Unified Communications Featured Article

Stop Dancing Around Unified Communications - Get In or Get Out

February 08, 2016

The idea of unifying all of your communications tools may sound like a no-brainer…to the millennial segment of your workforce. For those who have been at the job for a bit longer, the idea that change can bring about benefits for them and the organization is a little harder to swallow. And, while Unified Communications has long gotten attention in the telecommunications space, we’re still a long way from complete market saturation.

The exciting thing is that even with the segment of the market that continues to resist the opportunity to integrate capabilities it can be done seamlessly with a bit of training and follow-through. The point is to understand the benefits and why the organization is making a change. When done correctly the benefits are readily available and even the most seasoned individual will start to enjoy the efficiency of it all.

In 2016, the expectation is that Unified Communications will finally start to see some of the adoption it has always strived to achieve. An Information Age report recently cited research from West Unified Communications that showed that 68 percent of companies have already put UC tools in place beyond simple voice and email. ABI Research expects that the market as a whole will increase to $2.3 billion in 2016.

Such findings suggest that the use of traditional tools will be set aside in favor of unified approaches for a synchronized enterprise. This is only possible, however, if organizations actually treat Unified Communications as an integral part of their overarching IT strategies and not just an add-on feature a vendor recommended. To truly build a foundation for UC, there are four themes that must take priority, according to Information Age. These themes are worth deeper consideration.

First, organizations have to take a solid approach to security. While most report that this is a top concern, especially when migrating to the cloud, they also don’t truly understand what is needed and how to measure the effectiveness of a security solution. Becoming more educated in this space is critical if it is to play a part in the decision to move forward with Unified Communications.

Second, utilization is also important. There are too many companies who have been dabbling in UC without actually putting a strategy behind its use to derive any value from it. To that end, and our third point, organizations must understand how to determine value and establish a return on investment. This requires a clear strategy, accurate measurements and optimal implementation with ongoing monitoring.

Finally, organizations have to determine whether or not they should implement Unified Communications in-house or outsource it to a third party. Even when this decision is made, finding the right vendor who can help the organization meet its needs is just as critical. Now that we’re well into 2016, it’s time to get out of the strategy phase and into implementation to start to realize the benefits UC can provide. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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