Business considerations for your unified communications solution

In part one of our tip series, Chris Partsenidis discussed UC components. In part two, he explains the business considerations IT managers and engineers must take into account before

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selecting a unified communications solution.

Don't focus entirely on the product's features, but your real needs today and tomorrow.

Understanding your true unified communications needs

There is no doubt unified communications is not one product, but a combination of complex technologies working together to meet your needs. A very common problem IT managers and engineers are faced with, is to understand the needs of their company when considering a unified communications solution.

Unfortunately, taking business considerations into account can be harder than it sounds, as there are a lot of parameters usually not thought about during the planning and decision-making process.

To help this process, we've outlined a number of points that require consideration and will help you reveal your true unified communications needs:

  • Return on investment (ROI). ROI is a key point to help you understand how your investment will help you save money. ROI can be difficult to measure. ROI must be calculated based on the unified communication solution being examined, the features it offers and how necessary they are for your organization. Don't focus entirely on the product's features, but your real needs today and tomorrow.
  • Unified communications is an evolving trend. Are you ready for the cloud? Many organizations are already migrating their unified communication services to the cloud, relieving them from the administration burden and management cost, while providing a solid platform that has the ability to deliver true 100% uptime and ease of administration.

    Table of contents

    Part 1: Identifying unified communication components

    Part 2: Unified communications solution business considerations

    Part 3: Avoid upselling of your unified communication solutions

  • Futureproof/Adapt to UC architecture changes. This is where most unified communication solutions fall short. A unified communications solution should be able to adapt to company-wide changes and also provide room for future growth. Examine your company's future plans and ensure the unified communication solution selected has the ability to support your growth plan and adapt to rapid changes.
  • UC roll-out plan. Most unified communication solutions consist of core services that affect everyone in the organization during the rollout (installation) phase. In some cases, these installations can disrupt the company's normal workflow and therefore cannot be made during working hours. Rollout of these services must be planned with your integrator so your workflow is not affected. Any serious network integrator will have this in mind and present an accepted rollout plan that will have minimum impact on the company's operation.

Continue reading this tip to learn how to avoid unnecessary upselling from your UC vendor.

This was first published in December 2012

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