Walter Monasterio
With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Walter has expertise in building global channel programs across various segments...
Read Full Bio >>

Walter Monasterio | January 09, 2018 |


The 5 Biggest UC Pitfalls -- and How to Avoid Them

The 5 Biggest UC Pitfalls -- and How to Avoid Them When digital transformation is on the line, you need to get your UC implementation right the first time.

When digital transformation is on the line, you need to get your UC implementation right the first time.

Every implementation of new technology comes with some level of risk. And unified communications implementations are no exception. In fact, UC deployments are arguably more risky than most other technology projects precisely because they're so crucial to today's digital transformation initiatives.

The price of failure is high. A poorly executed UC strategy can hinder an organization's ability to deliver high-quality customer experience and compete in today's digital economy. If you're the UC manager, a failed deployment could lead to some difficult conversations ahead.

A successful deployment, on the other hand, brings better ways to connect with coworkers, customers, and partners -- and enables an organization to conduct business faster and more effectively.

With so much on the line, so you need to get your UC implementation right the first time. Here are five of the biggest UC risks you face and how you can overcome them.

1. Choosing the wrong vendor for your organization. Every UC vendor is different, so you really need to understand the various platforms and how they align with your business objectives. Some solutions, for instance, are all about the cloud but lack robust feature sets in comparison to on-premises UC tools. Yet some on-premises solutions may not provide the consumption flexibility and pricing benefits of cloud and managed service offerings. Other solutions may have lots of great features but are one-size-fits-all products that don't allow for easy customization.

You need to know up front what your business wants to achieve with its UC initiative. Then you need to do your homework to see which product best aligns with your goals. Make sure the solution you choose is well suited to where you are today -- and where you plan to be tomorrow.

2. Failing to get executive buy-in. If the C-suite doesn't support the UC initiative from the start, you risk losing broader support. This will be trouble when the inevitable hiccups and glitches occur during rollout. Because if and when the deployment takes a wrong turn, it will require a team effort to get it back on track -- and this can only happen when leadership is fully invested in the project.

What's more, UC deployments are typically long-term initiatives that take place in increments, so you need the continuing confidence of your executive team or you risk losing the additional resources you'll need to take the implementation to its conclusion. To this end, your leadership team must articulate a vision for how the UC deployment will foster innovation and drive the organization forward.

3. Neglecting to pilot. Before fully deploying your new UC solution, you need to conduct a thorough, well-executed pilot. This pilot should involve the entire organization, because different parts of the business will be using different parts of the UC system for different purposes.

During the pilot, you must test your network environment to ensure readiness and quality. In other words, don't test for just one call. Test for multiple calls simultaneously to discover the breaking points. And don't only test for the number of users you have today. Test for what your usage will look like in the future when you've added headcount.

And be sure to test for what the network profile will look like when current users start consuming more of the UC suite (video, conferencing, app sharing, etc.). This is key as adoption is the enabler of digital transformation.

4. Not having an available system. You've completed the pilot, and now you're ready for production. At this point many organizations encounter a critical problem: their existing infrastructures aren't prepared for the new demands placed on them by digital transformation, which results in unreliable systems that aren't highly available and stable for users. Obviously, such issues will negatively impact your business, because call quality will be suboptimal, phone calls won't be routed correctly, and customers won't be able reach your sales and support staffs.

If these issues do arise (and they probably will), you need visibility and insight to figure out what's wrong and how to fix the problem immediately. This, in turn, requires that you have the capacity to monitor the health of your new technology infrastructure continuously.

Where do you get that? You deploy an experience-management solution on top of your UC system. This will give you the ongoing management, comprehensive reports, and helpful analytics you need to maintain a 24/7 holistic view of your network and gain immediate insight into issues that require attention. An experience-management solution provides an end-to-end view of your networks, systems, and users, helping you maximize the benefits of your UC deployment and deliver a positive user experience long after initial implementation.

5. Getting stuck in firefighting mode. At many organizations, complexity has tipped into chaos and many UC managers find themselves constantly in firefighting mode. Calls with customers are jittery, 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. You've got angry users and lost business. That's bad. But it gets worse. In this sort of environment, your UC team will be working long hours, including nights and weekends -- a drag on morale that leads to burnout and rapid turnover.

The reason organizations find themselves in this position is they lack visibility. They're always reacting to problems and they're fixing the same problems constantly. You can avoid this. You can see issues looming in your UC ecosystem and solve them before your users even know that something is wrong. You can do this if you have an experience-management and monitoring tool that helps you diagnose problems at all levels, from the network to the endpoints. Then you can identify root causes quickly to get back up and running without delay. When UC systems work well, they're great. When they don't, they can result in lost productivity and squandered opportunities, and cause customers to question your business. Worse, they can cause decision makers to start doubting the team responsible for digital transformation. But with monitoring and visibility, you can pursue your digital transformation secure in the knowledge that all risks will be seen, solved... and ultimately become rewards.

Learn more about Unified Communications & Collaboration at Enterprise Connect 2018, March 12 to 15, in Orlando, Fla. Register now using the code NOJITTER to save an additional $200 off the Advance Rate (expires Friday, Jan. 12!) or get a free Expo Plus pass.


August 8, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a reality for your contact center. But to turn the promise of AI into practical reality, there are a couple of prerequisites: Moving to the cloud and integr

June 20, 2018

Your enterprise may have adopted SIP Trunks, but are you up to date on how the latest technology is driving evolution in approaches?

In this webinar, youll learn how the new generation of SI

June 6, 2018

The two largest strategic vendors-Cisco and Microsoft-have been busy making changes to their enterprise communications roadmaps, incorporating collaboration applications as fundamental components.

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.