Real Time Communications Featured Article

How Real Time Communications Save Businesses Money

May 19, 2014

Technology can be cool, it can be fun and it can help us perform a task in a new way. All of these benefits are secondary to cost when it comes to business, however. The ultimate measure of a technology from a business perspective is how much it can generate in terms of income or cost savings.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at real time communications and see how it stacks up in terms of cost savings. Is it really an economical technology?

The short answer is yes. Real time communications helps businesses save money along at least three lines. First, it saves employee time—and time is money, especially when it comes to highly skilled workers who could be spending more time on their area of expertise and less time on routine tasks such as phone tag. Second, it increases productivity. Third, it reduces travel costs.

Let’s start with time saved.

A recent study conducted by marketing firm Chadwick Martin Bailey, on behalf of networking giant Cisco, found that nearly half of all organizations it surveyed that put real time communications into practice found that it saved an average of 20 minutes of time per employee per day. This was done by being able to reach coworkers on the first try thanks to the presence functionality built into real time communications, according to the study.

Presence and chat can save time but also cost money in terms of overly long chat conversations. But real time communications was able to skirt this issue; roughly 54 percent found that they also saved at least 20 minutes per day by escalating chat sessions to phone calls, an easy move with real time communications.

The study also found that 40 percent of businesses saved between 11 and 30 minutes daily by using a single telephone number that then branched to other employees, and 33 percent saved between 11 and 20 minutes per employee per day through simplified corporate directory access.

Productivity also rises with real time communications. Roughly 75 percent of those surveyed reported that they upped employee productivity when they introduced voice and video conferencing features. The gains are particularly strong for businesses with geographically dispersed workforces; 68 percent of those surveyed said they saw productivity gains from their off-site workers when they introduced real time communications.

Reduced travel costs are a third way that real time communications technology helps the bottom line. The Chadwick Martin Bailey survey found that 46 percent of businesses that installed real time communications reported that the technology reduced the number of employee travel days by five our more per year, and 64 percent said they received at least a 10 percent reduction in overall travel costs after moving to real time communications.

So when it comes to the ultimate measure of a technology’s usefulness—how it helps the bottom line—real time communications passes with flying colors.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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