HK companies could be missing out on productivity possibilities

Frederic GillantHong Kong is one of the most connected places in the world, according to the 2016 GfK Connected Consumer Index. The city is also ranked by Akamai’s State of the Internet Report Q3 2016 as the second fastest in the world in terms of average connection speeds. And Hongkongers are taking advantage of that speed in huge numbers – at least 68% of them own both smartphones and tablets.

However, local businesses aren’t exploiting the situation as much as you might expect. While the move to IP telephony is well underway in a healthy proportion of companies, far fewer are taking the logical next step and implementing unified communications (UC).

Hong Kong companies could be missing out. A report by PwC found that unified communications can improve productivity by 67% and efficiency by 68%.

The improvements are even better for companies with mobile workers and multiple sites. And, once they’ve enjoyed the advantages that UC offers, companies seldom switch back. The benefits are too compelling.

For someone like me who manages an Asia-wide business and travels frequently, giving up my unified communications would cost me at least 30% of my productive time.

Jumping on the UC bandwagon

So why aren’t more Hong Kong businesses jumping on the UC bandwagon?

Most Hong Kong companies have some idea of what the benefits of UC might be. But they aren’t sure how to get there, so they have a lot of questions. The most common question companies ask is whether their business is big enough to justify implementing UC.

That’s easy to answer. Any business, large or small, is a candidate. In fact, it makes a lot of sense for start-ups to skip the whole POTS and PBX (plain old telephone system / private branch exchange) cycle and go straight to UC.

The price point

The next question is usually what does it cost? For companies that already have an IP-enabled communications infrastructure, the short answer is “not very much.” In fact, cost-savings, efficiency benefits and productivity improvements all contribute to the economics of UC.

Once an organization has invested in rolling out a VoIP phone system, adding the additional functionality to create a UC or UC-as-a-service (UCaaS) solution is often simple. In the UCaaS model, the business simply pays for their UC service as a monthly subscription instead of investing heavily upfront.