Unified communications (UC) solutions can often be intensely complex. Even so, many UC providers have not been able to create easier deployment or market acceptance to meet the expectations of companies that require less complexity.
Companies that realize they need to update their current unified communications quickly become aware of the enormous challenges of attempting to provide a system that works seamlessly and efficiently. Unifying a communication system is never going to be a single product, but simply an effective solution that is built from a variety of components and elements from numerous vendors. Many of these components simply were never designed to work together. However, attempting to blend all components into a single system is exactly the nightmare that many businesses are attempting to avoid.
For most businesses an upgrade of an existing system is just as challenging as building a new one. Designing a system that matches the 21st century requires mobile capabilities, a capacity for video conferencing, IP PBX, and the ability to handle conflicting clients including Jabber and Microsoft’s Lync. Additionally, it requires the full integration of the company’s applications and processes. In all, this is not an easy task.
Finding Simple Solutions
There are easy ways to simplify the complexity of building a unified communications system. While there is no single answer, there are basic guidelines that can help with the process. They include:
- Locate a Trusted Systems Integrator – By finding a value-added reseller, or working together with a proven trusted systems integrator, the company can alleviate many of the problems of building a new system. Experienced vendors can use existing infrastructure and systems applications to build an effective system around them.
- Understand the Available Resources – When the company realizes they have many valuable resources that are already firmly in place it makes the integration process much simpler. These might include security, storage, VoIP, PBX, and a network infrastructure. Every new element incorporated in the existing system should be selected for its reliability, flexibility, ease-of-use, and its capacity to be interoperable.
- Begin a Pilot Program – Before launching the entire system, it is best to begin a pilot program to see if there are any pieces of additional hardware that might be needed to assist the network infrastructure before going live.
Whenever possible, a company should always choose to go with a single unified communications vendor to minimize problems. Once a system is firmly in place, it is essential to train every user to understand all the capabilities of the new system.