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Choose your UC solution like you choose your laptop

Christopher Franke, Head of Unified Communications Strategy, InterCall Asia Pacific | March 6, 2015
With the numerous UC solutions available in the market today, choosing the right one necessitates thorough deliberation.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach. 

There was once a time where a phone and a fax machine was all that was required to run a business in different locations. With the rapid evolution of technology, organisations nowadays opt for more complex communication technologies to increase business efficiency. While having a comprehensive communication system can be advantageous, managing it can be a major pain point for organisations.   However, with a Unified Communications (UC) solution, which integrates all these communication technologies into a single interface, managing a communication system has become less complicated for organisations.

Like the vast variety of laptops in a computer shop, the diverse and numerous options for UC solutions all look enticing and can leave you confused.  In purchasing a laptop, the brand, the specifications, the price, as well as our usage patterns are some of the major factors we consider before making a choice.  Similarly, in choosing a UC solution, you need to consider several variables to ensure that you get the optimum solution for your organisation. Here are five questions to ask during your decision-making process:

1.       Where in the organisation would I use it?

The first thing you should ask yourself is: Why does my organisation need UC? As an IT decision maker, you need to chart out the objectives you want to achieve through your UC deployment.  These can include improving internal communication processes, increasing employee productivity as well as reducing costs related to business travel.   

For instance, if you're part of a global organisation that wants to reduce travel costs, you would want a UC solution that has a video conferencing component which allows you to hold meetings and events remotely. This would increase employee productivity and reduce costs related to business travel. ..

It is therefore important to consider your organisation's needs and the potential uses of your UC solution prior to purchase and deployment. Doing otherwise could lead to suboptimal deployment and a less than ideal return on investment.

2.       Should I base it on cloud or on-premise hardware?

The method for UC deployment also should be considered carefully. Like traditional PCs and laptops which store all data on its hard drive, traditional conferencing systems are based on on-premise hardware. On-premise hardware offers companies the option to retain full control of their network, systems and data, enabling them to have ready access to their equipment in case it requires troubleshooting. IT managers unwilling to let go of their legacy investments in on-premise hardware can utilise their existing infrastructure to set up UC solutions.


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