By Roberta J. Fox
We have been working with clients to help organizations develop VoIP and UC strategies and migrations for many years. During a recent client discussion, as we reviewed the overall recommendations and approach, the project team members came up with an interesting momentous “ah-ha” that we thought we should share.
The client and FOX GROUP consultant team members consisted of the following expertise and roles:
Sales/Marketing strategic planning professionals
Customer Service/contact center senior and operational professionals
Front line customer and IT support
IT, telecom, network and desktop architecture and planning professionals
Systems and applications support professionals
A bit of a side point is that yes, there really were that many roles and professionals involved in reviewing and deciding the company’s future strategic and technology UC direction!
It is important to have all of those areas involved in setting the direction for the future in order to have successful unified communications solutions implemented and transform the business. (See FOX GROUP UC puzzle).
Some people (whether industry or end users) are under the impression that the need for UC solutions are primarily driven by the telecom systems replacements first. Then they look at network impact, and lastly figure out how to integrate contact center technologies into the future solution.
From recent projects, we have come to the realization that the real technology challenge in developing UC strategies and future solutions revolves around what operating system and desktop applications will be running on the various desktop and mobile devices that you are trying to communications enable.
By this we mean, what is your future corporate standard desktop applications, i.e. Microsoft Office versus Google Desktop? The other part of the equation is to decide is, what is your current and future messaging email environment, i.e. Microsoft Outlook or Google Mail?
Once an organization determines those two major IT elements, it is then possible to look at what communications technology elements need to be available to support voice and video communications on top of calendaring and email.
As we were discussing the considerations, we came to the realization that perhaps a new term should be coined for this whole new approach. We came up with the term Information Technology Communications, or ITC, for short!
We will discuss our approach with IT, telecom and network vendors and fellow industry pundits over the next few months to validate our discovery that the desktop environment truly is the primary decision factor in the development of future ITC strategies and solutions.
It should be interesting to hear the various viewpoints, with their associated pros and cons.
We will also analyze our existing projects to identify the primary determining technology area that affected the final strategy and technology solution.
The last point to reinforce our discovery is that in our internal analysis to develop FOX GROUP’s UC technology solutions, it was the ability to have a common user experience across all computing and communications devices, and integrated into our Microsoft Office desktop applications that we use and depend on as consultants that drove us to test, and finally migrate to our cloud Lync environment.
We are not saying that all organizations should deploy the same solutions as we did. We are encouraging organizations to take a broader view, looking at all of the technology areas, combined with the human factors, in order to develop and deploy effective ITC strategies and architectures that truly transform how people communicate and work together.