Efficiencies of Using a Single-Provider Strategy for UC&C Services
Until early 2020, organizations talked about the importance of agile communications. Some had even begun planning for a future with a more flexible communications system. Then, out of necessity, organizations transitioned most employees from the office to home, or some combination, and had to do so quickly without impacting availability and customer service.
We all learned a lot from that experience, especially how best to help employees communicate while maintaining a sense of normalcy in the midst of uncertainty.
Organizations turned to Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C)
In early 2020 Lumen Technologies commissioned a study by Nemertes Research entitled “Employee, Customer Experience Transformations Deliver Measurable Value.” and found that over 50% of companies had completed an employee transformation project or had one underway, and one of the projects that came up frequently was a transition to UC&C.
UC&C enables you to more easily support communications seamlessly regardless of where the “office” is located. That means calling, messaging and meetings follow the employee from the traditional business office to home and vice versa, without the need for complicated or expensive installation efforts.
UC&C has been a boon for employees. Because these platforms are feature-rich, a click or two starts or answers a phone call, opens instant messages or begins a video meeting. Using familiar interfaces reduces stress and enables users to master the tools, making them more efficient.
Companies also benefit from using a single provider for UC&C applications. We frequently hear about the struggles of IT staff to provide service on ever-shrinking budgets. A single provider brings several UC&C platforms under one umbrella. And training for IT and employees is more streamlined when they have complementary functionality.
Why using and single provider is critical
A competitive market has resulted in UC&C products undergoing frequent changes and enhancement upgrades. Having to support multiple products through multiple providers can place a burden on IT both operationally and from a maintenance perspective.
A single provider handling most or all of a company’s UC&C needs results in several advantages:
- The process of hardware, software and service acquisition is simplified when standardizing on a platform and working with one provider. One representative acts as a single point of contact to facilitate sales and customer care.
- After implementation, if something goes wrong, it’s easier to work with a single provider to troubleshoot issues. When multiple providers are involved, finger pointing can occur. That’s nearly eliminated with a single provider.
- The chain of command for both acquisitions and operations is simplified should problems occur.
According to Nemertes, those who moved to a single provider also realized significant—and measurable—benefits with employee productivity, operational costs, application utilization and employee satisfaction.
For example, the study found that productivity increases about 30% when employees use a single provider. Again, integrated apps and feature-rich UC&C experiences enable employees to complete tasks faster and collaborate with their teams more efficiently.
And UC&C operational costs decrease an average of 44% when organizations use a single provider. Operational costs in this instance include IT staff costs, subscriptions, training, managed services and maintenance.
Organizations also saw a 33% increase in the use of collaboration applications when delivered through a single provider, and employee ratings of their organizations improved by about 35% after moving to a single provider.
Retain flexibility even while standardizing
Standardizing with a single provider doesn’t mean you give up options or flexibility.
A significant value-add of working with Lumen is that customers can choose to use the Lumen global network. The Lumen low-latency network enhances UC&C solutions designed to support your business applications. You also have the ability to bring your own network. Some customers prefer to minimize perceived friction by switching networks prior to implementing UC&C or are simply bound by contracts. In some cases, customers can continue using their existing technology to minimize the additional costs of technology upgrades.
Finally, because of the competitiveness of audio, video and web conferencing and strong preferences of employees for one service or another, we partner with leading technology providers so you can choose stand-alone solutions utilizing Zoom, Microsoft and Cisco or you can choose a hybrid approach. And because these solutions are in the cloud you know you will always be on the latest version.
Browse the Nemertes Research study “Employee, Customer Experience Transformations Deliver Measurable Value” to find out more about the benefits of consolidating UC&C services through a single provider.
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