Like IP telephony a few years back, Unified Communications (UC) is often seen to be an enterprise solution and only a viable option for much bigger companies. However Helle Ruggaard, Marketing Director UK/Ireland, GN Netcom, believes that the benefits of UC apply regardless of the size of the company.
“As UC is still a relatively new technology many SMEs are still yet to realise the full value that UC can bring to their business. However, particularly in the current economic climate, the cost and efficiency gains which can be gleaned from the use of UC cannot be overlooked by SMEs. In a time where all businesses are required to do more with less, UC is able to drive efficiency, reduce costs and businesses see a quick return on investment. UC can also make a difference to companies who do not have many support staff such as receptionists who are able to field calls and handle messages or businesses where employees are required to be mobile. A UC solution will enable employees to be available at all times allowing quick customer response time and ultimately better customer service.
The market is changing and we are seeing the lines between IT/network reseller and telephony resellers being blurred. It is now important for resellers to have knowledge of both areas in order to maximise business opportunities. At GN Netcom we are looking to recruit channel partners from both areas and, because of the depth of our industry knowledge, we are well placed to bridge the gap between the two. We aim to make selling and using our products as simple as possible and will ensure all our resellers have the necessary sales tools to support them. Our R&D department works together with some of the world’s leading UC vendors such as Microsoft and Cisco to ensure that our headsets are easy to use and maximise the benefit of the UC solution for the end-user. We are also seeing new vendors entering the market and offering UC solutions for SMEs. Using our extensive experience we are able to provide an appropriate headset solution and subsequently enhance their UC solutions.
When investing in Unified Communications SMEs should remember that the last link in completing the solution is in fact the headset and companies should avoid trying to cut costs by purchasing cheap headsets. A professional headset, with wideband capability, offers superior sound quality and enhances the call experience for both parties. Furthermore, Jabra headsets from GN Netcom offer hearing protection and noise cancelling technology. The ergonomic and professional design of our range of headsets also encourages use and acceptance of headsets in the office environment. In some organisations we do see resistance to leaving the handset, and a long tradition of its use, behind in favour of headsets.
At GN Netcom we have developed a solution specifically to bridge the transition when implementing softphones between the handset and the headset. The Jabra Dial 520 is very successful in this area as it resembles a traditional handset but is for use with soft phones, making the transition much easier for users.
Overall, the appropriate headset is key to maximising the benefits of implementing UC. By consulting with their resellers on the various options available, SMEs will be able to choose the solution most suited to their business size and needs.