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Unified communications is as much about giving your staff the ability to access a variety of communication tools from a single interface on different devices as it is about embedding communication capabilities directly into existing, vertical business applications and business processes.
Improving the end user and business experience through UC requires careful planning and a number of strategic considerations. Your end users are the best indicator for which communication and collaboration tools will be the most useful to them.
Make sure to make enough time to understand your end users’ needs, how UC will benefit your user community, identify which platform matches these requirements, and how your choice UC platform operates.
With presence, messaging, conferencing, document sharing and rich media collaboration tools your network will certainly be hit with an extra load. If you are building a UC ecosystem that uses technologies from multiple vendors, it is particularly important to ensure that all components interweave seamlessly. It is worth considering early on whether there are any business processes that could benefit from the integration of existing, process-specific systems with communications applications.
In the retail environment, for example, this could take the form of CRM and inventory stock database integration to allow customer service agents to access both customer and product information (within the store, office or the contact centre) in real-time to assist a sale and personalise customer interactions. In the housing sector, the UC system could be connected to tenant and property databases as well as payment systems to offer self-service options to tenants, streamline communications with suppliers and field staff, and automate communications related to specific tenant transactions.
The point is that communications enabled business processes support the real-time enterprise, increase productivity and reduce human latency where tasks used to be accomplished manually or formerly required a whole series of tasks. Tight integration between the UC environment and existing back office systems is a far cry from plug-and-play, as you can imagine, which is why you would be well served to consult with a professional services provider to identify how different UC components could improve business processes to meet company goals.
A phased rollout, site after site, and user group after user group, is useful as you can learn from mistakes and hiccups during the first deployment. Equally, many IT services teams will find it worthwhile rolling out the UC suite to power users or technically savvy users first, who can test the system and feedback on their experience before the blanket rollout. Even if your staff is already familiar with certain UC applications, such as IM or video conferencing, user training never goes amiss to ensure that the entire user community is confident using the breadth and depth of your UC tools.
User adoption will ultimately affect ROI – where UC benefits extend beyond individuals and work groups into communications enabled business processes (and these really have the power to transform your business on the whole), the ROI will be considerably higher.
First and foremost, the key to UC success is the realisation that IT services need to extend and meet your users where they are and then carefully plan for the transition to a coherent UC environment that features applications end users will naturally want to use and simplified processes that make users’ lives easier. To talk through your UC challenges and get best practice advice how best to go about your unified communications initiative, why not visit us at stand #D409 at UC Expo, London Olympia, 12 -13 April?
As an Interconnect or Managed Service Provider, youa€™re out there selling Unified Communications to your customers. You can create a much smoother experience for your customers by aligning with a robust, reliable platform.
Based in Blue Bell, PA, CoreDial cloud software and services enable companies to quickly and cost effectively sell, deliver, manage, and invoice for high quality, private labeled cloud communication services including hosted PBX solutions, VoIP, SIP Trunking, and Unified Communication products and services.
If you are in the market to get or change out your phone system it’s inevitable that you’ll hear the term Unified Communications (UC) thrown out as a feature or spec. Presence Indicator: Indicates when a staff member is busy or free via a computer or other device. Video conference: Integration of a video conference device to your phone system or service. So, with the right system you can check your computer and confirm a staff member is free via a presence indicator, collaborate with them via IM, switch to a phone call on the fly, add a video conference with your satellite office and leave a VM with another employee who’ll receive it in their email, letting them know they missed the meeting.
To get the UC features, do you need to purchase additional phone equipment, such as a fax server, software or licenses?  Do you have the right cabling in place for the Phone system to communicate with other devices via IP? Once you have the information needed, you can make an informed decision of whether the cost and hassle of installing and managing is worth the benefits that UC bells and whistles bring. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. Thank you The information conveyed in this presentation, including oral comments and written materials, is confidential and proprietary to Mitel ® and is intended solely for Mitel employees and members of Mitel’s reseller channel. Designed to engage the community in dialog, it offers real-life scenarios about security issues that impact business continuity and the bottom line. Unified communications and collaboration empowers your staff to collaborate more efficiently with each other, customers, partners and the entire ecosystem of your organization in the real-time economy.

Such a unified strategy is based upon a mix of organizational processes, employee empowerment, collaborative technologies, unified communications and a deep understanding of your entire business ecosystem. Collaboration and unified communications trends, best practices and solutions such as videoconferencing. We live in a digital and social age where the real-time economy, connected and fast decision processes, collaboration and people-centric business strategies make all the difference.
According to research, conducted by Experton, commissioned by BT, collaboration is strongly driven by and a strong driver for the real-time economy and the adoption of (hybrid) cloud models.
According to a CEB report, surveying over 23,000 employees, more than two-thirds of respondents reported their job needed more collaboration than three years ago. In the Collaboration Paradox research, conducted among 1,042 senior business executives, 78% of respondents reports unified communicationsand collaboration technology helps them do their work better.
According to IDC the implementation of social technologies, along with the required cultural and managerial changes, can increase productivity of interaction workers by 20 to 25%. According to research by IDG Enterprise, employee benefits are the top reason why organisations boost their investments in unified communications. An EU report identified the main success factors of online collaboration in a context of globalization. The benefits of unified communications and collaboration are numerous and beyond any doubt. Below is a list of whitepapers and research about unified communications and collaboration, new ways of working, and related topics. To pave the way for a smooth transition to a unified environment, here is what to think over when crafting your UC strategy. This dual outlook ensures that employees can be their most productive any time any place, on the one hand, and that process automation potential is exploited to support swift workflows and eradicate common bottlenecks, on the other hand. From our experience, infrastructure readiness, interoperability and user training are three of the main areas that can taint the deployment and therefore deserve special attention from the start.
Look at those they are already using – even, or especially, if they are not part of your current, formal communications setup.
From my technology discovery and consultancy workshops with clients I know that this learning process can take several weeks. Servers, routers and data connections all need to be able to handle increased traffic, particularly if you are planning to add more users onto the system at a future point in time.
The greatest productivity gains occur when all staff understand how to exploit communications and collaboration tools. We will be comparing three big vendor UC&C platforms at our stand and share our UC integration expertise. Ita€™s likely that they are able to quickly grasp the concept and envision how it can make a positive impact on their business. With no hardware or software to buy, our Service Provider partners deliver valuable end-user solutions, while creating margin rich recurring revenues, building value in their brand. What you don’t get from the advertisings is a clear definition of what it is and what it can do. In this age of integration, everything gets connected to better serve the customer in a consistent way and to shorten the sales cycle in an economy where people connect themselves. Among the various real-time economy and cloud computing evolution drivers are employee empowerment and flexibility across business ecosystems whereby collaboration and unified communications are key.
These include efficiency gains such as 25-40% lower real estate costs per head, lower mobile roaming costs and 10-20% increase in productivity. However, the report also found that collaboration fosters innovation and improved employee retention. A whopping 83% reports collaboration enables better team work and 63% of respondents feels  unified communications gives greater sense of control over work. 61% of respondents report increased productivity and 42% increased flexibility to name just two.
64% of respondents wants unified messaging, 62% integrated IM and e-mail and 45% telepresence.
That’s perfectly fine because communications solutions bring with them their own challenges that IT service teams may not always be expertly familiar with.

Even though UC hardware and software interoperability has improved over the last few years it will often be useful to work with a systems integration specialist to mesh all components.
However, moving to Unified Communications seems like a really big deal a€“ a disruption that could make for some difficult weeks before the company can begin to realize the many benefits that Unified Communications can bring. One way to do that is to create a very clear roadmap for your customers, showing them clearly how to implement unified communications in their business. Dona€™t just consider the technology; evaluate the business needs of your customer a€“ what impediments are muting worker productivity, and how could UC help to overcome these obstacles? From here, you need to develop a timeline for phasing in the needed new tech; are you ripping out the old and placing in the new, or will it be a staged rollout? While employees may think they have a deep and full understanding, the likelihood is that they wona€™t fully understand the ins and outs of the new system. You’re just left with a vague impression that its great to have and will change your business for the better. Most new business phone systems from 3 years or less include some form of Unified Communication feature.  This includes traditional PBX, in house VoIP systems and Hosted VoIP service managed by a carrier. When you add email and IP, you are dealing with a different knowledge base that the phone installer may not have.
Also, the two things to consider that are not outright obvious are that you may get charged for each person that will be using UC features. However, numerous reports also clearly show the benefits of collaboration and of unified communications, one of the essential building blocks making collaboration possible. On the human productivity scale we have seen absenteeism reductions of up to 60% and 30% travel cost reductions. Among the main benefits of collaboration for global business and the global workforce: coordination but also innovation.
A good grasp of the different UC technologies, technical requirements and deployment options available will help to make better decisions in building a UC environment that will benefit your business in the long term. Thorough testing at each deployment stage is key to assure the UC system’s service quality and should be built into your rollout strategy. Understanding what the business truly needs creates an opportunity to architect a solution that will have maximum positive impact.
Training enables them to take full advantage of unified communications, and for the UC solution to therefore have maximum positive impact.
Measure the effectiveness of the unified communications deployment will provide your customer with important data to justify the switchover, as well as demonstrate to him the value hea€™s deriving from the service your provide. The information below will give you a simple breakdown of what you need to know so you can go in asking the right questions. UC is relatively new because in most cases it relies on Internet (IP) technology to communicate and link all three different media types. Also, they may require that you have an IT person set up, configure, or provide information to get the phone system to talk to those other communication technologies, like your email.
Secondly as you grow and add staff, how much will it cost to get them on the phone system with the UC features?
Mitel will enforce its rights to protect its confidential and proprietary information, and failure to comply with the foregoing may result in legal action against you or your company .
Before summarizing the main technological, infrastructural and organizational keys to succeed in collaboration, let’s take a look at some of these findings. This will also enable you to create metrics the customer wants to measure to judge the effectiveness of the UC implementation. For example, a fax that is sent  to your phone system will be converted to IP and sent to your email service as an image.

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