many applications. To better understand how end users experience using UC, Forrester recently surveyed 444 key network and telecom decision makers on the benefits they received from deploying UC. The top rated benefit by 62% of respondents was the improved collaboration between dispersed teams attributed to presence. This is especially important for remote workers and frequent travelers.

The next most frequently cited benefit by 46% of respondents was UC enabled faster problem resolution. For managers who must resolve issues across multiple locations, this is a major benefit and can be applied to virtually every type of industry.  Regardless of industry, most companies realize that internal delays cost money and ultimately affect customer service.  When building your UC business case use actual examples from employees who must contend with delayed and missed communications on a daily basis.

Although external cost justification sources provide guidelines, the most realistic estimates of UC savings needs to come from future users of UC who can fairly accurately determine the value of its benefits. However, if you do not measure the before and after results, these benefits may go unnoticed and your savings may not be fully recognized. Employees who have implemented UC are typically its most ardent supporters, as many UC users tell me they would not want to communicate without its many capabilities within their work environment.

Has your company deployed UC? If so what have you identified as  the major benefits you found from its use?