The key to properly deploying Unified Communications

Unified Communications (UC) is a complex beast fraught with many potential pitfalls and predictable problems. One of the biggest errors businesses make when deploying UC is the risk of making a purchase which doesn’t fulfill your desired business outcomes provided by your UC solution.

UC projects are complex purchases and many things that can go wrong, will go wrong. With so many working parts and critical points, it seems almost impossible to get your hands around this. It can be overwhelming.

You’ll be far less likely to fall into a project which never gets finished or a UC solution which will fall short on the operational improvements, productivity gains and potential to strategically differentiate your business if you correct your mistakes early on without running the serious risk of not properly deploying the UC applications and tools to your end users. Specifically, the features and applications your business purchased may only be partially deployed. And what’s worse, you may not even know what features and applications you purchased are missing until years later.

Solving the issue

When you deploy a UC system, the vendor will provide a project manager to manage the deployment of the UC solution. At face value, the client of the vendor loves this because the vendor has found the client a PM to look after the project.

This saves the client money because the client doesn’t have to provide a resource to oversee their project. Wonderful, right?

Well, I’ve seen enough to know that there’s no money to be saved with this approach and what’s worse, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when deploying UC.

The reason why I say that is because businesses falsely assume that since the vendor has a PM, that the PM must be there to manage the entire project.

Wrong. The vendor’s PM isn’t there to manage your resources or to coordinate your team. The vendor’s PM is only there to ensure that the vendor deploys your solution on time. And I should point out that the main deliverable for this PM is a timely delivery, not delivering the solution you purchased to exact specification.

Assign your own PM

You need a PM who is focused not only on delivering your UC solution on time and within budget, but one who can manage your team to deliver precisely what you purchase to ensure you harvest the return on investment you expect.

I’ve seen it too many times to count, but you can’t be fooled into thinking that the presence of the vendor’s PM is a resource you can use. Don’t count on it.

How do you know if you need a PM?

Well, compare your total cost of investment to the cost of getting your own PM to oversee it. The PM assigned to the project will have a direct and tremendous impact on your overall return on investment.

You won’t see your return if the applications you had planned to use to see that return haven’t been properly deployed or forgotten altogether.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Emily Nielsen
Emily Nielsen
Emily regularly acts as a trusted advisor to some of Canada’s largest organizations. In 1999, Emily launched what has become one of Canada’s top Unified Communications and Call Center Consulting firms, Nielsen Consulting. Clients work with Emily when they want to dramatically shortcut their way to the perfect solution to their most challenging communication problems.

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