How to Help Your Customer
First, develop a UC&C strategy, deployment and migration plan. Organizations should craft a multiyear plan that works toward unifying their various modes of communications to achieve lower costs, greater flexibility, corporate agility and enhanced employee productivity. The deployment and migration plan for the strategy can, and sometimes should, stretch the UC&C services over an extended time period. For example, with Lync Server, it often is advisable to install the IM and conferencing services, and then move on to the voice services.
Next, choose the right cloud platform and create the appropriate systems architecture. There are a significant number of public and private cloud-based UC&C solutions, and the options will continue to grow. These platforms provide the benefits of UC&C while alleviating internal IT organizations of the burden of deploying, configuring and managing the servers, software and other infrastructure elements required to manage a UC&C system. Organizations should explore the pros and cons of both versions of the cloud and find the one that works best for their requirements. Despite the well-publicized problems with the public cloud, customers should be encouraged to give it serious IT evaluation as a critical step — but not a silver bullet — in the journey to a full cloud environment.
Finally, consider where a hybrid platform may fit best. A combination of public and private cloud offerings may be the best choice, particularly for organizations with a large number of employees, a geographically disparate workforce and stringent data compliance requirements. The hybrid option actually may speed adoption of the public cloud because of the synergies that arise when the best elements of private and public cloud systems are used in tandem.
Scott Gode is vice president of UC&C management and marketing for Azaleos Corp., a provider of managed messaging, collaboration and unified communications services. He has more than 20 years of IT industry experience with Microsoft, Motorola and American Airlines. He received his master's degree in business administration from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University.
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