Arkadin

How UC Service Providers can add value to your company (Part II)

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Part I of this article described three ways that Service Providers deliver added value in the early stages of deployment and installation of Unified Communications, from Strategy Consulting and Infrastructure Services to technical project Designing. Part II explores additional business benefits of pairing with such experts during the secondary stages of a UC deployment. Far from simple strategy consultancy, UC Service Providers lend their tried and tested technical and operational know-how in addition to continued service management and quality assurance that, in turn, maximize ROI of Unified Communications solutions both large and small.

1. Building a solid foundation

Getting down to the nitty gritty of building a UC solution requires deep technical knowledge of all enterprise communication modules and infrastructure. Companies are more often than not simply unequipped with the necessary technical knowledge to ensure a smooth, cost-effective, timely deployment. In addition to overall business benefits of a UC solution, Service Providers deliver targeted project management to guarantee progress that includes specialized technical expertise, detailed implementation design, custom applications and integration. This is accomplished with the extensive resources of R&D centers, certified project managers and technical experts.

2. Help where you need it

Getting the best out of a UC solution requires that users actually use and understand the advantages of UC. What is natural for some – migrating from phone number and email entries to Contacts, and managing all communications from a single interface – is problematic for others. Change Management enters here to help ensure that users receive the adequate training needed to integrate a new system into their daily work habits. This means anticipating user questions, challenges and being able to provide continual support where needed, whether in-office or from a remote virtual location. Service Providers possess the experience and educational elements to greatly increase internal adoption.

3. Ensuring success for the long term

Just because a company’s UC system is in place and running doesn’t mean that the mission is accomplished. Service Providers establish additional value through continual service management comprised of follow up adoption and incident reporting, billing and branding services, satisfaction and service planning and continued client support. As companies’ UC usage evolves and their needs mature or decline, Service Providers allocate steady management resources to monitor performance and ensure quality of service.

Any seasoned Service Provider will agree that technical solutions like Unified Communications are rarely, if ever, one-size-fits-all. As the complexity increases, so does the value of pairing with an expert consultant who can walk you through pre-planning to follow up adoption and service improvement. A really valuable Service Provider doesn’t merely push equipment and paid services as a simple supplier but will accompany a business, becoming a long-term partner that establishes and demonstrates value all along the way.

About the author

Hugues Treguier is Arkadin’s Director of Products - Unified Communications, providing strategic direction for the company's overall UC strategy as well as strengthening and expanding the Arkadin’s UC offering with technology partners like Microsoft. A passionate technophile, he has been responsible for the launch of a variety of products within the Arkadin portfolio, including LiveMeeting and WebEx, and was involved in the development and implementation of Arkadin's Cloud Collaboration Platform. Previously a telecommunications consultant, Hugues has spearheaded several international projects with Orange and SFR ranging from mobile telephony to the emergence of an internet provider.

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