Unified Communications Requires Faith

Updated: June 11, 2009

But UC seems pretty simple. It lets you communicate intelligently with anyone no matter where you are or what medium the other party is using. "Intelligently" means you have access to all the business intelligence data in your "business-critical applications." It doesn't necessarily mean you will say anything intelligible.

The question is: does UC work? It's not just a matter of whether the technology delivers what vendors promise; we all know that it never does so in full. But does UC, in the state of its current art, deliver greater profits to its users?

Few are saying that it does. You can read tons of case studies, market analysts' forecasts, press releases, and marketing collateral but very few persons will be quoted saying, "My firm is saving/earning an extra $X per month (or year) because UC did this for us…"

"That's competitive intelligence, companies won't reveal it or give permission to publish it," proponents of UC argue. I don't buy it, and not just because I pried exactly those sorts of numbers out of case study subjects for five years.

People love to brag about how much money they've saved or earned by being cleverer than the next guy, especially if the next guy is "the enemy"! They keep mum only when they know they haven't saved or earned anything, or are too embarrassed to admit that they simply can't tell whether they have saved or earned anything.

Which is not to say that UC is a fraud. It just requires a leap of faith, a willingness to do the only thing that ever earns profits - take risks!

Featured Research
  • The New SMB Phone Systems Comparison Guide

    Does your small or medium-size business need a new phone system? Then you're in luck! Our new, updated comparison guide helps you cut through superfluous information and narrow down your list of solution providers. Get the latest data on phone system features, pricing, and performance metrics in an easy-to-use format. more

  • How UC Can Help Your Business Survive the Holidays

    The holiday season is filled with frenzy and excitement for businesses and consumers alike. Consumers prepare gift lists, compare brands and prices, and begin shopping with a vigor that is not present most other times of the year. For many businesses, the holiday season accounts for a large profit bump at the end of each year, and companies strive to exceed their goals and keep customers happy during this rush late in the year. more

  • [Infographic] Switching Phone Systems

    There are a lot of possible reasons you might want to switch to a new phone system. The old one might cost too much or be too troublesome to operate and maintain. It might not be flexible enough. It might not be reliable enough. Or it just might not have the kinds of features and capabilities that you need in today’s competitive business climate. more

  • Business VoIP on a Budget

    Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems represent the next innovation of telephone connection and communication by making it possible to conduct calls over a broadband internet connection, rather than an analog phone line. more

  • [Infographic] The Advantages of Unified Communications

    Did you know that according to 8x8, the tangible ROI of a unified communications solution for a 10,000-person enterprise is approximately $15.5 million? This isn't the only way unified communications can improve your business. more