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Unified Communications: Stop Trying to Wrestle the Elephant [Part 2: Define Your UC Lynchpin]

Last week, I talked about why most UC projects are not successful. This week, let’s look at where you start to develop a UC strategy for your organization.

So where do you start? Well, don’t start by trying to wrestle a 14,000-pound beast to the ground! Start simple, from the beginning, by defining your organization’s single most important mouthpiece.

What method of communicating with customers, with employees and with partners drives your business? Do you operate a call center? If so, your most critical communications modality is likely the telephone and, as such, a phone system should be the lynchpin of your UC solution with all other communications elements integrated around it. However, if email is your company’s primary and most familiar communications channel (Exchange, Google gMail), as it is with the majority of businesses, you might start by building your UC solution around that interface, integrating only what works best with your preferred email application. (Evolve IP’s recent survey found that an overwhelming majority, nearly 80% of respondents, claimed that phone/VoIP and email are both ‘extremely important’ communications means, ranking both significantly higher than any other channel.)

Every application does not scale to every method of use, so start with the most critical item and work your way down. If voice is your most prevalent application, and most users are mobile on Apple IOS devices, then Lync (Microsoft’s UC toolkit that includes Email, Instant Messaging & Presence, Desk-to-Desk Video, Desktop Sharing, etc.) may not be your best option. If your business uses Google Apps and your end users are familiar with that interface as the hub of their business communication, than a phone system that has its own desktop calling app will simply NOT get adopted by end users.

At Evolve IP, we step customers through these decisions to define the overall UC solution. Our cloud-based technology, too, enables integrations that make it possible to execute on a strategy that puts your critical application or communication method at the center of the user experience.

Next week, please check back to learn about how the Cloud enables the integration that is critical to a successful UC solution.

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More Stories By Scott Kinka

Scott Kinka is Chief Technology Officer for Evolve IP. He has spent almost his entire career devising new and simpler ways for companies to acquire and integrate technology. While all of the tech talk these days is about the cloud, he was doing this when it was called ASP (application service provider) or on-demand. Before Scott joined Evolve IP as Chief Technology Officer, he served as Vice President of Network Services for Broadview Networks and ATX Communications. He has been involved in application development, hosting, messaging, networking, unified communications, contact centers, and security. His mission (and specialty) is acting as a translator between technology and business needs.