Unified Communications Strategy
Unified communications is undoubtedly changing the way that business is conducted. It has helped to open the door to new ways for people to communicate and collaborate. With the combination of IP based technology with voice, video, and data, it has garnered the attention of many Canadian organizations. However, to fully understand its applicability to your organization, time must be taken to examine unified communications and develop a strategy for it to be used internally.
A three-step approach to unified communications strategy implementation
When it comes to implementing a unified communications strategy, there are three main steps that must be taken. They are:
- Evaluation: Review the current state of technology in your company. What technology do you need to acquire? Where are you going to purchase it from? Weigh your options and select the best option that fits well with what you want to accomplish.
- Plan: Develop a timeline for implementation. What steps are necessary and what role will people within your company play in adoption? Also, take the time to uncover challenges and risks that exist and the best way to phase in the technology.
- Implementation: This step involves upgrading the infrastructure to merge your voice and data networks. This often involves upgrading your local and wide area networks in addition to the software required to run unified communications platforms. To complexity of implementation will depend on the current state of communication within your company.
What your unified communications strategy needs to address
Collaboration is ultimately one of the main goals of any unified communications strategy. Therefore, companies need to take the time to not only understand collaboration needs, but also the current habits that exist. In this sense, your UC strategy cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution. Every company has specific needs in addition to your organizational culture having specific values that you want to be reflected in the system.
When thinking about your needs, consider them in this manner:
- Departmentally: What departments exist and would benefit from a unified system?
- Primary contacts: Within each department, who do they communicate with? How frequently?
- Method of communication: What devices do departments use to connect with their target primary contacts?
- Needs: What functionality do departments need to enhance their ability to effectively communicate with their primary contact through their preferred method of communication? Outside of collaboration, your unified strategy needs to consider the following elements:
- Existing systems: Examine how your departments are currently collaborating and what tools they use to connect internally and externally.
- Gaps: What gaps in technology exist that will prevent your company from achieve a unified approach? How do you plan on developing solutions to address these gaps?
- Technology lifecycle: Create a timeline for when you can expect to upgrade some of the current communications technology components.
- Challenges: What challenges currently exist? Do you lack technology or knowledge? Do people internally question the validity of the software?
Things to consider in your unified communications strategy
Here are some additional things that companies should consider as part of their strategy:
- The impact that UC will have on the end user and your customers
- The impact it will have on day to day operations and current business processes
- Hardware and software considerations
- How UC tools will be leveraged
- Training and ramp-up considerations
- How to address adoption issues
- How UC will impact ROI and the bottom line
- The benefits that will be derived from UC adoption and new methods of communication
- How does UC impact things like the help desk, customer support, and the IT department
Thursday, November 15, 2012BlackBerry Messenger to add voice Upcoming version of BBM will enable users to place free WiFi calls to other Messenger users. An industry analyst says business will appreciate
Wednesday, November 14, 2012Avaya gives UC promise for ex-Nortel systems Extension of pact with Genband means organizations with CS-2100 and SL-100 voice systems have a path to unified communications
Thursday, January 21, 2010Immersive techs: It’s not all Second Life Using Second Life as a business collaboration tool has garnered a bad reputation with previous public failures. But analyst firm ThinkBalm and vendor Forterra Systems finds real use cases are beginning to emerge that are driving enterprise acceptance
Wednesday, January 20, 2010Big UC projects proceeding despite budget constraints Multinational corporations aren't letting the recession stop unified communications projects, according to an IT research firm. More than 40 per cent of companies surveyed have a global strategy
Tuesday, January 19, 2010Avaya announces Nortel product plans Now that the acquisition of Nortel Networks Corp.’s enterprise unit has been approved by Industry Canada, Avaya Inc. is giving details of its product integration plans. Find out how Avaya will use Aura to package products from both firms
Tuesday, January 19, 2010BREAKING NEWS: Avaya announces Nortel product plans Now that the acquisition of Nortel Networks Corp.’s enterprise unit has been approved by Industry Canada, Avaya Inc. is giving details of its product integration plans
Wednesday, January 13, 2010Nortel bankruptcy: One year later Nortel Networks Corp., once a US$28 billion network equipment maker, is now selling off its business assets. What has happened in the 12 months since it filed for court protection from creditors?
Tuesday, January 05, 2010Adtran ships unified communications software The NetVanta Enterprise Communications Server can support 2,000 users, includes fax, voicemail and works with telephony equipment from Avaya, Nortel and other vendors. A Yankee Group analyst was surprised Adtran is offering this capability
Tuesday, December 15, 2009Avaya UC helps patients reach doctors by phone Find out what kind of efficiency improvements the Seattle-based Group Health Cooperative has achieved with its new unified communication system, which relies heavily on IP phones
Friday, November 27, 2009Is unified communications still relevant? Two industry analysts agree UC is still evolving, but disagree on its merit
Thursday, October 22, 2009HP puts the net pedal to the metal Marius Haas, general manager of Hewlett-Packard’s ProCurve Networking division, talks about the Colubris acquisition, the threat from Cisco’s unified computing system and his firm’s layer 2 strategy.
Monday, October 05, 2009Salesforce.com, Cisco tie-up produces SMB call-centre tech The new offering integrates Salesforce.com’s Service Cloud 2 with Cisco’s VoIP-based Unified Contact Centre ...