Today’s presentation is an introduction to Hosted Unified Communications, and to why it’s the right choice for businesses that need an extra competitive edge as they plan for growth and greater prosperity.
The economic outlook remains uncertain. So making the right business decisions now is critical to your future prosperity: to your bottom line, your capacity for growth and your success in retaining your top talent. However, caution isn’t the best option: you need to actively plan how you’ll profit from new business opportunities as economic conditions improve. Your competitors will be doing exactly the same.The recession has given customers the confidence to demand better services and more competitive pricing. If the recession has led you to reduce your workforce, your remaining staff will be under greater pressure.Credit for business investment remains in limited supply. So rigorous control of your operating costs remains essential.More information flows into and out of your business than ever before, and via an ever-growing number of channels or media. For your firm to remain competitive, your teams must respond quickly to their emails, instant messages, meeting requests, calendaring, project updates and their mobiles and landlines.Effectively, you need to do more with less in every area of your business while preparing for growth and prosperity.
You really understand your market, your customers and your offer: that’s why you’ve survived the downturn where others have failed. But every firm of every size can take steps to ensure each new business opportunity makes the biggest possible contribution to their bottom line:Become leaner and more efficient by stripping unnecessary cost out of your business. Boost productivity throughout your company by enhancing the performance of departments, project groups and individuals. Build and maintain customer loyalty by offering fast, accurate and reliable customer service: all the things you value in your top suppliers and partners. Act quickly. Businesses have been encouraged to actively plan their recovery strategy throughout the downturn. Are you confident you have a clear competitive advantage?
Business communications have never been more diverse – or more important. It’s easier than ever to reach your colleagues, customer and suppliers by using one of half a dozen communication technologies. But because technologies have evolved at different speeds, and because your business needs to adopt these new techniques to avoid being left behind, you can easily end up with added cost and complexity alongside the greater accessibility and availability these new technologies bring. For your users:Log-ons to endless applicationsThe need to carry multiple devicesThe need to learn new applications and technologies For your business:The need to integrate new technologies and to keep systems working togetherThe need to support and maintain multiple technologies, suppliers and contracts Of course, you also need to ensure all your communications data is secure and compliant. If you’re not careful, the burdens can start to outweigh the benefits. If these challenges sound familiar, it’s time you considered Hosted Unified Communications.
Microsoft Communication Services transforms the way your people connect and collaborate. It dramatically reduces the direct and indirect costs of owing and managing your business communications systems.With Hosted Unified Communications, you simplify your business communication tools into one integrated system. Think of it as sitting on top of your existing communications technologies, but making them easier to use and simpler to manage.Because Hosted Unified Communications joins up all your communication tools, everything works seamlessly together.You still use familiar Microsoft software like Outlook, Word and so on, but you may well be astonished how much more you can achieve with it.You can choose the Hosted Unified Communications elements you want: if you rarely use conferencing, for example, there’s no obligation to include it.
Hosted Unified Communications is an entirely different way of managing your business communications.It’s not a standalone product, but a simpler and more convenient means of managing your existing communications.Because Unified Communications uses many of your existing communications tools, like your email, and instant messaging, it’s designed to avoid the unrealistic cost of ripping out your existing communications investments. All delivered quickly and effectively through a specialist Microsoft Partner.
A survey of Microsoft Unified Communications users identified the exceptional savings and productivity customers have achieved**. Let’s look at each of these issues in turn, and identify how they can represent a powerful new advantage for your business.
There are numerous reasons why your people need to travel. Face-to-face contact remains important in building customer relationships and in maintaining your firm’s visibility in the market.But how many of these activities could you replace with virtual meetings if you had easier access to reliable and cost-effective web and video conferencing?With Hosted Unified Communications, you can join or host a virtual meeting in moments direct from the desktop – whether you’re in the office or working remotely. Because web conferences can be easily recorded, it’s straightforward for anyone unable to attend a meeting in person to catch up with important decisions or discussions.The rapid return on investment starts with the first plane ticket you don’t have to buy. And it’s all accomplished from within the familiar Microsoft software environment.
Although audio conferencing is less expensive than travel, the costs of third party multi-user audio conferences can rapidly spiral upwards.Similarly, as mobiles replace desk phones as the primary telephony channel the bills can mount up, especially if you have an international customer base or your people spend a great deal of time aboard.With Hosted Unified Communications, you bring all your conferencing and telephony in-house. So it can drive down your mobile and audio conferencing costs at a stroke.In addition, because it’s easy to see if the person you want to call is available, you can avoid wasted phone calls and the cost of voicemail retrieval.Again, it’s all achieved using familiar Microsoft business applications e.g. Outlook
By bringing their essential communication and productivity tools together, your people can work from home or in the field, confident that they can stay in touch with colleagues and customers. So if you choose, you can cut back the desk space you need in your office, and downsize your premises or reduce your lease.With high quality audio-visual web conferencing available from the desktop, you can eliminate the need for dedicated conferencing rooms, which often go unused for long periods.With every desk or meeting room you decommission, you’ll save on secondary costs like electricity, air conditioning and premises security.
With Hosted Unified Communications, voicemail messages are saved in just the same way as an email, so it’s easy to reference old messages.You can retain all your messaging using cost-effective digital storage, and with all your messaging data in one place, you’ll avoid time-consuming searches if an old message is suddenly required as commercial or legal evidence. In addition, you’ll save on the sizeable capital outlay of acquiring separate software packages for your email, instant messaging and the necessary security protection.
Most businesses have a separate telephone exchange, alongside email, instant messaging and conferencing technologies, at each of their premises.Hosted Unified Communications lets you consolidate all these technologies into a single system.There’s less hardware to manage, maintain and upgrade, less need for travel to multiple locations to resolve technical issues, and of course less need for capital investment to keep a sprawl of systems up-to-date and secure. In particular, many PBX exchanges that were installed in the late 1990s are nearing the end of their manufacturers’ support, forcing you to make a decision on the direction of telephony systems going forward.
We’ve looked at the direct cost savings you can achieve with Hosted Unified Communications.Now you’ll see how you can boost the performance and productivity of your workforce – so you’re quicker, more responsive and better able to capitalise profitably on new business opportunities.Hosted Unified Communications’ presence feature lets users identify if a colleague they want to speak to is online, available by phone, or unavailable for a defined period. You therefore save wasted calls to unavailable colleagues, and can choose the best means to communicate depending on the recipient’s status.If you’re creating a document or presentation and want a colleague’s opinion, a click of the mouse lets you contact them directly: there’s no need to send a separate email, launch your instant messaging application or hunt through your address book for a phone number.When everyone throughout your business shares the same convenient tools, it’s easier for the recipient as well as the sender. So productivity increases at every step. And when your colleagues and suppliers use Hosted Unified Communications – as more and more do – the benefits are greater still.Remember, it’s all achieved from within the familiar Microsoft environment, and accessible form the laptop or phone regardless of you or your colleagues’ location.
The most successful businesses understand the high cost of customer acquisition, and therefore sustain a strong focus on retaining and maximising the profitability of their existing customers.Hosted Unified Communications helps you deliver superior customer service more efficiently. So you’ll not only keep your best customers loyal; you’ll free up time to devote to customer acquisition too.To deliver great customer service, different functions in your business must combine successfully.Hosted Unified Communications supports your different teams in different ways:Mobile workers are more easily available whatever their location, and so experience fewer missed calls and call-backs.Office-based staff, like your support teams, can use the best communication tool for each requirement, be it email, instant messaging, a phone call or even an impromptu web conference.Production and logistics staff can enjoy greater access to information via mobile devices, and thus reduce delays in assistance, approvals or exceptions.
Now let’s look at some real-life examples of Hosted Unified Communications in action.In this example, Allison has sent a proposal to a colleague and wants to check if there’s an opportunity for them to work together again based on their success in this project. She checks to see if her colleague Scott is available using the Presence feature and contacts him right away via instant message.Even better, she can share the relevant document with Scott from her desktop, bringing her suggestion to life and helping Scott understand her ideas. The result? Allison and Scott are connected within seconds: without endless wasted emails, phone calls, clarifications and other unproductive to-ing and fro-ing. Hosted Unified Communications makes it simple to locate and communicate with colleagues whatever their location. How could this efficient way of working help your firm?
With the same user interface shared across PCs, mobiles and web mail (a way to access your email via the web from any PC or laptop) you use the same simple steps to stay connected irrespective of location or device.You’re not restricted to one form of communication from your mobile and another from your PC: you just choose the best method for the task.Would these features help your remote workers stay better connected with their colleagues and customers?
From the familiar Microsoft Outlook application, you can not only reach out to colleagues, but easily keep them up to date on your own status and availability.Here, with a few clicks, Adam makes sure all his colleagues know he and his team are at an off-site sales meeting for several days. His emails alert his colleagues to his status, as does his instant message presence status.So anyone that wants to reach him knows the best way to do so. And he can still keep track of the instant message conversations that go on in his team while he’s away from the office. All from within Microsoft Outlook.Would this help your people keep joined up?
With Hosted Unified Communications at the heart of your conferencing capabilities, you can join audio and web conferences from the desktop or from a dedicated conferencing room: you simply make the choice that best suits your needs.You can access the same convenient features from any location via any suitable device, and once again, it’s all from within the familiar Microsoft user environment.Does this look more convenient than your current conferencing setup?
When you’re planning for a successful future, you want technology that supports your growth strategy and drives down your overheads. You don’t need the distraction of complex IT systems.You manage Hosted Unified Communications through a single simple management control panel, so it’s quick and convenient to stay in control of mail box sizes, add new users and perform other housekeeping tasks.Built-in security keeps you protected against malware, spam and other common security threats. With easy search capabilities for management or administrators, you can relax in the knowledge you’re compliant with data retention requirements and can fulfil a sudden request to locate an old message.In uncertain times, Hosted Unified Communications is designed to grow with your business. So if there’s a great new opportunity to expand, be it in the next county or the next continent, you can easily scale up your Hosted Unified Communications platform and enjoy all the same outstanding benefits.For maximum flexibility, there are two ways to take advantage of Microsoft Unified Communications:Installed on your premises: like your current software probably is.As a hosted service: provided securely via the web through [insert BP name], offering all the same features and functions for a predictable monthly cost.
Like many others, these firms have already achieved dramatic and measurable savings with Microsoft Unified Communications technologies. Leading IT industry analyst Gartner believes that Microsoft Unified Communications “represents a new paradigm for communication by a market leader.”
Discover the power of Hosted Unified Communications for yourself: and lay the foundations for your business growth, success and prosperity.[BP name] will help you get the most from a 30-day free trial that lets you experience the benefits of Hosted Unified Communications first hand. Or let us identify where Hosted Unified Communications will achieve the fastest return for your investment with a Free Business Value Assessment. Thank you for your time. What questions do you have?