Unified Communications: Click to talk

Jan 29 2009   2:23PM GMT

Making Unified Communications Work For You

Tony Bradley Tony Bradley Profile: Tony Bradley

According to a recent study companies continue to adopt and invest in unified communications technologies despite the crippled economy. As this ITWorld.com article points out though, companies should also understand the potential of unified communications and design a unified communications system that works for them.

The article, written by Evangelyze Communications Founder and CEO, and author of Microsoft Voice and Unified Communications, Joe Schurman, points out that software-powered voice opens up a whole new world of opportunity. Rather than letting the traditional methods and uses of voice communications dictate business processes, companies can now create communications methods that enhance and expand upon their business processes. Unified Communications enables companies to create new innovative solutions.

Evangelyze Communications, Schurman’s company, has created a suite of products that customers can use to extend their communications capabilities and leverage the power of unified communications to improve business processes. Products like SmartChat, SmartVoIP, SmartSIP, and SmartConference demonstrate some of what is capable by extending the functionality of Microsoft Office Communications Server by developing custom applications. There are also opportunities to customize these applications for specific needs, or simply develop custom solutions specifically for unique customer needs.

The ITWorld.com article, Putting Unified Communications to Work, has some more general insight that companies can benefit from as well. Schurman offers up 4 tips for unified communications success, and the following 3 Classic Mistakes for companies to avoid:

  • Not choosing a partner that understands how to build a solution around your unique business processes. There are a ton of Microsoft partners out there that are Gold Certified, but there are only a handful that know how to create this kind of unique voice and unified communications solution for your organization.
  • Shelling out money too soon. Don’t pay yet! This is new technology, it has to be proven. Microsoft and key partners are offering free consultation and pilots so take advantage of it. If you like what you see, you can then budget a production deployment that will pay for itself within 6 months based on the amount of hard and soft cost savings.
  • Not getting business people involved. Business managers need to be involved so that you can see a clear distinction between what is just technology and what is going to support your unique business process.

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