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The Hidden Benefits of UC

Among these hidden benefits are crisis management/avoidance, improved rapport and camaraderie among geographically dispersed workgroups, and an increased talent pool of potential workers.

The uses of UC in crisis situations included being able to be notified about and respond to situations while providing the ability to contact the right people at the right time to get information in a timely manner. Representative comments from the respondents included:

* "When you're the CEO you try to nullify issues from becoming crises. Crisis leads to stress. I can now be proactive and be responsive to clients and partners before things escalate to crisis mode where you could lose a valuable client because they think you're ignoring them."

* "Problems tend to grow if you can't deal with them right away. UC lets me deal with a problem when it happens and saves me from headaches. I can have a chat client open on my PDA when I'm away from the office and can do my work more easily."

Another "hidden" benefit was the impact on the relationships between co-workers. UC helps to enhance camaraderie among dispersed groups of workers who can use, for example, IM or video or web conferencing to enhance their interaction. Several respondents discussed how UC helps maintain connectedness among colleagues and coworkers who are geographically dispersed. They appreciate the ability to go online at different hours of the day or night and find distant members of their teams who are online. They use IM to not only get work done, but to also build rapport--including sharing funny comments or stories about things going on at the office.

One survey respondent whose company has implemented UC throughout the organization and also provided PCs with video cameras for every employee stated, "As a company, our working relationships have improved. It's easier to blow someone off if you don't know them." While this may not be typical of every company, it's certainly indicative of the impact UC has on intra-company relationships.

Another hidden benefit is how UC opens up the talent pool, enabling people to work remotely and still be in constant communication with their peers and supervisors. One manager noted, "It's tough to find talent and without UC I'd be limited to the local area which doesn't have that much. With UC I can have workers located anywhere, which opens up my talent pool to the world so we can grow the business and still have management and oversight."

There is a great deal of ROI from these benefits, hidden though they may be. The full study results are available here. Nancy and I will also be presenting some of our findings during the upcoming VoiceCon webinar--Demonstrating UC Productivity Benefits--which will be held next Wednesday, June 4, 2p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT, sponsored by Genesys Telecommunications Labs. You can sign up for the webinar here.

In the meantime, it you have examples of other UC benefits--hidden or in plain sight--please drop me a line or post at the UC eWeekly forum.