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Unified Communications: One size does not fit all

 

As enterprises deploy unified communications throughout the organization, many are wise to embrace a hybrid approach—one that mixes hosted and premises-based applications and services to meet a given company’s needs and requirements, and which can grow with them as their UC strategy matures.

 

The process of using UC technology will happen in stages, and the specifics of any given roll-out will vary depending on the technology already in place within the organization, the geographic distribution of offices and employees, budget constraints, and the need or desire to deploy new tools like social media. In all cases, however, IT should expect to support a multi-vendor environment, and to roll out new applications and services in a well-planned, carefully orchestrated way, allowing time for technology integration, end-user training, and employees to embrace a new way of working.

 

Despite the recent advancement of industry standards around UC, few will be out-of-the-box implementations using one technology. Given the complexity of any hybrid UC deployment, most large enterprises should consider working with a services partner with experience in the technology; deep relationships with leading vendors in the space, including Microsoft and Avaya; expertise managing integration and hosted services; and a clear understanding of industry and horizontal business needs.

 

Very few large enterprises have only one technology vendor for all their communications. Most operate in a multi-vendor environment, in which one supplier delivers certain key functions (voice, say, or video conferencing), and others deliver a mix of capabilities (presence and IM, e-mail, audio and Web conferencing, social software, and so on). Sometimes this is the result of conscious choice: the company and its IT department have evaluated all the vendors in a given area and opted for the one they deem best. Other times, it’s the result of accrual, time, M&A activity, or other haphazard circumstances. But either way, most organizations are in no position to deploy all their UC from a single technology vendor—and over time, most decide they need they need the expertise of a systems integrator and neutral trusted partner. 

 

Recently I worked with Frost & Sullivan to drive the development of a white paper that provides a perspective on how enterprises will adopt UC through a hybrid delivery model that allows them to reap all of the benefits of UC and get the most out of their current communications infrastructure.  

 

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 I encourage you to check out the white paper and if you would like any more information regarding unified communications as a service please visit this site.

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