The average small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) uses 6.4 types of communication devices and 4.8 communications applications, according to a 2006 study by Sage Research.
The study also reported that more than 50% of employees use multiple methods to contact someone.
Ideally, a UC solution would:
Help put an end to communications impediments such as phone tag, unheard voicemails or struggling to determine who will take the next urgent customer call.
Provide "built-in" functionality for extended value such as drag and drop conferencing and dynamic voicemail use with message changes based on your calendar. ï¿¼Built-inï¿¼ functions also exclude or limit the need to purchase additional hardware.
The piece goes on to recommend five basic keys to UC for smaller companies:
1. Built-in Presence, showing who is available and accessible. 2. Drag and Drop Conferencing, letting users create meetings by dragging and dropping contacts into the conference screen. 3. Built-in Fax Message Box, which lets you receive and respond to faxes quickly, just like emails. 4. Built-in Info Status Pop-Ups, to keep you informed when new calls come in, for example. 5. Microsoft Outlook Integration means users can handle all their communications in one applications that they already know.