As the way we work continues to change, how can you be sure you’re investing in the right unified communication solution?
One of the safest technology investments you can make right now is unified communications (UC) software. With 82% of companies reportedly using video for all or most of their meetings and 57% using team collaboration apps as work hubs, the right UC solution could bring your whole business together, even when your teams have never been further apart.
You’re not alone in this decision. According to PWC, 72% of executives expect to raise spending on virtual collaboration tools. But the question remains as to which UC solutions to invest in to future-proof your operations and advance your business technology strategy.
Read on for four questions you can use to self-qualify your requirements and narrow down your choice of systems to the UC solution that will deliver the biggest impact.
4 questions to ask to uncover what your business needs
1. Where are you in your digital transformation strategy?
When comparing UC solutions, you might look straight to each system’s technical features and benefits, but it’s important to take a step back and consider how the solution in question will fit into your overall digital transformation strategy.
An advanced UC solution might offer a wide range of capabilities but if you’re in the early stages of your digital transformation, it could be too much, too soon. Investing in this solution might not be the best use of your budget, it could be challenging to deploy, and your teams are unlikely to use every feature available, making it a less than ideal investment overall.
- If you haven’t defined your digital transformation strategy yet, now is the time to do so.
- Then review each potential solution to ensure it will deliver the right level of capabilities, in the right time frames, and to budget.
- Understand how mature the solution is, particularly in relation to your digital transformation strategy, and how quickly it can be deployed.
This will help you to invest in a fit-for-purpose solution, wherever you are on your journey.
2. What technologies will you need to future-proof your organisation?
A part of defining your digital transformation strategy is anticipating future needs. If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that we can’t always predict how business demands will change, but you can still make informed decisions by looking at industry trends, reviewing competitor activity and analysing your data.
- What are your business priorities for the next 12-36 months?
- What is your customer data saying about the changing customer behaviour?
- What trends are shaping your industry and do you have the solutions in place to adapt?
Many organisations are taking steps to facilitate remote collaboration, for example. In other industries, the ability to communicate securely when working flexibly is business critical. The right UC solution will future-proof your operations by addressing these points, but you need to have considered them first to have a clear idea of what that solution needs to deliver.
3. What type of workforce do you need to support?
On the subject of remote collaboration, bear in mind your unique UC business demands. A fully remote workforce will require a different solution to a hybrid team, for example, while your more traditional, office-based roles will require different solutions again.
- Where is your workforce based?
- What kind of devices or hardware do your employees use to communicate?
- What other communication tools do they need to work effectively and efficiently?
At its core, the solution that you end up choosing needs to improve the way your business communicates. It needs to be easy to use, quick to adopt, and it should complement the other systems or applications your employees depend on to do their jobs.
4. What UC vendor qualities matter the most for success?
It’s important that you consider the vendor behind the software as much as the solutions being offered.
Different businesses will place different demands over vendors; for example, are you looking solely for a UC application or will you benefit from a long-term relationship with a trusted partner capable of delivering wrap-around services and other solutions? Will an off-the-shelf solution fit your needs or do you need a vendor with custom capabilities?
By this point, you will have a clear idea of how your UC solution needs to fit into your overarching technology roadmap, enabling you to prioritise those providers who can deliver a breath of integrated IT solutions that work together to help you achieve your objectives.
For businesses requiring tailored technology delivered together…
Your answers to the above questions won’t just help you to better understand your UC requirements. You can also use them to have more informed conversations, either directly with UC vendors or third-party technology providers, to find the right solution for you.
We work closely with all our customers to understand their unique business demands and the technology roadmap they’ve set out to answer them. Whether they come to us for a standalone UC solution or a suite of integrated software that serves the entire business, our experts are on hand to listen, understand and recommend tailored solutions. Our vendor agnosticity guarantees that you’ll always receive the best recommendations based on your needs, budget and your business technology roadmap, but it’s our belief that technology never operates in isolation which will unlock the full potential of your technology strategy.
We all know how important it is that the technology solutions we choose work for the business. With business demands changing so rapidly, we hope the above questions help you to better understand your company’s requirements so you can make the best decisions for your business. And if you’d like further support, our experts are on hand to help.