Toss Your Users a Bone
Tip No. 4: Toss your users a bone
User adoption of a UC system is driven by ease of use, improved efficiency and "fun factor." Enterprise cost savings are simply not enough. Removal of a legacy TDM system inevitably causes user disruption. An IT manager who thoughtlessly adopts a strategy of a simple "rip and replace" takes away the familiar but offers nothing in return. Providing some popular, modern UC functionality such as Office integration, visual voice mail, presence, chat, and mobile integration makes the move to UC a welcome step forward.
Tip No. 5: Have room to grow
Back when I was a child, no trip to the Buster Brown shoe store was complete without stepping up on the X-ray machine and looking down at my wriggling toes to ensure that my feet had room to grow, thus increasing the longevity of the shoes on my growing feet. An important evaluation criterion for the IT manager is a sensible growth path. Well-engineered UC systems are modular and designed for growth. A system that requires forklift upgrades every time the organization experiences a growth spurt is certain to entangle the IT manager in complexity that is costly, difficult to upgrade and hard to justify.
In short, understanding the requirements for delivering toll-quality voice and UC capabilities over your company's network infrastructure and then appropriately planning for, choosing and deploying the right UC solution is key to a successful deployment. UC continues to deliver on the promises of reduced cost, improved efficiency and productivity gains. As the economy slowly begins to recover, the time to make the right investment for the future is now.
Ed Basart is Chief Technology Officer at ShoreTel. Ed cofounded ShoreTel in 1996. Ed is responsible for the long-range direction of ShoreTel's product R&D. In addition to ShoreTel, Ed also cofounded two other prominent companies, Network Computing Devices and Ridge Computers. At Network Computing Devices, Ed was vice president of engineering. At Ridge Computers, Ed served as vice president of software. Ed began his career as a software engineer at Hewlett-Packard. Ed holds a Bachelor's degree from Iowa State University and a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He can be reached at email@example.com.