To achieve a larger or faster ROI UC needs to move into daily processes that impact the bottom line.
How can a customer leverage their UC investment to generate a higher return than we typically see from user productivity (UC-U) applications?
The benefits of UC have always been that it increases productivity for a wide population of employees and that together, this increased productivity adds up to more than the cost of unified communications. Given enough time, most deployments do payback the investment but it would be desirable see a faster return. To achieve a larger and/or faster ROI, the benefits of UC must do more than shave a few seconds off incidental activities. UC needs to move into daily processes that impact the bottom line, giving it the significant ROI that makes it a “must have” instead of a “nice to have.”The best UC candidate for more return is business process automation and management. Traditional business process management suites and tools have been expensive, required lots of consulting, lacked the ability to automate the entire process, and require expensive custom programmers to implement. They are not well integrated into enough enterprise apps, and time it takes to test and deploy a change or an update is lengthy.Some UC business process automation applications address those limitations. By leveraging UC infrastructures, the process automation can flow throughout the enterprise and integrate with more enterprise applications. Costs to implement and maintain are reasonable, which makes process automaton a viable solution for more businesses than previous more costly solutions. There are no complicated programming methods. Instead, visual design environments that resemble flowcharts are used. Process updates can be done quickly and applied to production. Because mere mortals can create a process automation using the visual design application (and mere mortals cost less than custom programmers charge), companies are willing to apply it to automate small and medium processes that could not be touched in the more complex systems. Even modest automation of one common process can save anywhere from $1K-50K annually, making the opportunities for automation increasingly attractive. The savings increase as multiple processes are automated. And there are other benefits like faster completion, quicker response time, ability to focus resources on more markets, or the integration of communications into processes automatically.Suddenly UC, the system with traditionally soft, intangible ROI, becomes the foundation for business process automation projects and UC gets measurable, substantial ROI out of the deal. Until know UC has been like Clark Kent, just a mild mannered reporter. But just as a phone booth transforms Clark Kent into Superman, when UC combines with business process automation, it becomes UC with a super-ROI.