Several steps are involved in the process of developing a Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) plan. There are many things for IT personnel to consider, from setting goals, to defining use cases. Failing to plan effectively can be detrimental to business operations, making adopting difficult for employees, and potentially posing security risks.
The main reason that most companies don’t focus enough on planning UCC are due to its vast difference from steps that appear more vital, such as building a secure network, and developing applications. Another reason is the lack of experience IT staff have in general with UCC.
UCC planning differs from other IT strategies in that UCC requires more involvement from business leaders outside of IT, for example, leaders with a deeper understanding of user requirements and other aspects of the organization. Whereas setting up a network, or other IT tasks, deal principally with technology, UCC planning is trickier because of UCC’s business demands. UCC planning needs to incorporate business use cases, specific user needs, internal selling, and, in many cases, even funding and promotion.
What to Avoid in UCC Planning
There are certain things that IT staff should avoid when developing a UCC strategy.
1. Neglecting Goals and Success Tracking
Failure to track goals can prevent a plan from becoming successful at all. Staff should track projects as soon as they start, and monitor progress carefully through regularly updated and displayed results to help keep the organization on track.
2. Refusing to Define Business Cases
Being unable to properly define business use cases could be a huge detriment. Use cases are associated with relevant new technologies that could potentially improve operations. Additionally, business unit leaders may be more willing to fund a UCC project if business use cases are clearly defined for the units they run.
3. Failing to Define the Project
Failure to define UCC is problematic as well. Many IT employees don’t pay enough attention to the limitations of a UCC project, either by neglecting to include certain capabilities, such as mobilization and document sharing, or by including more within the project than is needed, thereby causing more chaos in the implementation strategy.
4. Ignoring Sales and Marketing
Ignoring the sales and marketing aspects of UCC planning can lead to the downfall of a UCC strategy. While sales and marketing might not be areas that many IT employees are used to handling, consideration is crucial to the funding of any UCC project. Stakeholders can keep the project going if IT personnel successfully pitch a strategy that stakeholders are willing to fund. DEveloping training and marketing plans is necessary as well to help ensure UCC adoption once implementation is complete.
5. Refusing to Assess Capabilities
A lack of understanding when it comes to what is available for each strategy can lead to a bad strategy. It’s important to keep track of the applications and UCC capabilities that are available overall. While this can take a long time to map out, it can avoid disagreement over availability.
6. Forgetting to Prioritize
Forgetting to prioritize desired UCC applications results in a disorganized strategy. Properly tracking application availability and business use cases should help IT staff determine which applications are worthy of investment.
Avoiding these six issues when developing a UCC strategy will help IT staff plan more effectively. When all stakeholders are aware of the business and technological aspects and benefits of the organizations UCC strategy, implementation is much more likely to succeed.