By Nicole Maier – SMB Marketing Communications Manager, Cisco UK & Ireland

With teams increasingly spread all over the site, country and world, effective collaboration is growing more important. And Unified Communications (UC) technology is answering the call. Once, it merely replaced existing systems like legacy telephony to deliver savings. Now, it can revolutionise your business.

The benefits

Embracing Unified Communications can help boost your team’s collaboration and productivity, and improve responsiveness to customers. Plus many more benefits that flow from your own unique challenges and goals like growth strategy, culture and financial situation.

The proof

UK companies increasingly rely on UC to meet new business practices. The UK’s leading commercial radio group GCap media now uses extension mobility to let employees work remotely, and Presence technology to support internal communication and collaboration.

Meanwhile, UK-based property developer Cala Group, is transforming construction site working practices with Cisco Unified Communications technology. Wireless handsets now let construction managers communicate across the site like they’re at their desks.

In the public sector, Greater London’s Hillingdon Council has made significant savings by enabling 200 staff, including call centre agents, to work from home or remotely thus reducing office and commuting costs.

What can it do for you?

New small business working practices have been met with new UC applications. Growth in mobility and remote working resulted in Presence, making it easier for colleagues to keep in touch across voice, text, IM and mobile. While softphone technology lets employees work productively from a corporate laptop with broadband connection anywhere in the world.

Keep everyone connected

Mobile workers can find it harder to keep their finger on the office pulse. UC technology can improve their welfare and productivity, for instance, by letting them take part in staggeringly real virtual meetings.

It also helps them do more without the help of IT experts. Upgrading telephone calls to video calls is as simple as giving webcams to workers. Your IT team can then focus time and resources on more complex tasks.

Customer comes first

UC technology can also help you respond quickly and cost-effectively to customer enquiries, sometimes saving money, too. Building an IP Telephony system, say, can reduce ownership cost by between 5 to 30 percent.

More good news for small businesses

Unified Communications can also increase operational efficiencies and optimise resources, helping you achieve expansion plans currently restricted by budget or location. And by increasing employee productivity a small business can even ‘punch above its weight’ winning business from larger or more market-dominant competitors.

So you can grow your business without swelling your budget.

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