4 Steps to a Solid Unified Communications Strategy

By Lauren Fristky

It’s easy to act like a kid in the candy store when it comes to all the technologies available with unified communications. Video? Toss it into the cart. Presence? Tack it on. Voice? Yes, please.

But hold your sweet tooth — your enterprise might not need all these solutions. Before you over-purchase, think through your specific business goals when identifying, sourcing and integrating the right technologies for your unified communications strategy.

1. Identify the problem

Unified communications isn’t just about having multiple technologies at your disposal. The IT department should assess the current environment and determine exactly which communication issues can be improved with unified communications. Do you want to curb latency or boost mobility? Implementing presence might be the answer to the first issue while mobile messaging is a likely solution for the second problem.

2. Assess your current technology

Your unified communications solution doesn’t have to involve completely replacing your current technologies. Perhaps you can improve a current technology while phasing in a new one to grow your overall unified communications solution. Regardless of your decision, you will need to evaluate your current infrastructure, network setup and business processes. Also consider additional areas affected by implementing a new technology, such as security and disaster recovery.

3. Get user feedback

The whole goal of unified communications is to make the communications experience easier and more seamless for the end user. The only way to know if your solution will be successful is to let your workforce try it first. Pool together end users and IT staff to test the new technology over the coming weeks or months and get their feedback with surveys. Specific subjects to address include sought-after features and how they align with business needs and areas of pain for the end user.

4. Educate users and IT staff

Outline how you will deal with updating or replacing hardware and set up meetings or workshops so the entire company can receive education around the unified communications plan and business process integration. Include the timeline for implementing the solution across your organisation – for instance, will certain departments or offices have access to it first? As your solution will likely rely on multiple unified communications vendors and technologies, your IT staff might have a more complex environment to manage, at least at first. Ensure you create a support strategy for this department as you roll out the solution.

Don’t want to go it alone? Datacom works with a variety of unified communications providers to help plan and implement the right solution. With more than a decade’s worth of experience implementing enterprise-grade unified communications projects, we can fully evaluate your environment to develop a cost-effective plan that delivers fast ROI.

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