The integration of communications into the desktop is not sufficient to justify the adoption of unified communications, according to network specialist NSC Group.
NSC managing director Craig Neil believes that organisations considering unified communications must look beyond desktop integration to more advanced applications, if they are to see a significant benefit.
"While tactical 'click-to-talk' applications can reduce connection times and dialling errors, it's difficult to build a case to put before a board based on this," Neil said. "Very little ROI can be achieved until you introduce conferencing and mobility."
Neil said that the desktop integration aspect of unified communications is most beneficial when partnered with more advanced applications, producing a positive impact on the bottom line.
"The key to achieving ROI is the successful integration of desktop applications with back office applications such as ERP and CRM," he said.
Such an integration of desktop and back office applications, which Neil labels as 'smart integration', enables organisations to react quicker to exceptions in processes, resulting in better use of information, Neil said.
According to Neil, this type of application integration would benefit order tracking and processing, production planning and scheduling, sales force automation and product delivery and confirmations.