Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes

451 views
370 views

Published on

Published in: Business, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
451
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
22
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes

  1. 1. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Forrester survey on business benefits of UC for financial and professional services industries A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya Revised August, 2007 -1-
  2. 2. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Table Of Contents Executive Summary ................................................................................................................................................3 Study Objectives......................................................................................................................................................3 UC Is Becoming An Essential Business Tool .........................................................................................................3 Business Process Improvements Are A Major Benefit For UC .........................................................................3 Summary Of Survey Findings ............................................................................................................................3 Key Findings From Two Major Vertical Industries ..................................................................................................4 Financial Service Firms Improve Competitiveness With UC .............................................................................4 Survey Findings For Financial Service Firms ...............................................................................................5 Professional Services Firms Need To Meet Deadlines And Budgets .............................................................16 Survey Findings From Professional Services Firms...................................................................................16 How To Determine Business Benefits for UC.......................................................................................................26 Summary ...............................................................................................................................................................27 © 2007, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Forrester, Forrester Wave, RoleView, Technographics, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. Forrester clients may make one attributed copy or slide of each figure contained herein. Additional reproduction is strictly prohibited. For additional reproduction rights and usage information, go to www.forrester.com. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. -2-
  3. 3. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Executive Summary Unified communications (UC) allows workers to connect to others more easily, accelerate business processes, and enable companies to meet deadlines more consistently. UC supports remote and mobile workers and promotes faster decision-making by facilitating collaboration among workers. UC provides quantifiable benefits across numerous business processes within multiple industries. Forrester Research conducted interviews with line-of-business (LOB) directors and IT professionals to determine what communications issues hindered business processes and created communication bottlenecks. The survey considered how these processes would improve with UC and which features would trigger hard cost savings, improve business agility, and increase employee productivity. Consistent responses from survey participants indicate that UC provides numerous improvements in business communications and delivers an essential business tool for companies seeking quantifiable productivity improvements throughout their organization. Study Objectives Forrester Consulting surveyed 102 companies to better understand communication processes found in two industries: the financial industry including banking, investment companies, and credit institutions, and professional services including consulting services and IT and computer software organizations. The sales process was evaluated for the financial sector and the proposal and client engagement processes were considered for the professional services sector. Survey participants were asked to describe how their current processes would change and to measure the benefits for having advanced capabilities provided by UC solutions. No vendors or vendor’s products were identified in this study. The survey included 102 interviews: 73% of respondents were professionals from companies with 1,000 or more employees and 27% were professionals from companies with between 500 and 999 employees. Respondents were split between business professionals from the LOB (74%) and IT professionals (26%) for both industries. UC Is Becoming An Essential Business Tool UC reduces delays in business communications and enables companies to improve business efficiencies in how they manage core business processes. Building on advances in voice, data, and collaboration applications, UC facilitates business interactions among employees to enable faster response to business issues and to enhance collaboration in the workforce. UC simplifies communications with compelling new applications, such as presence, mobile device integration, multimodal conferencing, desktop call control, and unified messaging, which increases business agility among a distributed workforce. Business Process Improvements Are A Major Benefit For UC Organizations gain not only individual worker productivity but also improve major business processes with UC. Easy user access to key features encourages employees to use applications that previously would require them to manage numerous discrete user interfaces, separate directories, or multiple business addresses. When organizations reduce difficulties in managing business communication processes, they can put more effort into improving business operations. UC enables businesses to become more efficient, to reduce costs due to improved responsiveness to critical business situations, and to respond more quickly to customers. Summary Of Survey Findings 1. The survey resulted in several areas for communication-enabled business process improvements. UC allows companies to leverage investments already made in communication and collaboration technologies and provides advanced capabilities based on session initiation protocol (SIP) applications. A business benefit found in the survey is shorter sales cycles. This ability to get key participants together more quickly gives account mangers more time to spend with customers. Financial services companies estimate that this would shorten the sales cycle from 5% to 20%, increase revenues, and improve customer satisfaction. -3-
  4. 4. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes 2. The ability to find and collaborate with experts keeps customer engaged and helps close sales. 77% of financial firms said the inability to reach experts quickly puts sales opportunities at risk. 3. Shorten proposal process by hours to several days due to the ability to reach co-workers or experts for immediate consultations. Financial institutions indicate this ability would lower costs for managing projects due to fewer delays, improve customer satisfaction, and increase competitiveness. 4. Immediately respond to critical situations with the ability to launch conference calls more quickly resulting in fewer delays. More than 80% of financial services companies indicate that it takes one or more days to set up conference calls and say they would be able to improve customer response with the ability to launch ad hoc conference calls. 5. Lower costs for managing professional services projects due to fewer delays and faster completion rates based on immediate access to key decision-makers and improved collaboration. Two-thirds of professional services firms indicate that, when they cannot contact decision-makers, projects slow down or require workaround, adding hours and costs to current projects. 6. Fewer trips per employee for internal meetings due to improved connectivity with multimodal conferencing which results in hard dollar savings. Advanced conferencing capabilities reduce costs by decreasing the frequency of internal business trips, which average in excess of $1,000 per trip per employee. 7. Improved team collaboration across a global workforce with improved access to remote employees. 88% of professional services firms said the ability to collaborate more quickly would save from one day to more than one week per project. 8. Coordinating meetings more quickly and accelerating project completions reduces project costs. 86% of respondents indicated that better coordination would reduce project costs and 84% stated it would free personnel to support other projects. 9. Knowing the status of others prior to contact offers important insight for most professional services teams. 82% of professional services firms found this to be a valuable business tool. Key Findings From Two Major Vertical Industries Each industry has its own processes that reflect the needs of its business. The survey focused on core business processes in the financial services and professional services industries. The financial services survey focused on complex sales processes that require collaboration with experts. The professional services survey focused on the proposal generation and project management processes. The following section reports on the findings from these surveys. Financial Service Firms Improve Competitiveness With UC Financial services representatives (FSR) often encounter business opportunities from existing customers requesting new services. Frequently, when a sales opportunity presents itself, the FSR does not have the appropriate background or certifications for the product or service requested and must engage product experts to generate a sales proposal. The survey evaluated what improvements UC could deliver compared with current processes. For example, in a traditional setting, collaboration with subject matter experts often involves emails or voice mails and waiting anywhere from hours to more than a day for a response. With UC, the FSR can quickly identify and connect with needed experts by determining their current status from their PC and launching an immediate conversation by merely pointing and clicking on their name. The ability to reach others anywhere, anytime, ensures that customers’ needs are met quickly, with a faster response time for new sales proposals. -4-
  5. 5. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Survey Findings For Financial Service Firms Financial services is a highly competitive business with a distributed workforce. When FSRs cannot communicate quickly with key parties required for proposal generation, this delays proposals, which results in irritating customers or potentially losing an opportunity. The survey indicates that banks have a major opportunity to improve close rates, reduce cost of sales, become more responsive to customers, shorten the sales cycle and increase competitiveness. Due to the distributed nature of the workforce, reaching others quickly by knowing their current status provides a sound benefit to a large majority of financial service professionals and improves the overall sales process. The survey found this capability also shortens the sales cycle and provides faster problem resolution. Additionally, the survey results revealed that: • Communication issues hamper sales efforts for financial service firms. Forrester interviewed sales executives, IT directors, and VPs in financial services, retail banking, and credit institutions regarding common communication problems that occur during the sales process for complex services. Financial services firms experience numerous communication issues when dealing with these complex selling opportunities, which include needing to consult with remote experts and not knowing if forwarded calls are picked up or actions are completed (see Figure 1). Additionally, the frequency of travel by account managers further compounds the communication problems with 42% of account managers indicting that they travel more than 50% of the time, which makes communication difficult (see Figure 2). Figure 1: Does your organization experience any of the following communication issues in the sales process for complex accounts that involve cross services selling opportunities? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents (multiple responses accepted) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya -5-
  6. 6. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 2: What percentage of your account managers for large customer accounts travel away from their office regularly to meet with customers? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya • Inability to reach experts quickly puts sales opportunity at risk for 77% of financial service firms. The competitive environment in financial services requires companies to respond quickly to customers’ needs. When account managers cannot connect to experts as needed, they face serious consequences. Major outcomes for delays included the risk of losing a revenue opportunity (77%), irritating customers (77%), or delaying the delivery of a proposal (77%). Communication delays also increase competitive threats (73%) and rate change modifications (49%) (see Figure 3). With high pressure to maintain customer loyalty, financial institutions cannot afford to delay proposal processes due to inaccessible experts or traveling employees, and they need to take action to reduce this time lag and improve responsiveness. Employees using traditional methods to set up conference calls find that arranging a multiparty conference call is a time-consuming task and encounter delays in getting the appropriate people to respond quickly. More than 80% of companies reported that it typically took more than one day to set up a conference call — with 38% indicating it took three days to more than one week — to gather all participants for a complex sales proposal and consult with experts (see Figure 4). When multiplied by the number of conferences which need to take place, this translates to a significant amount of lost time and communication delays in the sales process. -6-
  7. 7. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 3: What is the consequence of not reaching key account managers and experts in a timely manner? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents (multiple responses accepted) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya Figure 4: When putting together a complex sales proposal that covers multiple products, what is the typical time it takes to arrange times and conference with appropriate experts? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya -7-
  8. 8. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes • Indication of co-worker’s status saves hours to days on proposal generation. UC delivers presence capabilities, which is the ability to see the status of a team member throughout the day and is updated dynamically based on current activities. Indicators convey a team member’s current activity such as if the employee is on the phone, out of the office, in a meeting, etc. Not knowing the status of an expert or key decision-maker leads to message tag, where employees search for others over multiple devices, resulting in many messages that require retrieval but do not reach the intended party. The ability to know the status of a key decision-maker prior to contact benefits 56% of respondents, who indicated it would save them several hours to several days per proposal (see Figure 5). In addition to making it easier for account managers to contact team members, presence capabilities also directly improve the sales process and customer’s experience. A significant 92% of respondents said this capability would improve customer satisfaction and 82% said it would increase competitiveness by reducing delays. With proposal generation tied directly to new sales revenues, financial services firms have an opportunity to review their current communication environment and evaluate how UC could eliminate many of the proposal generation delays. Figure 5: If key contacts were immediately available by knowing their current status and being able to reach them over the most appropriate device, how much time could be saved in developing a complex financial proposal for a large customer? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents (percentages do no total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya -8-
  9. 9. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 6: What do you view as the major benefits for your organization if communication delays could be reduced and employees could simply reach others over any means with a single number? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents (multiple responses accepted) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya • Shorter sales cycles (5% to 20%) improve revenue opportunities for 60% of financial service firms. Survey respondents predicted that improved communications would have a positive benefit for shortening the sales cycle time. 60% of respondents stated if the right team could be assembled more effectively, without delays in contacting internal experts, the sales cycle would be shortened from 5% to more than 20% (see Figure 7). Customer benefits of the shorter sales cycle were also noted with 90% of respondents stating it would improve customer satisfaction (see Figure 8). Improved responsiveness to sales proposals directly influences the bottom line. The ability to accelerate the sales process and reduce delays in contacting experts improves pending sales efforts for 70% of respondents. 28% indicated improved close rates between 3% and 9% per sale, 26% of respondents stated improved close rates between 10% and 19%, and 16% suggested close rates would improve more than 20% (see Figure 9). Sales close rates are core to the business and financial service firms should take a much closer look at how UC would improve their sales activities and implement processes to support improved collaboration with account managers and internal experts. -9-
  10. 10. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 7: If the right team could be assembled more quickly and communicate more effectively without delays, how much time could be saved? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya Figure 8: What would greater close rates mean in terms of customer satisfaction? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya - 10 -
  11. 11. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 9: With the ability to accelerate the sales process and reduce delays in contacting internal experts, how much would this improve pending sales efforts? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya • Automatic status of traveling employee benefits 95% of financial service firms. Remote and traveling employees are often difficult to reach and inadvertently slow sales efforts. 95% of respondents indicated that having a key advisor’s status automatically updated would be beneficial to them, with 56% stating it would be a good to significant improvement in their ability to reach those outside of the office (see Figure 10). Importantly, for time-sensitive proposals, the ability to connect to others quickly without consulting directories but by merely pointing and clicking on their name is considered a positive value with 73% of respondents indicating this ability would at least somewhat shorten the sales process. The ability to reach others across any device at any time is a major improvement from the way employees try to find others today. The real-time nature of contacting others allows account managers to direct efforts on the sale itself and not on the logistics of tracking down others (see Figure 11). - 11 -
  12. 12. Unified Communications Accelerate Business Processes Figure 10: If a key advisor or expert’s status was automatically and continuously updated during the day when they traveled or were out of the office, what benefit would this have on the sales effort? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya Figure 11: For time-sensitive proposals, if account managers could immediately contact key members of his or her staff by pointing and clicking their names on the PC and getting the right team to respond quickly, would this have an impact on the sales process? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya • 88% of respondents indicate it is easier to hire and retain good employees with UC capabilities. - 12 -
  13. 13. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Financial service firms often face high turnover of sales personnel, which can be as high as 50% during the first year due to competition and job dissatisfaction caused by difficulties in navigating through the sales process. When account managers have access to communication capabilities that enable them to perform their job more effectively, they are more likely to be successful and remain with the company. 88% percent of respondents indicated that it would be easier to recruit and retain account managers if the company had up-to- date technologies to facilitate communications and add more productivity to the account manager (see Figure 12). The cost to recruit and train new account manager is significant and with improved retention of account managers these costs would be significantly reduced. Figure 12: Would it make it easier to recruit and retain account managers if your company had up-to- date technology to facilitate communications and add more productivity to each account manager? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya • Faster response times to critical issues provide competitive advantage. With UC, companies reduce delays in managing critical issues and become more responsive to time-sensitive situations. 92% of respondents felt faster problem resolution would deliver high value to their business, with 66% of them indicating that it would provide a good to significant benefit (see Figure 13). Faster problem resolution ultimately improves customer loyalty, as well as enables companies to more successful compete in its market segment. - 13 -
  14. 14. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 13: When faced with a serious problem concerning a major account, what value would it be to be able to resolve the problem within a much shorter period of time than it normally takes today? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya • Sales potential increases with real-time collaboration for 72% of respondents. Remote managers indicated the ability to bring available experts into a conference with customers using collaboration tools, such as Web conferencing and file sharing, would improve their sales potential with large clients. 90% of respondents felt this capability would improve sales potential, with 72% indicating somewhat to significant value to the sales effort with this ability (see Figure 14). Although financial service firms vary significantly in the type of sales they handle, all of the firms spend considerable time closing all sales possible within their product categories. Survey respondents indicated the cost of a lost sale to their firm as ranging from less than $20,000 to more than $200,000. 50% of respondents estimated each lost opportunity as greater than $20,000 further indicating the importance for financial firms to look within their own organization to find ways they can improve their account managers ability to communicate more effectively and generate more sales success (see Figure 15). - 14 -
  15. 15. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 14: If remote account managers had the ability to bring available experts into conferences with customers using Web conferencing, file sharing, and collaboration, would this improve your sales potential with large clients? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya Figure 15: What is your estimate of the average cost of a “lost” opportunity for a premier customer who made a decision to go with a competitors’ offering? Base: 51 financial services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya - 15 -
  16. 16. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Professional Services Firms Need To Meet Deadlines And Budgets Professional services organizations must respond quickly to new sales opportunities and complete projects on time to remain competitive. Professional services teams find orchestrating meetings with partners, account managers, subject matter experts (SMEs), delivery managers, and other internal resources are challenging due to a distributed workforce that may span the globe. Currently gathering a project team — either to respond to an opportunity or provide client services — is a manual and time-consuming effort. After the project team launches a project, they need to collaborate on issues and solve problems quickly in order to meet critical deadlines. UC enables professional services teams to close sales more quickly, select project team members in less time, and manage the project more effectively, resulting in higher client satisfaction and lower operational costs. Survey Findings From Professional Services Firms Professional services organizations indicate they need the ability to connect rapidly to team members at all stages of a project, from the initial proposal development stage through the project delivery cycle. The survey found that professional services teams are often disadvantaged by distance, which reduces their ability to easily collaborate with remote team members, resulting in project delays. Key benefits for professional services firms with UC include better and faster decision-making and fewer delays in project completion. Specifically, the survey revealed that: • Professional services firms’ delays slow proposal process Customers expect a prompt response to their requests for proposals (RFPs) but often professional services firms encounter delays in responding to new sales opportunities due to internal communication issues. Top reasons for these delays include gaining executive approval, identifying and confirming resources, and locating key resources for the project (see Figure 16). The inability to reach other key contacts occurs frequently with 54% of respondents indicating they experience these delays a few times per quarter or more often (see Figure 17). Although these delays may have been unavoidable in the past, the improved ability to connect quickly with UC today mean that these delays potentially could put a firm at a disadvantage with other professional services firms that have already adopted a UC solution. Figure 16: What is the top reason for delay in responding to a customer’s proposal? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya - 16 -
  17. 17. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 17: How often does your organization experience difficulty and delays due to the inability to reach subject matter experts (SMEs) when preparing large complex proposals? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya • Easier access to experts improves sales processes for 68% of respondents. Professional services engagements are often complex and require that account managers ask advice from their SME. The ability to quickly identify an expert’s availability by viewing their current status — in the office, on the phone, traveling, etc. — from the desktop would improve sales potential for 68% of survey respondents who indicated this would improve sales potential (see Figure 18). Automatic updates to an employee’s status make it easier to locate co-workers and facilitate collaboration among team members. 63% of respondents felt that having a team member’s status automatically updated when they traveled or were out of the office would be beneficial (see Figure 19). It is clear that remote workers are disadvantaged in getting work completed when they do not have easy access to other key team members and improving team members’ ability to contact each other results in better communications and fewer project delays. Respondents saw major benefits to coordinating meetings more quickly with project teams to accelerate project completions. 86% of respondents indicated improved conferencing ability would result in project cost savings and 84% said it would give them more time for working on the project rather than coordinating meetings. Additionally, 80% of survey participants said that improved conferencing would result in improvement in customer satisfaction (see Figure 20). The ability to see team members’ status and point and click on their name to launch an immediate conference call makes current delays in setting up conference calls seem obsolete. - 17 -
  18. 18. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 18: If account managers had the ability to put an available SME in touch with prospective customers by merely a point-and-click on their PC to set up collaborative meetings, how much would this improve sales potential with clients? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya Figure 19: If a project team member’s status was automatically updated when they traveled or were out of the office, what impact would this have on team collaboration and project management? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya - 18 -
  19. 19. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 20: What would be the major benefits for coordinating meetings more quickly with project teams and accelerating project completion? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents (multiple responses accepted) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya • 67% percent of respondents indicate serious consequences for inability to reach decision- maker on critical projects. Projects go through multiple milestones that require sign-off by key decision-makers during the course of a project. However, in many professional services firms the key decision-maker may be traveling or otherwise difficult to reach. 67% of survey respondents encountered this situation and stated consequences of not reaching the decision-maker included work slowdown, missed deadlines, or working around the issue until the decision-maker could be reached (see Figure 21). These actions result in business inefficiencies and decreased productivity and potentially add costs to the project. 89% percent of survey respondents indicated improved collaboration would provide faster project completion and save time compared with their existing communication methods. The majority of respondents indicated that improvements in their ability to contact and collaborate would save one or more days per project. Additionally, 20% of these respondents indicated it would save them several days per project, and another 6% stated it would save a week or more per project (see Figure 22). Faster project completion allows employees to move to new projects sooner and generate new revenue and also reduces the risk of penalties for project delays. Remote workers are especially disadvantaged from knowing the status of their team members, which results in trying to locate a team member via several devices. 75% of respondents said remote workers would receive some to a significant benefit from the ability to view team members’ status from their mobile device (see Figure 23). - 19 -
  20. 20. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 21: What is the business consequence of inability to reach key personnel during a critical stage of proposal development? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya Figure 22: For service engagements, if project teams can collaborate more quickly by having immediate access to them regardless of location, what amount of time could be saved compared to your current methods of communication? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya - 20 -
  21. 21. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 23: When not in the office, how important would it be for a remote professional service worker to know team members’ current status from their mobile device and be able to contact them with a single address? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya • 64% of respondents cited lost time in scheduling conference calls. Improved conferencing capabilities result in project cost savings. Regular conference calls with co-workers are the norm for professional services teams. However, the current method of setting up conference calls is time-consuming and causes delays as workers need to send out messages to arrange a time and wait for confirmation from participants. The iterative process of scheduling a call often results in time lost and 64% of survey respondents indicated that they spent from a few hours to more than a day gathering the right resources and collaborating with them (see Figure 24). With the daily rate for IT consultant services approximately $900 and higher, optimizing time working on a project rather than coordinating meetings is a major benefit. - 21 -
  22. 22. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 24: When a problem arises on a project, how much time is typically spent trying to gather the right resources and collaborating on solving the problem? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya • Better communications with remote workers reduce need for face-to-face meetings. Travel is the norm for projects and many professionals travel frequently. However, reaching others is compounded for professional services firms due to the extensive number of employees traveling at any given time. Respondents indicated that 71% of SMEs and project managers made at least one trip per project and 45% indicated that they made multiple trips per project (see Figure 25). With UC, traveling employees can still stay connected via their mobile devices and reach out to others over the most appropriate communication channel based on their current status. The ability to know a contact’s status prior to trying to contacting them was seen as a major benefit for 85% of respondents. This included 45% who stated it would be somewhat useful and 20% who said it would significantly improve communications (see Figure 26).This capability allows workers to know the best means to reach others and to identify their availability for immediate contact. - 22 -
  23. 23. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 25: On average, how many times do SME and project members travel for internal meetings to plan and coordinate projects? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya Figure 26: How useful would it be to know others’ status prior to trying to contact them through normal channels? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya • Organizations aggregate substantial savings by reducing internal travel expenses. - 23 -
  24. 24. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes The number of trips for internal company meetings can be reduced with multimodal conferencing capabilities from the desktop. With easy-to-use Web conferencing, users can easily share and annotate documents. An intuitive user interface to fully integrated video conferencing applications allows users to hold internal meetings via video conferencing and reduce the amount of travel required for internal meetings. When asked if remote SME had easier access to multimodal video and advanced Web conferencing capabilities, 52% of respondents indicated they would save at least one business trip per quarter (see Figure 27). When multiplied by the number of workers this would affect and the average cost of business travel, which is slightly more than $1,000, these savings are substantial. With advances in multimodal conferencing with an easy-to-use interface, good resolution qualities, and high definition, more users are willing to use these applications. 71% of those surveyed indicated these advanced capabilities would support better and faster communications and speed workflow by eliminating time lag due to travel (see Figure 28). As communication technology advances, it becomes necessary for businesses to review how they currently interact and choose better ways to achieve their objectives. Figure 27: If remote SMEs had easier access to multimodal video and advanced Web conferencing capabilities, how many trips for internal meetings could be eliminated per quarter? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya - 24 -
  25. 25. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Figure 28: If remote team members had advanced video and Web capabilities from their desktop with easy user interfaces and good resolution rates, could this support better and faster decisions and speed workflow by eliminating time lag due to travel? Base: 51 professional services industry respondents (percentages do not total 100 because of rounding) Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya - 25 -
  26. 26. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes How To Determine Business Benefits for UC Every organization has business processes that can be improved with UC. As the survey indicates, companies experience issues with their current communication processes that decrease operational effectiveness and cause communication delays. It is important for businesses to evaluate current business processes and determine areas and departments where UC could improve operation efficiency and reduce costs. The following table identifies common processes that challenge business today and indicates how UC improves these processes to reduce costs and improve employee productivity. Table 1: Organizational Benefits For UC Business requirements Impact of UC Business benefits Increase response time to Sales proposal process and Better close rate on sales customers and improve customer customer service response is accounts (3% to 20%) and shorter service shortened because the right sales cycles increase revenues person is available to help and avoid missed opportunities Improve communications and Promotes team collaboration and Ability to know status, calendar decrease delays associated with problem resolution with ability to information, and location of co- global workforce assemble global team quickly workers enables global teams to connect in less than a day compared with one day to several days without UC Conference remote workers and Conference attendees can join Travel for business meetings virtual teams together quickly into multimodal session from training reduced by two trips per without a face to face meeting anywhere and participate year; average cost of business trip interactively with work team is $1,000 per trip per employee Reach external experts or subject Facilitates contact by indicating Permits centralized experts to matter experts on critical business expert’s current status and allows extend their reach to a much issues employee to reach expert on a broader population, reducing real-time basis travel and local staffing costs Reach decision-makers for Status of decision-maker is This eliminates project delays and approvals for critical projects available online and single saves one to several days per address reaches decision-maker project compared with current via any device communication methods Collaborate with co-workers on View team’s availability online and Accelerates project by launching projects and business launch immediate conference by meetings quickly rather than assignments pointing and clicking on members’ expend the one or more days it names currently takes set up meetings Work on business projects Mobile device or softphone Improve remote employee remotely or in-transit integration enables remote worker productivity and potentially reduce all the functionality required to office space, which averages $36 perform tasks per square foot or higher depending on location Manage virtual teams more Virtual work teams can be Less down time or delay on effectively by knowing current assembled quickly to problem projects and accelerates project status of individuals on team and solve or share information completion by saving one to five contacting them quickly regarding key project days per project Reach key employees quickly in Key members of an organization UC notifies parties on any device emergency situations to respond can be reached quickly by sending saving valuable time in emergency to issues and take action single message that is situations (approximately two to automatically routed to most five minutes per contact notified) appropriate device Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Avaya - 26 -
  27. 27. Unified Communications Accelerates Business Processes Summary This survey indicates that communication issues are found in many business processes and that effective communications are increasingly difficult to manage due to the distributed workforce, number of knowledge workers who travel regularly, and the inability to reach co-workers when needed. Companies may have grown accustomed to these problems and discount them as a normal cost of doing business. However, faced with mandates to improve employee productivity, lower costs, and advance competitiveness, business as usual could have costly consequences. The survey confirms that UC offers several benefits for financial services companies and professional service firms. Areas where UC improved a company’s ability to communicate more effectively include the following: • Accelerates proposal process, resulting in reduced time to respond to customers • Improves customer response by facilitating dialog with company experts • Responds more quickly to internal issues by reducing delays in setting up conference calls • Lowers project costs by reducing time to contact key decision makers • Improves internal collaboration by supporting easier access to remote workers and employee • Communicates more effectively by knowing the status of co-workers prior to contact • Responds more quickly to emergency situations by contacting others using a single address Organizations may consider using the above chart, “How to Determine the Business Benefits for UC” to identify areas of potential savings within their company. UC offers several advantages across all lines of business, which provides companies the opportunity to identify several areas of savings beyond those specified in this survey. - 27 -

×