Thomas  Canty
Thomas Canty joined IR in 2006 and has been the Chief Innovation Architect for more than three years. Thomas has...
Read Full Bio >>

Thomas Canty | October 17, 2017 |


How to Improve Your UC Experience

How to Improve Your UC Experience Follow these tips for reducing the chaos in your UC environment.

Follow these tips for reducing the chaos in your UC environment.

A decade ago, unified communications wasn't a feature-rich technology field. Remember the flip phone? UC was kind of like that -- no interactive video calling, real-time chat, or even enterprise VoIP. About the only thing organizations had to manage relative to communications was dial tone, to ensure employees could make phone calls over the PSTN.

Today, of course, UC is much more advanced, and that's great. Trouble is, at many organizations complexity has tipped into chaos and UC teams find themselves constantly operating in reactive mode.

They fight fire after fire, as videoconferences freeze, audio cuts out, and the guy in conference room B calls in to complain that the woman he's talking with sounds like she's six feet underwater. Connecting to a conferencing session takes five minutes when it should take five seconds. Meanwhile, network glitches are wreaking havoc on employee productivity, not to mention the enterprise as a whole.

One result is that UC teams are working extremely long hours, including weekends, simply to restore service and keep phones ringing on time. This drags down morale as UC teams work weekends while employees all the way up to the C-suite grumble about the unwieldy UC system.

But wait, the problem gets worse. The damage done by a chaotic UC environment can extend outside the office and put a dent in the opinion of partners and customers. What if one of your salespeople is on a video call with a customer and the connection is jittery? The customer, who's looking to purchase your product, is getting frustrated and wondering if this is how you always do business -- shakily. At that point, all the money you've invested in your system is going for naught.

UC doesn't have to be this way. You can turn your UC bucket brigade into a team of invigorated, proactive leaders who are successfully driving digital transformation forward. Here are important tips for doing UC the right way -- and energizing your whole organization.

  • Get executive buy-in -- Technology enables every UC rollout, of course, but people -- specifically, the organization's leadership team -- drive success. That's why having key stakeholders, such as the CEO and CIO, onboard with the plan is essential. Leadership needs to articulate -- or at least agree on -- a vision for how the UC initiative is going to bring innovation and what the business will look like when the implementation is complete. Even more important is that these leaders understand that UC is not about cost minimization or squeezing more from less. Rather, a successful UC rollout is about helping users benefit from this transformative technology and maximizing your organization's ability to connect and collaborate effectively.

  • Gather the right resources and expertise -- The British army follows the axiom of the seven Ps: "Proper planning and preparation prevents piss-poor performance." The same goes for UC. Many UC initiatives stumble because of improper planning. You really need experts from the outset to guide you through the process and avoid critical mistakes. These experts can be in-house or third-party service providers, people who understand industry best practices and can take your organization through the complex UC ecosystem. These experts can also assist with proper user training to ensure that workers are comfortable with your new technologies, and that these technologies are delivering on their promises.

  • Be vigilant -- Finally, you need the ability to measure the impact new UC tools are having on your organization. Ongoing monitoring of technology infrastructure health is obviously important if you expect to continue delivering a positive user experience long after initial implementation. To do this, you should consider deploying experience-management solutions on top of your UC tools. With ongoing testing, comprehensive reports, and helpful analytics, your organization can gain a 24/7 holistic view of your network, with insight into what issues need to be addressed and how your team can fix them. An experience-management solution also provides an end-to-end view of your networks and systems, helping you successfully navigate those chaotic UC waters.

Follow these steps and you'll have a UC team that's no longer putting out fires but proactively advancing your business. Team members will be happier because they'll be resolving issues before users even know that something is wrong. And they can sleep soundly at night, safe in the knowledge they have alerts in place and that, usually, problems are fixing themselves -- or not happening at all.

What's more, your UC team gets to spend more time on strategic projects that are truly transforming your business and less time in the trenches dealing with the same issues over and over again. This kind of seamless UC experience is what enables organizations to be more productive and compete better in the digital era.


October 24, 2018

With disparate workplaces and ever-expanding volumes of information to manage, the challenges for collaborating effectively are only intensifying. Many critical applications are not integrated, and

October 10, 2018

Businesses are growing across international borders quicker than ever, but scaling operations to follow suit can be a harder, longer process.

This webinar focuses on scaling your next-generat

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

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
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
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
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
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
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.