How long does it take you to arrive at a concrete Unified Communication Strategy? What action needs to be taken to achieve the desired results? Will the strategy be implemented in time? Will the prescribed solution meet the demands of the users? These are the questions you need to ask yourself as you determine your business’s Unified Communications Strategy.
Many decisions regarding UC strategy do not meet the requirement of your business users or partners. Sometimes technology decisions are based on past experience, a great sales pitch, a compelling piece of marketing, or new shiny things showcased at exhibitions or conferences.
Understanding factors such as the timeline for executing a UC strategy, what drives the business, how the users' needs reflect your business goals and how progressive is the UC strategy are central to making good decisions.
The key to the exceptional deployment of Unified Communications is establishing what is most likely to be used. If you fail to deploy something that users are comfortable with, they will vote with their feet. Cue awkward questions about why you made an investment in technology that nobody uses or understands.
Here are some simple steps to point you in the right direction:
Begin with the end in mind
Okay, I stole this from the well-known book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (if you haven’t read this, I encourage you to do so). An exceptional communications strategy is not determined by vendors or exhibitions. It’s determined by your users. Assess what tools they like to use and find ways for them to continue using them in an enhanced way. Envisage them using this together with your business partners. What will put you ahead of your competitors?
Reduce, re-use, recycle
Many businesses have already deployed communications solutions. If this applies to you and you have happy users, don’t make sweeping changes unless you have to? Admittedly there are new, more flexible solutions available; there always will be. However, if you've successfully deployed communications solutions, there is no reason to upset that. There is every chance that with appropriate adjustments a lot of the same kit will fit into your new technological approach.
Follow the leader
The power of your leaders cannot be understated. In deploying new forms of communications, senior members of your business MUST be supporters. However tempting it is to denigrate new technology when teething problems occur, business leaders MUST refrain from doing this. By the same token, positive reinforcement will work wonders for the adoption of new technology.
The lone wolf
There is lots of information online. However, it can be inaccessible and much of it is nonsense. Your company’s needs are their own; there is no reason to try to find the solution with no help from qualified folks whom can help you establish what will work best for your business. Contact a qualified advisor in an integrator or consultant. The best ones will help you through the process of choosing the right solution.
What thread are you tugging on?
Small changes in UC solution can have major impacts on network security and real-time traffic. Discuss this with your advisor and mitigate this before you deploy anything new.
Who ya gonna call?
Don’t take any decisions without considering the communications tools your team and the wider business likes to use. Determine how they are going to communicate with your clients and partners. Generally, it doesn't pay to make small-scale changes.
It can’t be done
It CAN be done. In nearly all cases. While it might not be inexpensive or easy, when it comes to IT, it's almost certainly possible. Allow yourself to dream. Don’t be derailed by people telling you it’s impossible when they mean it’s difficult.