It's a pretty common expression, that ignorance is bliss. And sure, it's true in certain cases. But really, isn't it fair to say that ignorance is usually not bliss? That, on the contrary, ignorance is a problem that you need to overcome?
Case in point: unified communications. Far too frequently, ignorance about the technology holds companies back, stopping them from taking advantage of a potentially game-changing upgrade.
Travel and UC
A key example of this unfortunate state of affairs can be found in the travel sector. Industry expert Russell Horton, writing for ITProPortal, noted that his company recently conducted a survey of decision-makers in the sector, asking them for their attitudes toward and understanding of UC. The survey found approximately half of the participants claimed they'd never even heard of unified communications. And among those who were at least somewhat familiar with UC, more than a tenth couldn't identify the benefits the solutions typically deliver.
This is a shame, and not just for UC vendors. As Horton pointed out, travel agencies would benefit tremendously from these solutions, since they have a particularly vested interest in providing high-quality, 24/7 customer support and UC is perfect for achieving this goal.
"UC enables this process seamlessly, providing businesses with the reassurance that processes are working as efficiently and effectively as possible to please customers and help the business make the most of every sales opportunity," he wrote.
That's not all. Horton asserted the study also found the main reason why travel company decision-makers didn't upgrade to UC (assuming they were aware of the technology in the first place) was a fear of the costs involved.
Why is this a problem? Because it's completely wrong. As the writer argued, UC was developed specifically to reduce costs by streamlining communications. Worries about UC's costs are misguided, and actually prevent these travel industry companies from enjoying significant cost savings. With cloud-based unified communications, for example, a firm can forego most on-premise telephony hardware, since all equipment will be housed by the vendor off-site. This eliminates the need to invest in expensive hardware initially as well as the cost of maintenance down the road.
UC for All
While this survey was limited to the travel industry, without a doubt there are decision-makers in every sector who share these views. Consequently, this means many companies are missing out on major opportunities to improve their operations and gain a competitive edge over their rivals. When business leaders go out and educate themselves about UC and related tools, their organizations prosper.