What UC Features Do Businesses Actually Want?

The promise of UC is great for the future of business, but what features do businesses, their employees and their managers, actually want from this communications advancement? A new survey conducted and released by a top UC provider offers some clues to what elements of modern communications technologies businesses find most frustrating, and what they want to take advantage of when they decide to make the change over to a UC solution.

What’s Bothering You With Your Current System?

The top frustrations businesses report offers a good place to start the discussion, as many employees and managers make their service purchasing decisions based as much on what they don’t want as what they do want. We also hate to admit it, but most customers make the simple decision to actually upgrade their organization’s communications systems based more on what currently frustrates them about their existing systems than on what benefits they can expect to acquire by making the switch.

According to the data, the primary frustrations organizations feel about their existing communication systems are:

  • Waiting on Information (78%)
  • Locating & Contacting Someone (69%)
  • Email Ineffective Communication Tool (58%)

The primary frustrations organizations feel towards their existing communications systems revolve around communication technologies that operate outside of the real time. For example, sending an e-mail and having to wait for a response. This aligns with other commonly cited frustrations including disruptions due to travel and IT/telecom outages.

Interestingly enough another commonly cited frustration lies within internal meetings, suggesting organizations feel frustrations with wide-ranging, overly formalized and relatively stiff communication structures.

In other words- organizations feel frustrated right now because they don’t feel connected with each other, in real-time, no matter where they (or their coworkers) happen to be at the time each individual requires communication or information, making it clear these organizations are great candidates for the many tight-knit benefits offered by UC solutions.

But What Specific Benefits Do Organizations Desire From UC?

Considering their frustrations, the list of benefits organizations seek from UC aren’t too surprising. Organizations want UC services providing:

  • Mobile Integration
  • Instant Messaging and Presence
  • Web Collaboration

Of those responding, a huge 69% said they were primarily interested in mobile integration within their UC systems, and within that integration there were a couple big points they want their UC services to hit.

  • Businesses want UC services that extend desk phone features to their employee’s mobile devices.
  • Businesses want UC services that utilize essentially the same UI no matter where they’re accessing those services.
  • Businesses want their employees to be able to answer and make calls from their phone with their business identity (business phone number, etc.) attached.
  • Businesses want UC services offering a business directory and personal contact information available from each device within the system.

What’s interesting here is the fact each organization wanted to unify their communication services across both desktop and mobile devices instead of simply wanting solutions that they could run entirely off of their mobile devices in order to replace desktop devices, demonstrating the way desktop devices continue to hold relevance and importance even in our mobile-saturated marketplace. However, the survey also found organizations are now using laptops and mobile devices more than desktop phones and computers, though the balance of desktop to mobile devices varied from industry to industry.

Overall organizations demonstrated a realistic picture of what benefits they could receive, and what frustration they could solve, from the right UC solution, including the growing productivity gap between flexible workers using mobile devices in addition to on-site devices compared with workers who only use on-site devices, with UC-enabled workers adding approximately 2.5 hours a week of productive time, averaging about $5,500 per worker in annual revenue gains.