Shifting from the old way of exchanging information to a unified communications (UC) platform requires planning. At the core of that plan must be a robust UC strategy.
One of the benefits of UC is its interconnected nature. A variety of communications, ranging from instant messaging to video conferencing, call all take place through a single platform. This arrangement is incredibly convenient, but UC often requires a fundamental change in how the business operates as well as a close examination of the current infrastructure landscape.
Before you implement a new UC solution, here are some key points that must be reviewed to ensure your UC strategy is on target.
Consider the End User
Before you can select a viable UC platform, you need to understand the needs of your end users. User experience (UX) is incredibly important, as a solution that doesn’t meet the needs of your employees or is complicated to use can hinder productivity and operations.
Take a hard look at the tools that are already in place, including which features are currently being utilized. Then, gather information about what is missing in these solutions that a new UC solution could provide. Don’t limit your investigation to a single department or just members of management. If you are working on a wide deployment, everyone’s requirements need to be taken into consideration to ensure your UC strategy will benefit the organization as a whole.
Build in Time for Training
When you introduce a new UC platform, there will always be a learning curve. Employees need time to work with the solution before it becomes the sole method for communications. Otherwise, the transition will be harder than it has to be and productivity will dip while your end users learn to use the platform.
Ideally, your UC strategy needs to provide time for training, discovery, and learning. Additionally, going with a phased approach can make adoption easier. For example, consider allowing your most tech-savvy employees get their hands on the technology first. Then, there experience and mistakes can help you craft guides or training options that will assist the next group in the rollout schedule.
Examine Your Infrastructure
Even the most comprehensive UC platform is worthless if your infrastructure can’t support it. UC is all about integration, so you need to make sure your chosen phone system (either new or existing) can connect to the solution and that your network can handle the traffic load if the amount of activity is going to increase.
Additionally, you may need to examine your security solutions to make sure they can encrypt the traffic and have suitable feature sets to manage a UC platform. Otherwise, you may need new options that can support your overall UC strategy.
Don’t Neglect Scalability
Most companies aim for growth, and that typically requires additional personnel. Your UC strategy needs to factor in these goals, ensuring you select a platform that can support extra users if the need arises.
You don’t just want to make the most of the technology today, but also plan for the future. Otherwise, you may discover that your new UC solution can’t keep up with your evolving needs, and that can be a costly mistake.
Having a solid UC strategy will ensure you select options that genuinely meet your needs and that your infrastructure is designed to handle the job. Plus, it can guide you into the future, giving you guidance as your company grows and changes.