Unified Communications – Best Practices
Unified communication is a new technology where communication tools are integrated in order to manage both business and individual communication with a single entity instead of dedicated connections. It acts as a bridge between VoIP system and other computer based communication technology. It may be a set of products or devices which provides consistent unified user interface across multiple devices and media types. The special feature of Unified Communication is that messaging can be done from one medium and the same communication to be received on a different medium.
Although unified communication is best suited for business, but there are several steps which a company should undertake before implementing unified communication. If some of the basic steps are followed then unified communication in business is sure to succeed. The best practices are listed below:
1. Unified communications is dependent on network, application convergence as well as integration of wired and wireless access. Also they should consider a multi vender solution. It is important to provide necessary training on the system and develop a deep understanding of the exact requirement. The deployment of unified communications should not be considered as a single project; instead it should include business telephony, unified messaging, conferencing facility, call processing and forwarding, notification facility and business process integration. The technology is to be user friendly so that the user do not face problems in using the system and thus use the system to the fullest.
2. Proper planning: A proper and directional planning for implementation of unified communication is sure to help any businesses in managing the expectations and ensure that the time frames are realized. It is necessary to understand that unified communication is not only a concept, hardware, or software, but also needs end user acceptance.
3. Clear view of technical and business requirements: The requirement of business as well as communication strategy varies from company to company. The key employees and administrators need to identify the requirements and include those features in their unified communication strategy. It is just a waste of money to include the features which are not required for your business communications. Also it is to be taken care of that the key points are not missed out which are very much essential for communication within or outside the company. If so, it will affect the business adversely. Sometimes experts view can also be considered when it comes to identifying the technical and business requirements. The design of unified communication should meet company’s specific requirements and also should consider the scope for adding more features at a later stage if necessary. Additionally, companies have to ensure that the unified communication strategy allows several locations to get connected to one another with the same effectiveness of face to face meetings. Inclusion of video conferencing facility is capable to provide a productive environment.
4. Finding expert: The right person or support organization is to be found out who can identify the requirements and implement the system in a proper and efficient manner. He should be able to provide a well developed integration plan along with a realistic level of funding.
5. Establish Cross-Functional Teams to Help Manage the Implementation: These teams help in dealing with various complexities and develop methodology of implementation and introduction. This team should also communicate the benefits not only across the organization but also to the customers, stakeholders, partners and suppliers.
6. Proper maintenance support throughout: There should be proper support from the end of the support companies so that any fault in the system is rectified at the earliest. Longer downtime of the system can hamper the business to a great extent.
Other than all the above points, authorities of a company must also keep a track of the development and new features available so as to run businesses at par with the advancement of technology.
About The Author
MichellePatterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.