Archive for November, 2008
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While the financial crisis is still hogging the front page of the Wall Street Journal, I want to share one of my conversations with the senior management team from a financial services company during a recent visit to New York. It made me realize that companies are beginning to see UC as a method of cost control as opposed to only a way to increase collaboration and productivity, which helps them justify rolling out UC systems now as opposed to later.
Unloading assets is one way that firms on Wall Street are working to reduce cost. The financial services company I was visiting is selling off some of its buildings in Manhattan while encouraging employees to telecommute. Without UC, this would not even be an option. UC makes it possible by giving employees IM, conferencing, video and audio at home. UC allows companies to encourage more telecommuting, which in turn allows them to get rid of office space and reduce cost.
That’s not the only example of long-term cost savings being the driving force behind unified communications. In London, I talked with a senior group of about eight people from a Fortune 500 company about their plans to roll out Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS). Their goal is to have 10,000 people using voice on OCS by the end of this year.
When I remarked that this was the largest scale deployment of OCS Voice I’d heard of to date, they told me that they conducted a cost analysis and discovered that the entire system will pay for itself in one year. Rolling out a UC platform with conferencing, video integration, etc. means that this company can cut down on the cost of things like video conferencing, external audio conferencing, and external web conferencing.
Often, our customers cite reasons like productivity, collaboration or the new way of working to deploy Unified Communications. This was the second time I’d heard ROI as a reason for rolling out UC technology.
Both of these companies plan to use Unified Communications to cut back on costs. It’s interesting to notice that more and more companies are realizing that UC actually saves them money along with increasing productivity and collaboration, which provides a great way to justify using these systems now.
My prediction? We’ll see more stories about how ROI is driving the adoption of Unified Communications in the next 12 months.
What’s driving UC at your company?