Unified Communications: 4 Challenges and How to Overcome Them
The 4 Most Common Obstacles of UC Implementation
The implementation of a Unified Communications (UC) system is becoming increasingly popular for companies of all sizes. Organizations realize these technologies can reduce costs, streamline processes and enhance productivity. These system changes can not only improve the business operations in-house, but also with offsite employees who need to collaborate and connect to various systems in order to work effectively at other sites or mobile locations.
Typically though, no massive system change from a desk phone over to a softphone is viewed as an easy task for businesses. When changing what has become a force of habit for day-to-day business tasks, there may be some growing pains. However, most of these obstacles are manageable as long as proper preparation occurs.
In order to best prepare for the possible concerns with a UC change over, let’s evaluate the most common obstacles:
Obstacle #1 Resistance Giving Up Established Systems
Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just nice to do things the way we’ve always done them. Many employees feel this way about their phone systems. However, with the proper training program implemented regarding the features and benefits of the new system, the transition becomes more accepted and understood.
Obstacle #2 Financial Concerns
Although UC systems are often a much less expensive option than traditional phone systems of the past, they still require an investment. About 73% of companies with $5,000 or more employees report that cost is an issue for implementing a new system. This concern is partially due to the possibility of company-wide training. However, most companies estimate they will earn a return on their investment within two years.
Obstacle #3 Roll-Out Concerns
Every company is different, so a roll out to a UC system is going to take time and attention. Even with proper preparation, something can occur that could potentially cause a system-wide issue. Companies today simply don’t want to have any downtime that could take away from their business production. For the most part, however, UC implementations are largely successful. Most companies experience implementation times of around 6-12 months from start to finish.
Obstacle #4 Lack of Staff
It’s rare that a company has a person available to dedicate all of their time and attention to implementing and training the staff on a new phone system. With other company issues occurring on a daily basis, even the person put in charge may have to delay trainings or installations because of other business needs. With realistic implementation timelines established, these frustrations can be virtually eliminated. It is suggested to dedicate a person in charge of the UC implementation project while taking into consideration the business activities that will also be taking place at the same time.
Companies that are willing to navigate through the possible challenges of a phone system transition will need to ensure they have all the resources available to overcome these obstacles. For the companies making these proper preparations, they will see their employees investing themselves in learning the equipment. Once that investment happens, more productive habits will be formed quickly.