There’s little question that using Unified Communications (UC) has the potential to sharply raise productivity for any company. But companies have to integrate it into their businesses if they are to get the full value from it, experts say.
The growing market for UC shows that companies recognize its potential: That market for UC will be worth $2.3 billion worldwide by the end of 2016, according to a study by ABI Research.
So a large number of companies have the massive videoconferencing and collaboration potential afforded by UC. But can they make it work?
When they do, the business value is considerable. Effective use of UC saves companies about $5,000 per worker, according to a recent study by Sonus Networks.
On the other hand, when companies don’t achieve UC collaboration potential, the consequences can be costly. Approximately 18 percent of projects are delayed because of ineffective team collaboration, the study shows.
So the key is getting teams to work efficiently. With UC, workers are likely to take advantage of its real-time conferencing possibilities all by themselves.
Management experts say that the key issue is to make all this collaboration work in the same direction, not just aimless, piecemeal chatter. Experts at the University of California at Berkeley propose the following guidelines:
- Make sure that you have a clear idea of what you need to accomplish; Set standards for success and ensure that team members understand their responsibilities.
- Establish team values and goals; evaluate team performance. Keep team members apprised of progress, and what the priorities are.
- Use consensus.Set objectives, solve problems, and plan for action. Achieving consensus ultimately provides better decisions and greater productivity.
- Set ground rules for the team.These are the norms that you and the team establish to ensure efficiency and success.
Relying on these parameters, and with attentive team management, companies will find that using UC makes a big addition to the bottom line.