Embarking on the Unified Communications Journey (Part 1)

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January 11, 2016

Will 2016 prove to be the year for UC? True: More organizations are getting on board. True: IDC predicts the market will grow to $38 billion this year. But even after being told so many times about the benefits of UC, many CIOs are still wary of something that hasn’t delivered on its promise for more than a decade.

They are right to take their time. One doesn’t simply go out and get unified communications. You must grow with it. We think of it as a four-step journey that organizations must embark on in order to unlock the value behind the investment in these tools.

This post is the first of a four-part series outlining the four steps we believe any organization must take to ensure a successful Skype for Business implementation.

Today, let’s look at:

The Planning Stage

The planning stage involves looking at where value can be derived from UC, and it must acknowledge how the organization currently conducts business. Questions to ask oneself about the organization include: What communication tools do we use? How are they used and by whom? Do they serve our needs? What are our future plans?

Then, a vision needs to be put in place that considers how certain available tools and integrations can bring change to the enterprise, and this requires some expertise. The ability to perform basic duties such as making a call is not what most people would describe as being broken, but that’s because most organizations don’t realize just how much business productivity and IT value can be derived from connecting voice to other tools that employees are using to be productive.

Another challenge is that many CIOs simply can’t see past the adoption roadblocks. To be sure, not all changes can be implemented right away. Others will need to be phased in and even segmented to give end users time to adapt. For instance, millennials may prefer to communicate via text while older workers have a hard time giving up the phone. These preferences can be accommodated to avoid pushback later. But while change in itself must be incremental, the value derived from the overall deployment must be transformational to justify the investment, and key performance indicators must be drawn up as part of a measureable success plan to ensure that value is realized.

Next week: The Deploy Stage

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