Software // Productivity/Collaboration Apps
Commentary
12/5/2013
09:06 AM
Andrew Borg
Andrew Borg
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Next-Generation Communications Have Real Power

NGC combines unified communications features like voice, video, and IM with the practice of true teamwork. The result is often a better bottom line.

Unified communications has long appeared as the mythic Holy Grail of business communications -- the seamless integration of all communication channels: voice, voice messaging, email, SMS, text, instant messaging (IM), presence, video, fax -- with the ability to move a conversation effortlessly from one channel to the next.

NGC

Many organizations have not lived up to this promise, in part because of the lack of a compelling business case, and, until recently, a lack of industry standards that make agile, cross-channel business conversations viable. The relatively recent emergence of standards such as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) has driven down the cost and increased the adoption of advanced communications tools.

They have also helped organizations integrate products from a variety of vendors, an approach Aberdeen has termed integrated communications (IC) -- see sidebar definitions. These insights are culled from a September 2013 Aberdeen study of 120 organizations, intended to uncover the business advantages of well-implemented UC, IC, and their hybrid, next-generation communications (NGC). 

When survey respondents were asked to identify the top goals for their organization’s NGC plans, the majority (two-thirds) chose improving collaboration across the enterprise -- almost twice as many as those who chose the next goal: reducing communication costs. It's reasonable to assume that an improved communications environment fosters better teamwork, due to the sharing of knowledge across silos and faster access to critical information and subject matter experts around the company. But to ascertain whether there is, in fact, a correlation between NGC collaboration goals and improved business outcomes, Aberdeen measured business performance metrics for companies that listed collaboration as a priority and those that did not.

NGC Collaborators Achieve the Greatest Returns

The chart above compares the year-over-year change in business performance for those who identified collaboration as a top goal. Compared to those who did not prioritize collaboration, they achieved

  • Over twice the increase in customer retention
  • Over 7-times the improvement in employee productivity
  • Over 7-times the increase in employee satisfaction (non-collaborators' employee satisfaction actually decreased)
  • Over 2-times the improvement in sales cycle reduction
  • Over 2-times the increase in operational efficiency

These findings are a clear indicator of a strong correlation between communications, collaboration, and higher business performance. NGC by itself is just a technology platform -- but its true power is revealed when combined with the practice of collaboration.

For more information on putting next-generation communications to use, download the free Aberdeen report here.

There's no single migration path to the next generation of enterprise communications and collaboration systems and services, and Enterprise Connect delivers what you need to evaluate all the options. Register today and learn about the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. Register with code MPIWK and save $200 on the entire event and Tuesday-Thursday conference passes or for a free expo pass. It happens March 17-19 in Orlando, Fla.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.