UC and cloud-based services - An excellent combination?

In this newsletter we'll be wrapping up our discussion of and sharing excerpts from our two reports, "2011 SMB Communications Plans and Priorities" and "2011 Unified Communications and Cloud-Based Services Report". In particular, we'll be looking at the case for implementing UC on a cloud-based services model.

In the last newsletter we quantified the incredible amount of productivity time that could be recovered by implementing UC. However, the best method, and perhaps the only method, for SMBs to turn this incredible time value and increased productivity into "real" dollars with a significant ROI is by the use of cloud-based services. (And while not explicitly studied, a case can be made that this is also true for larger enterprises.)

The "conventional wisdom" behind cloud-based services is simplicity itself. Businesses in general, and SMBs in particular, often are unable to avail themselves of the economics of scale. It makes no sense to have highly skilled IT professionals replicate themselves over and over at each individual company when a single solution can be distributed to many, many users.

But this "conventional wisdom" has not, to our knowledge, been verified or quantified in many cases. And here's what we learned.

If we look at the number of Knowledge Workers supported by an IT support person in a company with 11 to 25 employees, the ratio is about five Knowledge Workers per IT staff person. However, as you move to a company 101 to 250 employees, the IT staff person supports about five times as many Knowledge Workers (23 to be exact). And when you move to a company with more than 500 employees, a single IT support person takes care of over 100 Knowledge Workers.

So coming "full circle," unified communications is the "what's next" technology for SMBs to adopt. The ability to access all information regardless of location is a key component of increasing the productivity of their Knowledge Workers. As devices such as smartphones and pad/tablet computers become a major component of the SMBs network, the economic impact of these relatively inexpensive devices can have a major impact in SMB efficiency - leading to increased profitability.

Implementing cloud-based UC will enable them to further impact that bottom line by increasing the efficiency of and eliminating the redundancies of the IT support staff, allowing them to make the move from being a manager of equipment to a manager of services.

Learn more about this topic

Unified communications, cloud-based services and SMBs

Top priorities for 2011 for SMBs (and others)

Unified communications and cloud-based services

UC - Quantifying the savings

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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