How to Succeed at Unified Communications Deployment

With unified communications now a mainstream solution for today's workforce, IT departments across industries are considering unified communications deployments. With some thorough planning and realistic expectations, companies can implement unified communications applications and experience their benefits in a short time frame. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Gunjan Bhow explains how to lay the groundwork for a successful unified communications deployment.

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Unified communications (UC) once seemed like just a pipe dream but it is now a reality. A recent Plantronics survey found that only two percent of Fortune 1000 companies were not already in active UC pilot/deployment or considering one. I think it's safe to say that's a critical mass.

It's no wonder that UC has reached this point of adoption. According to the survey, participants' workplaces were made up of 34 percent road warriors and 29 percent telecommuters (working mostly from home). Of those who work on-site, 73 percent sat in open areas such as bullpens, cubicles or hoteling stations.

We've come a long way from the days of working in the silos of private offices and, as a result, today's workers have specialized and varying needs. It is about time that technology kept pace with the changing requirements of the modern workforce to help them stay connected and engaged no matter their physical location.

While many consider voice to be the central element of UC (69 percent of companies surveyed plan to roll out voice-related UC applications within the next 12 months), desktop video and mobile applications are also driving factors. In the survey, 66 percent and 64 percent of respondents plan to deploy each within the next two years, respectively.

Though UC deployments can seem urgent and daunting to many IT departments, especially when a multitude of applications are involved, a lot of the concerns are unfounded. The survey uncovered some valuable points that can assist IT decision makers considering or in the midst of deployment.