Freddie Mercury of Queen famously once sang, "I want it all." Businesses are carrying a similar tune these days in terms of their communication networks. The time of siloed endpoints and scattered channels is over - unified communications has arrived.
What makes UC so valuable is that it is inherently customizable. As long as all connections are available through data lines, they can be altered and leveraged in innovative, new ways. Collaboration between colleagues can occur without having to be in the same physical location. But in order for deployments to be successful, there are a number of considerations that will need to be taken into account.
"Businesses of all shapes and sizes are recognizing the substantial benefits to be enjoyed by adopting or improving collaboration tools," wrote TMCnet contributor Clayton Hamshar. "However, there are many elements to consider before investment and an ideal balance must be sought among them to ensure rapid and seamless adoption, widespread practicality and measurable advantage in a competitive environment."
On-site vs. hosted deployments
One of the biggest decisions that will need to be made is in regard to where a system will reside. This is going to depend heavily on existing capabilities. Should a company possess business phone systems that still have inherent value, it may be best to adapt those circuits through the process of SIP trunking. But if legacy networks are on their last legs, a hosted deployment makes much more sense to pursue.
But the quality of current connections will not be the sole indicator of what deployment model to go with. Other present capabilities will need to be taken into account - like the nature of employee interactions.
"The business environment itself is an important factor, especially its culture and workflow," Hamshar stated. "It is critical that a collaboration tool seamlessly fits into the corporate culture of a particular business and interacts well with its unique command structure. By prioritizing the study of a business's general workflows and processes, a collaboration tool can be deployed in a way that maximizes its usefulness and overall contribution to the company."
Unified communication adoptions on the rise
As more companies discover the advantages of having a UC network, it will be essential to keep up with a changing status quo. The number of organizations that are implementing UC is growing - a fact evidenced by a recent Research and Markets report. According to a global forecast, the market value for telecom IT services will reach $233.05 billion by 2019, which marks an annual growth of 28.2 percent.
Those investing in things like single source communications apps are aware of how their organization can be specifically benefited by UC initiatives.
"If a company is acutely aware of what it's critical success factors are, what business head units are rewarded for and what the top and bottom lines are, it will be able to see a clearer picture of how investment in collaboration tools will improve those measures," Hamshar wrote. "Businesses must be well versed in transparency and self-reflection practices in order to easily discern how integration of a new tool would mesh with the company's values and help goals be met."
If the band's music was any indication, Queen wanted it all - just like modern enterprises do. More often than not, unified communications are going to be the only way to get it. In order to stay on the cutting edge of business, UC - either hosted or on-site - is going to be imperative to possess. Mercury also once sang that "nothing really matters," but effective communications are definitely important.