Understanding Your True Unified Communications Needs

Thu, 2013-03-07 13:47 -- nitrous

"What we've got here is a failure to communicate…” - Cool Hand Luke

It is often said that communication is the key to success. Making sure your organization is equipped with the right communication tools can drive success by increasing efficiency and productivity in the workplace. Recognize this need in your organization? Looking to increase workforce productivity? Not sure where to start?

The variety of Unified Communication tools available frequently leaves enterprises in a state of confusion when it comes to selecting a solution that is the best fit for their organization.  A very common problem that plagues organizations is trying to understand the needs of their company when considering a unified communications solution. This may seem like the easy part, but unfortunately it is often more difficult than it sounds and there are typically a lot of parameters not considered during the planning and decision-making process.

Here are four simple points to consider when determining your organization’s UC needs:

1.       Understand UC Components

Before you can understand your organization’s UC needs, it is important to understand the various components of a potential UC solution.

  • Foundational – network infrastructure, IP telephony and presence
  • Basics – email, messaging and conferencing
  • Emerging – mobility, social media and video conferencing

 2.       Return on Investment

No longer just a term used by your CPA, the ROI of a decision is how much profit or cost saving is realized. When calculated carefully, it should take into consideration the solution itself, its features offered, and the necessity to the organization. The focus should be on the real needs of the organization today and tomorrow.

 3.       Adaptation of UC Needs

The chosen solution should have the ability to adapt and grow alongside the company. Use your organization’s strategic growth plans to assess and ensure that the selected solution can support both company growth and sudden change. Looking to grow to 26 states in the next two years… then your UC solution should have the ability to. Managing a work force with 70% telecommuting… then your UC solution should promote collaboration. Through in-depth discussions with your integrator about future plans, an UC reference architecture can be developed that allows for potential tweaks or modifications. 

 4.       Implementation Plan

Chances are your chosen solution will consist of core services that will affect everyone in the organization during implementation. If significant, such installations may disrupt the workflow and may need to be scheduled during non-working hours. An experienced integrator will be knowledgeable of such matters and will have developed an implementation plan that has the least possible impact on operations. Often times, the integrator will work with the organization to decide whether it is better to roll out an entire new unified communications system at once or to make the changes gradually through a phased plan.

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