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6 Ways Unified Communications Improves Efficiency & Profitability

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6 Ways Unified Communications Improves Efficiency & Profitability

Time is money.

So, how much time / money do your employees spend in meetings?

Chances are, it’s more than you think. According to research conducted by management consultants Bain & Company, about 15% of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings.

That percentage has risen steadily since 2008, so it’s unlikely we’re going to see the end of the meeting culture anytime soon. All the more reason to take steps now to improve productivity and efficiency. Unified communications (UC) make collaboration simpler and faster by eliminating the complexity and problems associated with disconnected devices and technologies.

The end result – You spend less time trying to get things to work and more time working together.

Every Minute Counts

How often have you led or participated in a conference call that was delayed because another participant didn’t have the correct dial-in information or had difficulty viewing the presenter’s shared desktop?

Perhaps only four or five minutes was lost, but that small amount of time carries a significant cost. For example, in a meeting of six people earning $90,000 a year (salary plus benefits), a five-minute delay will cost $79. While that may not seem like much, the same scenario playing out once a day across organization will amounts to $20,000 a year – or about 22% of one attendee’s annual compensation.

With UC, keeping meetings on time, productive and cost-effective becomes naturally embedded in your workplace culture. Below are six ways UC can improve meeting efficiency and effectiveness:

1.  Join with a single click. With UC, employees don’t need to enter dial-in numbers or passcodes. A click of a button gets them directly into the web, video or audio conference.

2.  Work from any device or location. One of the biggest obstacles to a prompt start is the use of different devices to join a conference call. Incompatibility inevitably leads to hiccups – plug-ins need to be downloaded at the last moment or the meeting app isn’t available on a particular platform. UC can eliminate such roadblocks because it’s designed to work across all iPhones, Android devices, and both Mac and Window platforms.

3.  Use an agenda to stay on track. What’s the top piece of advice for having a productive meeting? Create an agenda and stick to it. This sets clear expectations about what will be accomplished and acts as a guide for keeping the meeting running efficiently. UC can help you stay on target by tracking the amount of time spent on each topic.

4.  Share ideas – visually.  One way to help facilitate understanding is to use visual presentations. When others can see your screen, you can more easily convey your ideas. Cut down on the amount of time spent explaining and increase comprehension in the process. Screen sharing also facilitates collaboration, making meetings highly productive.

5.  Control side conversations. UC can help you keep the conversation on track via a group messaging feature that enables attendees to comment without interrupting the meeting. Feedback is discussed only after the presenter has finished, a far more efficient method than constant interruptions. Plus, by capturing questions in a conversation pane, the speaker can prioritize and address them in a logical manner.

6.  Record, share and save time. Another efficiency driver is the ability to record your meeting. It can be used for reference, especially if key decisions need to be revisited. And if a key player missed the meeting, he or she can get up to speed without impacting fellow team members’ time.

If a team can save just five minutes a day by using these features, organizations can shave hours of wasted time each month. The numbers are compelling because time is money. With solid UC tools at their fingertips, your employees can better focus on what really matters – working together to get the job done.

Learn more about ShoreTel’s Connect Collaboration app here.