In today’s fast-paced, global marketplace, creating across-the-board efficiencies means reducing operational costs for a heightened advantage against competitors. Therefore, an increasing number of organizations are exploring unified communications (UC) options. With UC, companies can build a comprehensive solution that integrates all of their IT capabilities for enhanced business processes and user productivity, combined with significant cost reductions.
However, no two organizations operate in exactly the same manner. What works for company A may not necessarily offer the same benefits to company B, so businesses need to customize their strategy according to their individual requirements and future goals. The following integration tips outline the priorities that will deliver an effective UC plan that is designed to empower company personnel and streamline business performance.
Place an Emphasis on Provider Relationship
Choosing the right managed service provider is essential for the success of any UC design. Look for an expert who is able to customize the migration process, provide flexible solutions for business applications, and offer 24 hour support. The platform should be designed so that it works within current capabilities—private branch exchange (PBX), routing, messaging, web collaboration, etc.—and offers practical scalability in order to support future expansion. Explore provider options, including hosting capabilities, to find the right partner before signing up.
Develop a Comprehensive Outlook
During the initial planning phase, companies should consider long-term goals and develop an outlook that includes flexible options when required. Rather than taking an immediate plunge into widespread adoption, many organizations find that a staged approach better meets their budgeting and business needs. With a single vendor stack of components, businesses can implement improved functionality for specific tasks or lines of business and gradually integrate tools, communications, and access points, leveraging their existing technology.
Understand the Tools and Security Requirements
Complete comprehension of existing tools and processes is necessary to achieve the maximum potential of UC. Building UC strategies around current capabilities and future needs will optimize operations. Consider:
- mobile workforce, GPS, and BYOD necessities;
- application programming interface (API) and other application integration;
- social networking/blog capabilities;
- unified messaging (voicemail, fax, e-mail), chat, and video/audio conferencing; and
- business software systems such as customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and enterprise asset management (EAM).
Focus on ROI and User Roles
The quantitative and qualitative benefits should be a guiding factor when implementing UC. Expect to realize reduced equipment and asset maintenance costs and lower wide area network expenses, as well as a reduction in labor costs. It’s also a good idea to develop key performance indicators (KPIs) that measure the qualitative gains in improved productivity and customer service.
Outlining the ways UC can help empower the company’s staff by enhancing the performance of office tasks and other business critical activities will also ensure the functionality of the strategy developed.
A well-developed UC strategy has the power to improve employee efficiency and productivity while simultaneously reducing capital expenses and enhancing business processes. Companies can build an effective plan by taking an integration approach that is customized to their specific needs.