The battle cry (or marketing pitch) of the Unified Communications charge typically goes something like this: “UC increases productivity (trust me), just let SIP Trunking savings fund the business case (productivity is an upside)”.
Platform providers, systems integrators and carriers with low cannibalization exposure are all making similar claims. It seems everyone has an online ROI tool to help you estimate the savings (here’s ours) but quantifying productivity gains has proven a bit more elusive. Not satisfied with these famous last words –i.e. “trust me”, I figured I’d do some quick back-of-envelope math for myself.
Now, your job description (what you do) determines how UC impacts your specific productivity gains (how you benefit), so some sort of disclaimer is probably in order (How about: actual results may vary, consult your technician before trying UC, if you experience pain or discomfort when using UC, discontinue use immediately?)
In modeling these benefits, I assume a not-so-hypothetical UC user who looks roughly like yours truly. In an average day he receives a shade over 100 e-mails and manages to send 20 or so; is on a half-dozen conference calls, makes five phone calls (and receives twice as many) while instant messaging 50 or so times. It does not include any benefits from reduced travel (the way I see it, a meeting that does not require face-to-face interaction can just as easily take place using audio or video conferencing outside the confines of UC). These interactions are all underpinned by activities, some of which can take less time when UC is involved. I’m sure you can think of many other activities I’ve missed (call them upsides) but the math looks something like this:
If my estimates are correct, and assuming an 8 hour work day, I should now be 15% more productive than I was before adopting UC. Now, do I feel 15% more productive? The truth is, it’s hard to mentally roll-it up like that. I like the experience and I feel like I’m more effective, but at the end of the day I don’t go home thinking “I did 15% more today” or, conversely “I’m 15% less tired” (and I’m certainly not going home 1.2 hours sooner)… I guess that’s why this question remains somewhat elusive. I’d be happy to hear your ideas.
Have you seen a relatively straightforward way to quantify projected Unified Communications ROI? Or even better, a “productivity gains calculator”?