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.
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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.
Articles from the UCStrategies.com UC experts, providing insights and analysis on UC products, events, market trends, and the state of the UC industry.
This is part 4 in a review of the seven major applications for Communications Enabled Business Processes (CEBP). Unified Communications contact success is not about contact centers, which are organized to provide efficient service to inbound to a generic service number using queuing methods for optimized results. Rather, the CEBP application to Improve Contact Success aims to optimize results when two known parties seek to reach each other as part of other business processes.
Regardless of how far along you are with your UC deployments, customer needs will not remain static. UC’s flexibility is also its weakness, and for many businesses, defining its business value is a moving target. There are likely a multitude of reasons why your clients are deploying UC, and your value comes from ensuring they have good reason to stay with it. In that regard, here are three ways to look at how you can keep them onside with UC.
The hospitality industry is a laggard when it comes to adoption of VoIP. To this day, a brand new hotel is far more likely to install analog phones to the room – even on a VoIP system, than IP phones. It isn’t fear of technology, analog has remained a cheaper more suitable fit. The question is – does the cloud change that?
Relationships begin with rapport and developing rapport is essential if you want to become preferred in your marketplace. Here are some strategies to help you build rapport quickly.
Fred’s junkyard business came to mind when thinking of a segue from my last article in this series. In that article, I suggested some approaches that channels could take to add value in a “post-PBX” world. Near the end, I made a passing reference to being in the used equipment business, but there’s more to be said, so here we are.
At the recent Enterprise Connect in Orlando, there was much discussion on the topic of collaboration and the impact it was having on the enterprise. One of the most insightful sessions was “Building a Unified Communications and Collaboration Roadmap,” run by my old friend Irwin Lazar, VP and Service Director at Nemertes Research. The most interesting part of his presentation may have been the introduction where he summarizes the results of the Nemertes 2011-2012 “Communications and Computing Benchmark” study of 240 organizations; of the respondents, 58.1% were from organizations with 2500 employees or more. As always Nemertes did a great job, and their research is always on point as they survey enterprise organizations directly.
Most channel partners do not engage in the people dimension of UCC projects, but there are many benefits of this and I would recommend any organization seriously considering supporting this new generation of workers with collaboration tools that they need and want to use.
Enterprise Connect, one of the major trade shows for the UC and IP PBX businesses, went off in Orlando last week and focused on the themes of cloud, SIP trunking, video, social, and mobility. While there was plenty to be said about the first four, my core focus is mobility, and how VARs and SIs might profit from the exploding interest in mobile devices and applications.
Last week we covered the opportunity for the Telecom sales channel to assist customers in developing and implementing a unified communications (UC) migration and legacy integration strategy. Obviously, no customer is going to sign up for a new communications infrastructure without a clearly laid out transition plan. In many ways, this week's topic is an extension of that; since we are going to be talking about Bandwidth Planning and Branch Strategy.
Sooner or later, the term is going to enter your lexicon, as well as that of your customers. You’d better get with the program now, because if you start hearing about a “post-PBX” world first from them, it might be too late for your business. In our circles, we’ve been hearing about and anticipating a post-PBX world for some time, and it was a wake-up call theme at Enterprise Connect last week.
This is part three in a review of the seven major applications for Communications Enabled Business Processes (CEBP) as introduced in “UCStrategies VAR-SI Series: Building Your UC Applications Practice.” Part three will look at the CEBP applications that will “Increase Notification Precision.”
It is happening and no one seems interested in stopping it – that hosted voice services are rapidly becoming a commodity service. Personally, I am opposed to such ruthless and irresponsible commerce, but I am just one. The most powerful vendors and service providers are conspiring to eliminate visible product differences.
Rather than looking at these new post-PC devices as “the enemy,” maybe we should start the conversation with the customer with what we can do for their smartphones and tablets rather than with our beloved PBX. If that’s where the user wants to be, that’s where the SI should want to be as well.
Here we are about 10 years after I wrote a client-sponsored piece called, “Hosted Services—It’s Not Your Father’s Centrex,” and we are seeing what appears to be a non-stop stream of contemporary market offerings of cloud-based Unified Communications as a Service or UCaaS and the requisite commentary about it by the usual suspects. Is this the next generation of “Centrex?” Or is it a case of “back to the future?” Could be, and with the cloud-driven re-emphasis of centralized computing and hosted services, there are likely plenty of vaguely familiar as well as innovative communications possibilities ahead.
There were many themes at this year’s Enterprise Connect. To me, the biggest take away was that vendors are starting to focus their unified communications and collaboration efforts more than ever on the user experience. This has implications for enterprises, vendors, and the channel.
Many vendors began to talk about soft ROI as a way to prove that the functionality really did pay back, just not in hard cash as many other IT-projects did. But there is a way to succeed in your UCC projects and really make them transformational. As a channel partner you need to understand how you should transform your message and offering to help CIO’s succeed in their work.
The Enterprise Connect 2012 RFPs proved two very important points for enterprise UC roadmap planning: 1) You CAN install unified communications (UC) without replacing or upgrading your PBX!; and 2) You can SAVE 37% on average and as much as 78% by not replacing the phones or the contact center and by using the existing PBX as a PSTN gateway.
The bottom line for implementation of UC enabled applications is for IT management, with the support of VARs and Channels, to integrate them for private or public cloud-based use in order to support both desktop and mobile device usage. This is how “collaboration” technologies will actually get done in the new world of UC enablement.
Telesphere CTO, Sanjay Srinivasan, has recently shared five key cloud trends to watch in 2012. What are your thoughts on the future of phones – or any of the five trend predictions?
As UC has crossed the market chasm, adoption is on the rise, and users are getting smarter, cloud-based solutions are being deployed, and many channel resellers are struggling to establish a consultative relationship in their accounts. Most of them know that if they don’t evolve their salesforce, and their business model, they will be relegated to an ever-shrinking available market. The managers and owners of these established channel partners know that business transformation is imperative.
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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?