The right digital communication system is essential for any business to thrive in today's environment. It facilitates employee collaboration, supports the work-from-anywhere culture, improves productivity, boosts customer satisfaction, and increases sales.
Companies must go beyond phone systems and emails. From video and audio conferencing to messaging, you must cover all the bases to facilitate workflows and meet customers where they are.
But the answer isn't as simple as piling on more vendors and platforms. According to GoTo’s custom research study with Frost & Sullivan, 46% of small and medium-sized businesses use more than three unified communications vendors, creating a lot of unnecessary complexity — which increases IT workload and overhead while creating cumbersome internal processes and a frustrating customer experience.
Meanwhile, less than 50% of businesses have fully migrated to cloud communication platforms. The legacy systems restrict companies' abilities to leverage mobile, contact center, and other advanced functions to deliver a modern customer experience.
The fragmented nature of their communication infrastructure is costing businesses thousands per employee and impacting productivity gains by as much as 528%.
Reducing IT complexity is the name of the game for SMBs that want to stay productive, competitive, and profitable in 2023. And it starts with consolidating your phone, meeting, and messaging platforms.
62% of SMBs consider vendor consolidation as one of the most or the most important initiatives within their organizations. Here’s why you should use a single unified communications (UC) platform for your business:
1. Reduce IT complexity, overhead, and workload
The average SMB uses 2.6 UC tools. Their IT departments are stretching their limited resources to support those platforms, maintain integrations, and enforce standards — diverting resources from strategic initiatives to support growth.
Today's IT and administrative staff spends more time than ever deploying, managing, configuring, assigning licenses, setting permissions, training team members, and porting data across platforms.
Using a single UC platform can reduce the IT resources you need to manage and maintain multiple UC tools with different SLAs and support channels. You can free up your budget to invest in other software and resources to grow your business.
2. Modernize employee and customer experiences
Managing a legacy on-premises phone system is resource-intensive, costly, and cumbersome. It's challenging for these companies to forecast budgets effectively because they can’t predict expensive fixes or new feature requirements.
These companies often lag in productivity and fail to deliver a modern customer experience. On the other hand, cloud communication platforms offer massive opportunities for small businesses to modernize their infrastructure, reduce costs, and improve employee and customer experiences.
Consolidating your UC services into a single cloud platform allows you to access the latest communication features with no upfront investment. You can also better predict your budget because the monthly fee covers all upgrades and maintenance.
3. Reduce operating costs and increase productivity
Companies that partner with a single UC provider spend 56% less on their communication tools than those using multiple vendors. They can use the budget to invest in other critical IT or customer-orientated technologies.
Meanwhile, using a single platform means employees don’t have to switch between apps or transfer siloed data from one software to another — a task that’s not only time-consuming but also error-prone.
Moreover, a frustrating employee experience can lead staff members to deploy their own solutions. You can't get a complete view of where your data resides if apps handling sensitive business and customer data aren't managed by IT. Such shadow IT practices can become a data security and compliance nightmare.
Choosing a Unified Communications platform for your SMB
Many SMBs shy away from consolidating their UC tools into a single cloud-based platform because most enterprise-grade solutions are too complex and costly. To reap the most benefits and maximize your ROI, find one that meets these criteria:
- Easy to deploy: Your IT team should be able to implement the solution with just a few clicks, so you don't strain your resources.
- Easy to manage: The unified admin portal should allow your team to manage everything on a user-friendly dashboard from anywhere.
- Easy to use: Every employee should be able to navigate the tool and become productive quickly without a steep learning curve.
- Easy to scale: You should be able to add users and new functions to your plan as your business grows to meet changing needs.
- Easy to purchase: Your vendor should offer affordable packages with a transparent pricing structure so you can easily predict your spending.
Besides an intuitive user experience, your UC platform should have a track record of high reliability (e.g., GoTo's UC solution has a 99.999% uptime.) Plus, your vendor should provide 24/7 customer support to help relieve your IT staff's workload.
An all-in-one phone, meeting, and messaging software for SMBs
GoTo Connect boasts an enterprise-class phone system with 100+ features, including video and audio conferencing, screen sharing, messaging for 1:1, group chat, team channels, file-sharing, and SMS for external messages.
It helps SMBs provide a top-notch customer and employee experience without the high cost or resource requirements. Learn more about our simple and secure cloud UC system and see how we can help you stay ahead of the curve.