Kevin Kieller
Kevin Kieller is a partner with enableUC, a company that helps measure, monitor and improve UC and collaboration usage and...
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Kevin Kieller | July 28, 2015 |


Success With Skype: 4 Steps & 4 Challenges

Success With Skype: 4 Steps & 4 Challenges Tune in to tomorrow's Enterprise Connect/No Jitter webinar and get best-practices advice for clearing Lync/Skype for Business implementation hurdles.

Tune in to tomorrow's Enterprise Connect/No Jitter webinar and get best-practices advice for clearing Lync/Skype for Business implementation hurdles.

On Wednesday, July 29, I am privileged to be presenting during a free Enterprise Connect/No Jitter webinar, "4 Steps to a Successful Skype for Business Implementation" (register now and join in tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. ET).

Even with the tremendous and growing success of Microsoft Lync and now Skype for Business, organizations still need to overcome many obstacles and challenges in order to achieve measurable business benefits from unified communications in general and the Microsoft UC platform in particular. I am truly excited about the content that myself and Tim Harrington, principal Skype architect with ConnectSolutions, and Christopher Martini, vice president, ConnectSolutions, will be presenting, aimed as it is at helping organizations get over those implementation hurdles.

During the webinar, much of the focus will be on the right steps that will help you succeed. In advance of the webinar, I wanted to take a look at some of the common challenges:

1. Overwhelming Choice
Given no choice, we feel trapped. Given several choices, we feel empowered. Given a multitude of choice, we may very well feel overwhelmed.

Once you get past the decision of which among the many vendors to select as your primary voice and UC provider and have landed on Microsoft, you will face key choices to make.

Microsoft has worked hard to provide organizations with an ever-increasing number of deployment options for Skype for Business:

  • On premises
  • Hybrid: on premises + Office 365 or Azure services (such as Skype Meeting Broadcast)
  • Completely in the cloud: utilizing a Lync/Skype for Business hosting partner or with the newly announced Office 365 Cloud PBX and PSTN services
  • Vendor hybrid: Lync/Skype for Business plus a more traditional voice platform (Cisco, Avaya, Mitel, etc.)

When that is decided, then you have still more options and choices:

  • Who needs and/or gets phones and which phones?
  • Who gets headsets, wired or wireless, Bluetooth or DECT, which models?
  • Do we need to upgrade our LAN/WAN and how; what about our wireless LAN?
  • How will we address E911 requirements?
  • Where do we invest to provide appropriate business continuity?

Often this abundance of choice leads to...

2. Analysis Paralysis
Planning and assessing are important precursors to effective action. And yet, for some organizations planning simply begets more planning. Assessing leads to further assessment. They have been stricken by the "analysis paralysis" disease.

This affliction can sometimes be insidious and difficult to detect because work is clearly being undertaken. There are meetings, often lots of meetings, minutes, sessions, sometimes reports. People are busy; people are engaged -- and yet, after months, sadly sometimes years, of time passing, nothing has changed.

No business benefits will be achieved through planning a UC implementation. At some point you need to move forward and take steps toward your decided destination. The Chinese philosopher Laozi said a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. However, some organizations seem so worried about taking a first step in the wrong direction that they simply stand in one spot constantly looking around.

Often analysis paralysis can develop quickly in an environment where...

3. Opinions Trump Facts
The answer is, "Yes, definitely yes!" The question is, "Can Lync / Skype for Business truly replace my PBX?" I personally have led transitions that have displaced 53 PBXs in the past 24 months. Many others have had similar successes.

The more important and complicated question is, "Is Lync/Skype for Business the right voice system for my organization?" To answer this question you need to do the work. You need to document and prioritize your specific business requirements, understand your existing infrastructure, develop a valid business case, and evaluate fairly and impartially the pros and cons of several viable options.

Sorting through numerous choices, coming to a valid and rationale conclusion is often stymied by...

4. Inadequate Focus
Research from Stanford University clearly indicates that multitasking, jumping from one focus to another, makes it difficult to filter out what is not relevant to your current goal. Perhaps because deciding on a UC solution necessitates investigating multiple areas simultaneously (voice, IM, video, mobility, etc.) it more often leads to a team that has a tough time staying focused.

Perhaps organizations underestimate the time and effort required to properly evaluate, define, and document a strategic UC and collaboration direction. And then team members, with all the other demands placed on them, are simply unable to focus.

Whatever the reason for lack of focus, without an experienced multi-disciplinary team putting in sufficient effort you may find yourself with no clear decision or the wrong decision.

Many organizations face these four challenges when trying to move ahead with Lync or Skype for Business. Given that some people refer to Wednesday as "hump day," as it is the midpoint of the typical working week, it seems to me the perfect day to spend some time learning about the four steps that can help you rise about these challenges. Please join me tomorrow, July 29, at 2:00 p.m. ET for the webinar, "4 Steps to a Successful Skype for Business Implementation."

Beyond Wednesday, if you are near San Francisco, Orange County, New York, or Chicago please register to join me when I keynote and moderate the upcoming Enterprise Connect Tour: Implementing Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business in Your Enterprise. This free all-day event brings together a powerful collection of experts to assist you on your Lync and Skype for Business journey. Register now for a city near you!

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September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice deployme

August 29, 2018

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August 8, 2018

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March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
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August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
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May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.