Unified Communications, what is the true return on investment (ROI)?

L'impact du ratio d’endettement sur le bilan

When discussing Unified Communications, we too often speak of its many features, the “what”. However, we frequently forget to discuss the return on investment, or ROI, that it brings to organizations. Let us discuss here the “how much” and the “why” of Unified Communications.

What Is Unified Communications in 101 Words

Unified Communications solutions allow organizations to collaborate with customers and reach out to colleagues and collaborators more efficiently. Unified Communications applications help make a powerful difference by empowering organizations to provide an exceptional customer experience, to reduce costs and to increase productivity.

With unified communications, you can take and make voice and video calls from your desk phone, your smartphone, your computer or your tablet based on the device most suited for the moment or the location.

Unified communications empower stronger collaboration among colleagues and associates with business functions like instant messaging (also known as chat) and presence. This later provides visibility on whether colleagues are on the phone, in a meeting or away from their desk.

How to evaluate a return on investment

With all the awesome business features of Unified Communications, it now is possible to boost the productivity of teams and thus reach very favorable returns on investment.

Among the many productivity use cases, imagine the following ones.

With presence and instant messaging, you no longer must walk (or run!) across the corridor to ask a quick question to a colleague. It is as if your colleague across the hall suddenly becomes your cubicle neighbor.

With the voicemail-to-email feature, save precious seconds dialing into your voicemail to retrieve new messages. Some may say that this shaves off only a few seconds, but with meeting often running late, it truly is a time-saving feature.

Again, with the voicemail-to-email feature, easily forward a message to a colleague more apt at quickly answering it while also saving your time explaining the request all over again. It is like dispatching or delegating on steroids.

Once more with instant messaging, receive immediate answers rather than wait for delayed answers or, spending time yourself trying to find them out. This is the just-in-time feature that is the hallmark of productive assembly lines.

The use of video calls opens opportunities for productivity gains for the retail market, industrial sectors or many other verticals where a visual peek into a remote situation can go a long way to understanding it. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how many words are worth a video!

And with videoconferences, “2.0-style” remote meetings contribute to enriched communications, reduced travel costs and increased productivity. We truly do not recommend that you substitute your annual offsite meeting with a videoconference. However, as video calls become more accessible, it now becomes easier to exchange and share with remote colleagues on a weekly or monthly basis. No longer will your colleagues feel too far away from the head office and they in return will feel truly part of the family although located in remote locations.


Unified Communications empower employees to gain a minute here, a few seconds there and sometimes a whole two minutes elsewhere. Actually, many studies show that Unified Communications help shave off as much as 22 minutes per day on routine tasks. We understand that sometimes these studies are best-case scenarios and it is for this reason IP4B prefers a more conservative approach in its ROI calculation. Let us suggest that one can gain “only” 10 minutes in a regular work day of 7.5 hours. This represents a mere 2% productivity improvement.

At an average hourly rate of $27.62 according to a provincial governmental statistics institute, these 10 minutes equate to $4.60 per day per employee. This represents $1,062 per employee per year or $88.56 per month.

Unified Communications, with its abundance of business features like instant messaging and presence, empowers organizations of all sizes to increase their productivity and reach sought after levels of return on investment.