According to Cisco, modernizing the workplace through digital technologies is one of the defining movements of our time. The disruptive impact of digital transformation is affecting every industry as organizations massively scale up their initiatives.
Unified communications (UC) is critical to digital transformation because it provides employees, customers and partners with a wide range of modern collaboration tools and technologies empowering them to message, meet, and call instantly; strengthening relationships and increasing productivity across the enterprise.
By utilizing the right UC solutions, organizations will increase productivity and improve customer service. In addition, they will be able to:
- Modernize their workplaces to meet the needs of a changing workforce, thus helping improve employee recruitment and retention.
- Expand their potential talent pool by supporting enhanced and secure mobility, collaboration, device ubiquity and geographic diversity.
- Reduce total cost of ownership through lower facility and travel costs
We know that digital transformation is the future. It’s imperative that IT leaders embrace and lead the coming change. But how do you get there? How do you adapt your current UC technology to satisfy the needs of today’s more mobile and distributed workforce? Cisco recommends the following 10 considerations to keep in mind when moving to more modern collaboration and UC solutions:
- Take inventory of what you have: This goes beyond technology. Make sure you also understand your corporate culture and how it works. Collaboration and UC are enabling technologies; how they are used, and by whom within your workforce will determine their success.
- Set reasonable goals: Determine if it makes sense to work with a specific team or department and develop a proof of concept. Remember that each organization will have its own challenges and expectations, and make sure that you have the resources in place to deliver upon the expectations you set.
- Involve users and line-of-business managers: Collaboration and unified communications only work if they provide users with an experience that they value. Don’t just make technology available to your users. Involve them in the process from beginning to end, including providing the training needed to facilitate adoption.
- Focus on ease of use: This gets back to the previous point. If the user experience is compromised, or if the deployment is time consuming and difficult to manage for IT, then the technology will not be used to the extent you may desire.
- Quality counts: This is a new world. IT consumerization means users expect a glitch-free, high-quality experience. If you are offering collaboration tools such as VoIP and video, choose a supplier that understands these technologies and can deliver the underlying infrastructure required. Also, make sure your technology vendor has longevity in meeting the needs of the most demanding enterprise customers and service providers. In the UC market, there have been too many instances of failing providers leaving customers without future support.
- Ensure a great mobile experience: Mobility is one of the most important considerations in empowering today’s collaborative workplace. Your mobile connectivity and collaboration tools must assure a great mobile experience no matter which device is being used at whatever time and from whatever location. And remember, mobility is not just for your workers
- Modernize your infrastructure: Now is the time for all companies, large and small, to root out those last pockets of TDM and ensure a fully digital experience for the workforce. Don’t allow your organization to be stuck with an obsolete technology when there are far better and more cost-effective alternatives available.
- Embrace the cloud: This is not to say that you should use cloud models for all of your collaboration and UC requirements. But you should work with a technology provider that gives you flexibility to use cloud models whenever and wherever you deem them appropriate. Consider providers that offer commercial solutions that allow you the flexibility to deploy some services on premises (where it makes sense) and to consume others from the cloud. And no matter what approach you take, make sure the result is a consistent and simple-to-use experience for end users and IT.
- Embed collaboration into your line of business applications: To ensure that your organization maximizes the business value of collaboration, it is important to embed communication and collaboration into your applications and business practices. This can best be achieved using application program interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs).
- Choose an experienced technology partner: Collaboration and UC solutions together represent one of the most important investments your company will make to ensure a successful future. You can’t afford to go wrong, and you don’t want to be in a situation where you have to swap out partners or technologies down the road. It is important to choose a technology vendor that is a leader in providing all elements of your collaboration and UC solution from end to end. This way, you will ensure a successful deployment for today and a clear path for the future.
Ready to modernize your UC solution? OneNeck® IT Solutions, with our partner Cisco, is here to provide world-class collaborative services that bring people together and enable them to achieve extraordinary things. Contact us today to learn more.