Preparing for a Unified Communications Installation
There are many steps end users should consider when preparing for a UC installation. The first is to really come to an understanding about where you want your business to be. Then, work backwards. In most technology deployments, many people are happy with where they are; but, in order to continue growing as an organization, and improve efficiency and business processes, you should have a pretty good idea of where you want to be in the next year, three years, five years, and so on.
The next step is to ask yourself questions to help figure out what type of UC installation will best fit your company’s needs (e.g. cloud vs. premise) and find out what you need to do to make sure your house is in order before you sign a contract and the installation begins.
- What is your UC strategy? Are you looking at hosted or premise?
- How does your current infrastructure and current technology deployment rate to what the service provider is offering?
- Are you looking to do just a PBX replacement or to replace your entire desktop?
- What do your LANs look like? Your routers?
- Are you under any regulations with your current provider? How will your existing contract play out? Are you able to move forward if you have another commitment with another provider?
- Do you have any compliance concerns?
- What about disaster recovery? Have you developed a business continuity plan?
- Have you done a business impact analysis?
- Do you have a separate department for disaster recovery or will that fall under IT?
- What are your video, conferencing and server considerations? What is the required hardware of software?
- Are you looking to replace everything you have or just buy certain capabilities? How much do you REALLY need?
- What are your security concerns?
- If the recommended method is planned out and implemented over a two year period, once you deploy, will your technology become obsolete?
- Do you want to be able to add additional services in the future even if you don’t integrate those initially?
Without knowing the answers to these questions, it would be impossible to pick the right service provider that will be most accommodating and best fit your business needs. It’s important to understand exactly what your provider’s UC solution brings to the table and how it integrates today. Be sure to research different hosted service providers and their offerings and address each of these points with that vendor. Also, be sure to check the “Top 5 Questions to Ask When Selecting a UC Provider” for more information.