As an IT manager one of your major responsibilities is implementing and overseeing voice and unified communications (UC) project management. To help take some of the load off, we put together the following list of tips, best practices and a few helpful hints may be useful. Take a look:
Plan, Plan, Plan – Be sure to assess all needs, risks and benefits of your project before developing a plan. When it comes to IT project management, some companies have defined processes in place, while others rely on the skills of an integrator or service provider to implement a process for successful UC deployment. Regardless of your internal project management skills, it’s important to understand what your provider can offer and what role they will take on in the implementation process. The right provider can save you money and time as well as help to improve your system effectiveness. A skilled integrator can become a valued partner of your organization and help increase workforce efficiency. Also be sure to leverage the expertise of a dealer with prior experience in structuring, deploying and managing collaboration applications.
Know your Provider – Some good qualities to look for in a provider are domain expertise, sophisticated knowledge, and insight in collaboration space – these will lead to enhanced creativity and resourcefulness, as well as innovation and efficiency with your UC project implementation. There is a wide variety of applications available that can provide the best solutions for document sharing, instant messaging, audio conferencing, video streaming, and presence, so look for a provider with direct experience with these applications so you can capitalize on the effectiveness of your solution. The UC project management strategy that will likely provide the most benefit is one that offers a generous amount of flexibility and can easily and successfully adapt with the changing needs of your organization.
BYOD Capabilities – Know your mobile future. Make an effort to tailor your UC project management approach to accommodate the ongoing BYOD trend. Your strategy should be capable of taking on the unavoidable technical challenges created by the emergence of internet-enabled personal devices, including mobile smart phones and tablets. Research from Comscorestates that in 2011, there were upwards of 400 varieties of smartphones alone available in the United States. Focus on securing your corporate data rather than trying to become an expert on every type of device that’s available.
Redundancy – The type of strategy you have in place in the event of emergency, or, worse, disaster can determine the safety of your data. Redundancy plays a key role in this strategy – you surely want to know how long service will be unavailable in the case of an unforeseen eventUnified Communications can be a great way to strengthen your disaster recovery plans, so whether initiated by you or your provider, be sure your project management approach includes an adequate back-up and disaster recovery strategy. An effective plan will ensure continuity of operations and have the ability to protect mission-critical data from being destroyed. It is helpful to consider a plan with the capability of using the replicating method to back up data and move it to a separate location through a secure and bandwidth-efficient transfer. Don’t forget the unified communications requirements for remote sites and teleworkers. Since you won’t be able to predict their user’s requirements or their role in redundancy, keep these at the forefront of your mind when devising your project implementation plan.
We hope these tips provide an understanding of what it takes to successfully implement a UC project management strategy. We can’t say enough how important preparation is when it comes to your communications strategy, so as you move forward, get a clear idea of what your goals are and then determine how to best approach your Unified Communications application. Remember: your strategy is customized for you – what works well for one business may not be the best method for all.