We all know how beneficial Unified Communications can be to our businesses if done properly, but too often organizations implement it poorly, leaving them with a broken system and a misrepresentation of what UC really is. Many companies are rushing to deploy UC technologies to take advantage of their cost saving methods, but in doing so cost themselves dearly. TeoTech.com released a whitepaper on the UC pitfalls that companies fall into when rolling out UC and why they do it. We will go over some of the common mistakes that these businesses make when introducing Unified Communications into their workplace, and how you can avoid them.
Deploying UC on a Whim
This is the second topic mentioned in TeoTech’s whitepaper, but I’m mentioning it first because I think it is the most dangerous mistake a company can make. UC has some fantastic advantages that can drastically improve on a company’s communications, performance, and even profits, but that doesn’t mean you can rush it. Carefully planning out your implementation of UC throughout your organization is a must. Research every aspect of it, how you plan to use it, and how you will support it before you start buying products and software. UC is all about collaboration. Everything must work together seamlessly. If departments start buying video conferencing equipment and VoIP phones on their own with no concern of compatibility, you will run into huge problems.
Dropping it in IT’s Lap
Your IT department is a great resource, but shouldn’t be put in charge of everything just because it has a technical aspect to it. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is placing IT in charge of choosing the technology without consulting the staff who will be using it. This results in buying equipment that works well with the network, but may or may not benefit your staff. As someone who has worked in IT for years, I will say they certainly will need to be involved in the process as they will most likely be the ones supporting it after it’s up and running. It is imperative that IT has a chance to make sure that the systems you want to purchase are able to be setup on the network and are reasonable requests, but the real leader should be the decision-makers of the business. They should speak with their employees to find what applications/hardware would benefit them, find out if it is possible from IT, and then move forward.
Copying Other UC Plans
UC is a broad term. Every business has different reasons for adopting it, and it means something different to each of them. If you walkthrough another office and see how they have adopted it, that may give you great ideas, but you have to be willing to customize UC to your own business. If you go in expecting a particular setup, you may end up disappointed. Survey your staff, find what tools they really need, and don’t smother them with ones they don’t. Ever had to look in a toolbox for a screwdriver, and after the third time going through it you finally find it? There really is such a thing as too many tools, and it can slow down your progress. Go in open minded, and you will find the perfect setup to improve your business.
UC can take your business to an entirely new level of proficiency, but you have to be careful to avoid these common mistakes. Don’t be too eager, put the right people in charge, and be willing to listen to your employee’s needs. Follow those tips and you will be taking advantage of UC successfully in no time.