The always-perceptive Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research has contributed once again to the collective Unified Communications wisdom in a post at NoJitter. Titled “Five Habits of Highly Successful UC Organizations,” in it he looks at some key attributes of UC deployment, based on research into how various companies have made the migration.
The attribute that stood out for us – since we’ve talked about it frequently here at Seamless Enterprise, was standardization on SIP, the Session Initiation Protocol. With well over half of the companies Nemertes surveyed saying interoperability of various systems was their biggest challenge, Lazar says SIP standardization dispenses with much of that integration complexity by creating a single protocol layer for all the elements of UC.
Another key is to look at the network(s) holistically. That means focusing on both the LAN and the WAN before beginning deployment. It includes assessing the ability to support different classes of service, avoid congestion, and make sure there is sufficient bandwidth for all applications, including the ever-expanding reliance on video. And importantly, it also includes the mobile component, because as we’ve said here before, it isn’t really “unified” unless it encompasses mobility and the ability to reach people wherever they are, whenever they are needed.
Technical people often focus on the nuts and bolts of migrations and deployments, but Lazar says another key attribute is to consider the business as a whole and the impact that UC will have on it. It is important to build an organization that spans the entire enterprise and can consider everyone’s needs and issues. Building a business case is fundamental to making sure that business priorities are aligned with the changes in technology. So is defining a successful implementation, so that you can measure what you are doing in order to determine if you are achieving success.
His final two attributes are leveraging external knowledge and addressing management and support needs as early in the migration as possible. While the “we want to invent it here” sentiment is natural and understandable, there is no shame in enterprises taking advantage of outside expertise to integrate their many systems, particularly if it can save time and smooth the transition in the long run. That includes turning to outside experts for management and support tools as well.
As Lazar points out, enterprises can learn from those who have traveled the UC path before them. As the old saying goes, “experience is the best teacher,” but that can certainly include the experiences of others … especially if you avoid the cost of making the same mistakes they did.
Find out more about Irwin’s “Five Habits of Highly Successful UC Organizations” blog at No Jitter.