The UCStrategies Experts share their expertise in bylined articles, opinion pieces, blogs, and podcasts, to define unified communications, educate you about unified communications technologies, and help you make informed decisions about unified communications solutions.
UCStrategies.com defines unified communications as “Communications integrated to optimize business processes.” The definition of unified communications narrows significantly when you can read and hear about real-world examples that other companies are implementing right now—and apply them to your situation.
This section offers learning tools to help you plan your unified communications implementation.
This section provides a practical, vendor-independent service to any Enterprise that is seeking the benefits of Unified Communications. How do you pull everything together to implement unified communications? Use the tools in this sequence to define unified communications for your business.
The Unified Communications industry changes daily. We keep track of it for you.
UCStrategies is an industry resource for unified communications enterprises, communications vendors, system integrators, and anyone interested in the growing unified communications arena.
A supplier of objective information on unified communications, UCStrategies is supported by an alliance of leading communication industry advisors, analysts, and consultants who have worked in the various segments of unified communications since its inception.
Those of you who’ve been reading UCStrategies lately know the importance we place on the channel, and that we see the role of VARs, resellers, and SI’s as being critical to the success and growth of the UC market. For the past five years, UCStrategies has held an annual UC Summit, focusing on the needs of the channel. The UC Summit has been a way for vendors, channel partners, and end-user consultants (not end users) to hear from each other and discuss ways in which they can better work together. The UC Summit has helped channel partners understand ways in which they can be more successful and make money in a UC world, and hear from vendors, analysts, and consultants about the trends and topics impacting the market. The type of networking and interacting provided by the UC Summit is crucial, and helps all the parties involved.
Beyond the Summit, UCStrategies is going a step further to help vendors and channel partners better work together, and will be conducting a comprehensive study to identify some of the challenges facing the unified communications and collaboration channel, and what they require in order to be more successful.
Here’s some background: Early in 2000 a team of veteran industry analysts from the telecom and datacom space, formed the IN-Fusion Group in order to create a study on how the market for converged voice and data products (CT) was developing. The study focused on the resellers, systems integrators, consultants, and others that represent the indirect channel, who we called Convergence Resellers (CRs), reflected an industry in transition. While we had heard the viewpoint of the solutions vendors for this area, we knew we would get a better picture if we talked to the people in the trenches, those folks who market, recommend, sell, install and maintain both the hardware and software. We launched a study of the resellers, systems integrators, consultants, and others that represent the indirect channel for these products.
For the quantitative portion of our research we surveyed participants by using a web-based questionnaire. The quantitative portion was followed by phone interviews with approximately 30% of the participants. The purpose of these interviews was to gather more specific information on areas not easily covered in a written survey.
Here’s a sampling of some of the survey findings:
Now, twelve years later, converged technologies have evolved to unified communications & collaboration (UCC), and the convergence resellers have evolved to Solutions Integrators (SIs), yet many of the channel challenges remain the same. Several of the IN-Fusion Group team are now part of UCStrategies, which will conduct another survey, focusing on the business needs of the solutions integrators and the key factors driving their success in the UCC market. As before, we will be measuring how vendors are meeting the needs of their channel partners. The study will consist of both a quantitative online survey as well as qualitative phone interviews with solutions integrators. The SIs participating in the study will represent a cross section of the various UCC vendors.
The first objective of the study is to gain knowledge of the reseller sales organizations, their relationships with clients, and the key sales operations processes. Specifically, we will be gaining insight into the skills and sales competencies necessary to identify opportunities in this complex sales environment. This data will be in the context of their company background, size of the organization, types of solutions they are selling, and the quantities they are selling. We’ll measure Solution Integrators’ satisfaction with the market and business opportunity.
Our most important objective will be to find out how the SIs could be more successful and how vendors can help them achieve their goals. Survey participants will be asked questions about their businesses in a number of areas, including vendor support, assistance on various business issues, sales and marketing, and technical and customer support issues. They will be asked to evaluate whether the actual support that they have received in those areas lived up to their expectations. SIs will also be asked to comment on which vendors are easiest to work with, and to list freely any comments they have regarding vendor-related issues.
The results of the study will be used to help vendors better understand their channel partners interests and concerns, and identify how to better support their partners. Vendor sponsors will also receive objective insights as to how well their channel partners feel the vendors are meeting their needs and where they are lacking.
We encourage you to participate in this study. If you’re a vendor, there are a variety of vendor sponsorship levels. If you’re a VAR/reseller/SI, you can participate in the online and telephony survey.
If you have questions or would like more information in how you can participate in this study, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we can help you be more successful in the UCC market.
All Content Copyright © 2013 UCStrategies.com. All rights reserved.
Communications Integrated to Optimize Business Processes.
UC integrates real-time and non-real time communications with business processes and requirements.
Uses presence capabilities for coordination, and presents a consistent unified user interface and experience across multiple devices and media types.
Learn more at What is Unified Communications all about?