Rising fuel prices could lead to more UCCaaS usage


As the price of gasoline in Canada continues to reach new heights, companies may increasingly decide to leverage unified communication and collaboration as a service (UCCaaS) solutions instead of making employees incur the costs of traveling to in-person meetings.


According to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada, the price of petroleum in June was up 1.4 percent over the previous month. In particular, gasoline prices went up 5.4 percent between June 2012 and June of this year, with diesel fuel prices rising by 5.6 percent during the same period.


This rise is directly affecting consumers, as Statistics Canada noted in July that the average retail price of a litre of gasoline was about $1.28 last year, up 3.2 percent from 2011’s average of $1.24 per litre. Increasing fuel prices especially affect those living in Ontario and Quebec, and the two provinces contribute to the majority of petroleum purchased in Canada. In total, drivers in these regions purchased close to 25 million litres in 2012.


These figures come at an especially bad time for Canadian businesses. Not only is the global economy still recovering, but the summer months are when Canadians purchase the most fuel. According to Statistics Canada, the 7.6 billion litres of gasoline sold in July and August 2012 were the most recorded during any two-month stretch last year.


“People may not remember too many numbers about the economy, but there are certain signposts they do pay attention to, Ethan Harris, chief North American economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told The New York Times last year. “As a shorthand way to assess how the economy’s doing, everybody notices the price of gas.”


Using UCCaaS to replace car-based business travel
As the price of fuel continues to rise ever higher, businesses may no longer be able to travel to meet in person with clients and customers. Since this can be an especially effective way to secure new revenue streams and facilitate ongoing collaboration, this loss of face-to-face interactivity could be especially damaging.


Instead of driving to remote meetings, companies can have employees use UCCaaS solutions. Armed with an effective suite of tools such as instant messaging, IP telephony and video conferencing, workers can share information and ideas with internal partners and customers without ever having to leave the central office location. This way, organizations do not have to worry about rising fuel prices impacting the effectiveness of sales staff or other employees who frequently travel for work-related purposes.


In particular, the telepresence options offered by FlexITy, one of Canada’s largest and most trusted UCCaaS providers, can ensure that remote meetings are just as beneficial as in-person conversations by facilitating face-to-face interactivity.


“A good UC infrastructure is able to connect remote team members (whether remote means 100 yards down the hall or halfway around the globe) into a cohesive team structure, leveraging the skills of team members regardless of location,” according to a July 2012 white paper from Forrester Research. “Being able to connect and communicate with IM to share progress statistics, via telephone to discuss schedules, or over video – and web​ conferencing to brainstorm new ideas allows teams to concentrate on innovating instead of on troubleshooting complicated, unreliable tools.”