Chris de Silva, Managing Director of NEC Philips Unified Communications says “Of course reduction in cost is not and should not be the main driver of implementing a UC strategy, as Gartner suggests (http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=654807) but this does not mean that it should not be a consideration for organisations looking to introduce a UC system. Indeed, if approached correctly the financial advantages of adopting a Unified Communications strategy can be as significant as the tangible benefits of increased productivity and improved customer service.
A UC strategy is a long-term investment. As such whilst initial savings can be made in the upgrade of an office IT system to a UC strategy, as the price of a virtual thin client device costs a fraction of a PC, it is the savings gained through reduced energy consumption that will really benefit both businesses and the environment. The devices use 30% less power than PCs and are at least 90% recyclable offering low disposal costs; leading to a significantly reduced lifetime cost of ownership.
If businesses also adopt hot desking strategies, the number of devices required may be reduced by 50%, leading to significantly reduced power consumption. As there is no local disk needed in the system, employees can work from home safely without risking the download of harmful viruses.
The financial benefits of a UC approach will predominantly be seen over many years but to meet these expectations, IT teams must ensure they meet user requirements; without adequate planning, costs will not be reduced and organisations will also fail to boost green credentials. In addition, phasing adoption can help provide some quick wins and additional justification for the UC business case.”