There is no doubt about it that organizations are aggressively evaluating the pros and cons of Unified Communications offers in the market today. The requirement to be mobile-worker-friendly coupled with a younger generation entering the workforce is one of the main factors driving this collaboration technology (r)evolution. With any new technology, there are those tenured end users that are resistant to change and prefer the good…trusted…working solution that is already being utilized. As soon as the UC platform direction is defined, the next challenge on any strategy team’s plate is brainstorming how best to introduce the new offer to those end users adverse to change. Here are a few tips that have proven helpful during the selection and introduction of UC platforms.
1. COMPLEMENT EXISTING SOLUTIONS.
Select an offer that compliments any existing web conferencing system in place today. By using a tool that provides easier access points to a tried and trusted web conferencing solution, your end user community is given a gentle introduction to the UC world. Conversely, if the new tool is on a new platform, but everyone is using the incumbent one, it can lead to problems.
2. ONE WORKLOAD AT A TIME.
The benefits of a UC offer within an organization can create a buzz / excitement that results in everyone wanting to use every feature in every meeting. With too much use, an organization runs the risk of lowering productivity due to end user confusion. For example, when a marketing manager needs to connect with his/her team, there is a choice between IM, point-to-point call, video chat, email, desktop sharing…or any combination of all of the above. A phased rollout of a UC platform with dedicated training sessions per feature is a great way to ensure proper adoption from the outset.
3. ENSURE SCALEABILITY AS YOU GROW.
Solution providers are driving the conversation around one Unified platform that will handle all a business’ collaborative requirements. On paper, and in videos, this sounds ideal. In practice however, this is not always the case. When an executive hosts a large conference call with 30+ attendees and the VoIP audio conference does not scale properly, it can be a real issue when the first line of support is the IT Helpdesk. For this reason, a hybrid UC deployment tends to be favorable for organizations that host high-profile calls and any calls that involve more than a handful of participants.
When mapping out a UC solution and deployment, keep in mind how UC is expected to work with or replace existing communications and conferencing systems and what it will be used for. Partnering with a knowledgeable Service Provider will also be essential to ensuring that you’re able to scale your solution up or down as needs evolve.
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