How to Make the Right Unified Communications Choice

Erik Linask : Convergence Corner
Erik Linask

How to Make the Right Unified Communications Choice

You’ve been running a successful business for several – perhaps many – years now, which has allowed you to grow and further expand your operations. But, while your continued growth potential stares you in the face, you find yourself faced with several obstacles, not the least of which are shrinking budgets and an inability to keep pace with the developing needs of your workforce as they seek to increase their productivity and collaboration within teams and with external partners and customers.

Maybe you’ve even installed a VoIP system to help reduce budgets.  Maybe you haven’t.

Either way, there’s a good chance your phone system, be it IP- or TDM-based, isn’t allowing you to remain as competitive as you would like.  You don’t have the collaboration capabilities you need; or you aren’t able to support the needs of your mobile workers, who increasingly find themselves on the road more than in the office; or you haven’t found a way to bring video into your workplace effectively; or you haven’t been able to make use of all your communications devices; or you don’t know how to integrate social media into your infrastructure.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.  While we in the media have been talking about these and other capabilities that fall under the broad Unified Communications umbrella for years now, and there are quite a few businesses that have successfully incorporated these features in their daily operations.  But, the fact is that making the right decision isn’t as easy as it might seem and the majority of businesses have yet to make the jump.  There are countless alternatives to choose from and an awful lot rides on making the right decision, which means many execs are out there scratching their heads, asking questions, like: 

  • What exactly is Unified Communications?
  • What UC functions are most important?
  • What are the different UC deployment options?
  • Can we use our existing equipment?
  • What is required for UC operation?
  • What is the timing for a UC installation?
  •  And of course, how quickly can we achieve ROI?

There are countless options out there in terms of vendors, each with its own strengths – and drawbacks.  The challenge business executives are faced with is how to cut through the marketing language and colloquialisms and get to the heart of the matter, which is understanding what they really need in a UC solution.

Once they’ve accomplished that, they can move to the next phase, including narrowing down the potential suitors to find the vendor most suitable for their operational and fiscal needs.

Along with Marty Parker, from UniComm Consulting and UCStrategies, and TMC’s Peter Bernstein, who has more than 30 years of telecom industry experience under his belt, I’ll be hosting a vendor-neutral UC Webinar tomorrow, Wednesday, November 30, that will help businesses answer their questions and understand just what it is they should be looking for in a Unified Communications system.

We’ll not only look at different deployment and platform options, but also many of the popular UC applications, to help business managers get to the next phase of the UC decision making process.

Register for "Five Questions to Ask Before Making Your Unified Communications Choice" today.

Incidentally, Marty, Peter, and I will be joined by IntelliCom Analytics’ Frank Stinson on Thursday, December 15 at 2:00pm ET for the second in this series of UC Webinars, Choosing the Right Unified Communications Vendor.

I look forward to hosting you for both events, and to helping your business navigate the murky waters of the Unified Communications selection process.

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