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6 Steps to Smarter Collaboration

Posted On: June 20, 2017

Topic: Advanced Services

Today’s modern workplace has evolved into a highly-mobile environment fueled by the cloud. Workers are often geographically distributed across around the world, and their expectations are that they want to work in the same connected way that they live, from anywhere, on any device, at any time.

In addition, today’s IT leaders are tasked with leading the business’ digital transformation, which means delivering a new type of collaborative experience to users, enabling them to work toward the efficient completion of a common goal or business initiative.

However, these modern expectations, while a requirement in today’s digital business, can also be extremely challenging to those businesses with aging collaboration equipment. A combination of high maintenance costs, growth or expansion requirements, and managing separate platforms for audio, video and web conferencing can create even more complexity with a disconnected solution.

While Unified Communications (UC) isn’t new technology, it is now that collaboration advances are truly aligning with the business, making it a critical time for IT to be investing in modern collaboration and UC capabilities.

But if you’re not sure where to start down this road to the modernization of your UC strategy, then let’s get started...

Assess your current UC environment
From the onset, it’s important to assess your current state and determine the gaps in where you want to be down the road. Be sure to include those line of business owners (LOBs) like HR, finance and sales, as their input will be key in the future success of your UC strategy.

Choose the right partner and vendor
Choosing the right partner and vendor to bring your UC strategy to fruition is critical. You need a partner and vendor that will offer you the flexibility in deployment models you require to fit your unique environment. You also want a partner that can deliver a complete end-to-end solution with best-of-breed technologies throughout, built on an infrastructure capable of supporting a reliable communications solution. Working with a partner and vendor that understand the underlying networking challenges can save your organization a lot of grief and heartache down the road.

Prepare your internal proposal.
Here’s where that up-front assessment and partner/vendor selection come into play. Develop a comprehensive plan, including solution details, timelines and budgeting numbers. Align the proposal with the needs of the customer base, the workforce, and the short-term and long-range business goals.

Gain internal support.
It’s key to have the support and buy-in from the internal stakeholders. The key here is to lay out the variables for them and demonstrate that it is riskier to stand still than it is to move forward with a comprehensive UC strategy. With the right strategy in place, the impact on the business is clear – increased productivity and improved customer service. This enables to business to:

  • Modernize the workplace and meet the needs of their modern workforce, directly impacting employee recruitment and retention.
  • Expand the organization’s talent by supporting mobility, collaboration, device ubiquity and geographic diversity.
  • Reduce total cost of ownership through reduced facility and travel costs.

To successfully implement a UC solution that will scale with your business, you need a partner that has extensive experience in designing, deploying, troubleshooting and validating your UC solution, and beyond that, training your users to maximize the solution.

Measure and validate results.
Here’s where you loop back around and work with your LOB owners to ensure that your UC solution is meeting their needs, as well as continually fine tuning for enhancement and growth.

In Summary

Companies that don’t keep pace by clinging to outdated technologies will find themselves behind the pack, exposing their organization to unnecessary costs and risks. Don't let technology hold you back. Make the decision to modernize your UC, and your customers and employees will thank you.

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