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Three barriers to introducing unified communications to your business (and how to solve them)

So far in this series we have explored what unified communications means in today’s connected world and what benefits introducing a UC system brings to your business, from staff training to securing budget

In this piece we will explore three of the most common barriers to replacing a siloed communications system with a UC package.

Getting out of contracts from existing services

One of the main advantages of having a unified communications system is that you have one suite of products for all of your business needs, including; telephony, collaboration and audio conferencing, with a single, regular payment to your UC supplier. This simplification reduces unexpected charges and subscriptions, helping businesses to keep control of their budgeting and spend.

Having one supplier means having one company to pay, however not all businesses are ready to jump in the moment they discover the benefits of a UC system. Most companies will already be in a contract with some kind of PBX company for their telephony needs, as well as instant messaging, audio conferencing and collaboration tools, but it’s unlikely that each subscription or contract expires on the same day. Understandably most businesses don’t want to pay for multiple similar services at the same time so if contract end dates are all over the place, it makes securing budget sign off difficult.

To overcome this barrier, many UC providers can install a system with core capabilities, such as business telephony and the PBX system, providing the backbone for additional products, like video conferencing and collaboration, to be added at a later date.

VoIP performance

Another reason some businesses are still wary of UC is a result of the preconceived notions of functionality based on VoIP (Voice over IP) technology. When VoIP was originally introduced in the late 90s, users often experienced terrible sound quality and regular cut-outs, largely as a result of poor internet speeds.

Broadband has come on leaps and bounds since the early 2000’s so the bandwidth bottlenecks that were the main issue with VoIP quality no longer occur. With high speed fibre optic networks in most places of work and homes, businesses can be confident that any problems they had with VoIP in the past won’t be present in modern cloud UC systems.

Staff adoption

The final common barrier for introducing a unified communications system relates to a belief that staff won’t want to learn the new system. Businesses are worried that with so many features at their disposal, staff will struggle to use the software effectively.

Staff adoption is a major element of any decision to introduce a new system or process into a business. Unified Communications is no different, however modern systems have been designed with the end-user in mind. Whether a user is working from a laptop, desktop, mobile or deskphone, UC providers are putting a lot of R&D into creating a consistent user experience across all platforms, operating systems and devices.

Over the past few years there has been a real focus on creating business technology that looks and feels like consumer equivalents. From collaboration to conferencing software, communications tools are leading this trend, so every interface we create is designed to feel familiar to the end user to reduce the time it takes for a business to adopt and benefit from UC.

Monica Visconti-Patel, Director of EMEA and Marketing, RingCentral

Photo credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock