Coming at business, and life, from a technology perspective, we often fail to consider some of the non-technology issues surrounding adoption of any new way of doing business. Yes, if it was all just a matter of attaching connector A to port B and inserting tab C into slot D, it would be a piece of cake.
But as we all know, and as Gary Audin writes in a new Webtorials entry, it just isn't that neat and clean. Those pesky people always get in the way. Audin's latest thoughts look at some non-technical barriers to UC implementation, and while his original piece isn't all that long, we're going to brief it down even further, almost Tweet-like, for you.
So, here are seven items to keep in mind when it comes to planning for UC:
Involve business units. Achieving UC goals requires the insight and buy-in of business units staff. If their objectives aren't represented, you shouldn't be surprised if they see UC as a failure.
Impact on processes. You have to understand the affected business processes initially in order to judge how UC will impact them and to gauge UC's cost-effectiveness.
How about hybrid? One approach, rather than premises OR cloud, is a combination. Try cloud-based services for new or limited-distribution applications initially, and if they work out well, bring them in-house along with other apps later on.
Winning hearts and minds. To overcome discomfort with changes UC may bring, run an internal marketing campaign (bought into by IT and business units) to sell the changes to the user base.
Cultural accommodation. To support the emerging culture of collaboration without damaging the existing culture, change is best done in an evolutionary way rather than revolutionary.
Know thy users. Being "user-aware" is essential, requiring IT staff to view changes from the user's perspective, providing a better sense of which UC functions apply and how they will improve the business operation.
Train, then train some more. Training users is the key to UC success, Audin says. Build such training into the budget if you ever hope to produce the hoped-for ROI.