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New Year's Resolutions for UC

It's time to think about our resolutions for the New Year. I expect we all have one or two in common, like taking better care of ourselves, breaking long-standing and nasty habits and spending more time with our friends and loved ones.But what shall we resolve about our industry--Unified Communications? We've assembled a list of ideas for all three groups in our UC community - Enterprise IT and Telecom Managers, Vendors and System Integrators, and Consultants and Analysts. Take a look, adopt those that fit and send us any suggestions you have to add to the list.

IT and Telecom Managers:


* Ask each of your four main UC suppliers (IP PBX, E-mail/Desktop, Applications, Mobility) to suggest two or three areas for UC investments, with ROI specific to your enterprise or industry.

* Meet with each of the top five functional areas in your company to explore new applications that make sense in the tough economy and can put you in a leadership role in the recovery cycle.

* Consider organization changes to be better prepared for UC; refer to relevant VoiceCon sessions, NoJitter posts, and whitepapers at

* Use collaborative workspaces with integrated UC to speed up projects.

* Run reports on installed systems to provide insight on changing usage patterns -- growing, flat or declining -- so that your next system purchase will accurately reflect current requirements.

Vendors and System Integrators: Enable customers to invest in UC without facing big risks or burdens--specifically, ensure that the technology being offered is open and interoperable, especially for new solutions such as for presence federation.

* Make solutions easy to understand and to budget for; publish basic configurations and statements of work with sample prices to help the customers with their planning.

* Make sure customers can easily try new technologies and solutions, whether via on-site trials or hosted trial accounts, so they can get enrollment from their internal users.

* Update sales compensation plans to match strategic directions. Since core technology will be sold in any case, it's the direction that's important.

* Make sure that your installed base can migrate to UC, even if they can't make the major upgrade or system purchase this year.

* Add at least three more UC case studies or white papers per month to the web site.

Consultants and Analysts:

* Promise not to start one more article with the phrase, "Everyone has their own definition of UC." Focus on what UC does for customers, and the definition will be obvious.

* Regularly read and post comments on major UC industry sites such as and

* Keep the enterprise users and Telecom/IT staff in mind in every article or posting, since it is their investments and risk-taking that drive our industry.

* Think of 10 ways to do more for less -- e.g., provide more value via less time, travel or cost to the client.

* Share the best possible advice with clients and vendors, even if the input is not what they expect (or wish to hear). Post as much of that advice as articles or white papers as is practical.

* Stay alert to the effects of UC solutions in other parts of the enterprise, such as security, operations, business continuity, compliance, WAN/LAN/wireless network configurations, server administration, virtualization, etc.

How's that for a list of resolutions? Let us know and send your ideas to me at [email protected]. Thanks for a great 2008, and we look forward to new and exciting times in 2009. Happy New Year!