TOP
STORIES
 1 of 5
Video Gallery: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Soaks the Industry
In the last couple weeks, the AV industry has stepped up to participate in the fight against ALS -- and dump freezing cold water on the heads of their bosses and colleagues. Here's CI's roundup of Ice Bucket Challenge videos, the AV edition.
 2 of 5
Red Thread: Furniture Company or Change Agent?
Born out of an office furniture manufacturer, Red Thread is having different audio-video conversations than any other integrator — and clients like what it’s saying.
 3 of 5
AV, Sports and Beer… with a Chance of Meatballs
Integrator Real Sound uses JBL speakers, Crown amplifiers, Crimson AV and Key Digital cables to send audio and video throughout this unique three-level building.
 4 of 5
Top 40 CI Influencers Under 40
There was no shortage of candidates for our look at some of the young people who are making a difference for their companies and this industry. See who made the cut for 2014.
 5 of 5
The Rise and Reign of Verticalization
Have we reached the age of requiring integrators to become even more vertically focused?
3 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Deploying Enterprise-Wide Communications Solutions
Discover the approach that will pay off in the long term for your organization.

Article


Unified Communications
Unified Communications (UC) are particularly challenging within the enterprise infrastructure because of the varied application needs of users, the mobile nature of a business, or the geographic strains on the overall solution.
February 27, 2013 | by Goran Velickovski

An enterprise-wide deployment of any IT solution is not an easy task.

When it comes to communications solutions, namely unified communications (UC), the difficulty is arguably even more exacerbated. Costly mistakes are avoidable if an organization is thoroughly prepared before embarking on the selection and deployment of such important technology to a business.

UC is particularly challenging within the enterprise infrastructure because of the varied application needs of users, the mobile nature of a business, or the geographic strains on the overall solution. So, it is no wonder that costly mistakes can be made and some stand out more than others when it comes to UC deployments.

First, it is extremely important that IT evaluate how all UC services (voice, video, instant messaging, collaboration, and mobile) are used in the organization. This requires due diligence and a thorough understanding of the business and its operations. Do you have to support a mobile workforce? What are the geographical demands for the solution – regionally, countrywide, and globally? These and other issues need to be thoroughly vetted before going too far down the deployment path.

One issue seen too often is organizations trying to tackle everything at once, i.e. addressing all the communications demands as an all-encompassing project. Such an approach is not recommended. Trying to deploy every communications tool at the same time will most likely create a project that will be impossible to manage, impossible to deploy, and one fraught with missed deadlines. It will ultimately be viewed as a failure. The desired goal is to arrive at an optimal end state for users and to support the overall business in a managed, well organized fashion.

Another common mistake is that during TCO/ROI modeling, IT often creates unrealistic scenarios that don’t take into account both “hard” and “soft” costs. Hard costs are easy to quantify as they are hardware, software, vendor implementation and support, PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and network charges. Soft costs, on the other hand, are difficult to capture, but they are every bit as real and should be part of every TCO model. Included in those costs are not only things such as productivity, customer satisfaction, and resource management, but also opportunity costs associated with what the business is missing without having the new deployment to improve the operations.

One of the biggest mistakes concerns hosted solutions. During the evaluation process, don’t dismiss UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) as unproven, unreliable or not secure, regardless of your industry. In fact, hosted solutions should be looked at as a primary option since they require less capital expense, are quicker to implement, provide a better scale, and are easier to evaluate financially. Also, it is a misconception that on-premises and hosted solutions cannot be integrated. They actually can and are effective in meeting business needs. Hosted solution implementations are trending up and offer a lot of flexibility regardless of the industry.

Wainhouse Research predicts that UCaaS revenue will grow 47 percent from 2011 to 2015. Frost & Sullivan is even more aggressive predicting the UCaaS market will total nearly $2 billion in 2013. Deploying in whole or in part some hosted solutions in an organization is inevitable considering today’s computing environments and the distinct business advantages they offer.

For organizations pursuing hosted solutions, it is important to understand how they are delivered and supported. The ever increasing mistake IT organizations are making is they will evaluate on features and price, but fail to understand how UC will be delivered and impact their networks. Also important is evaluating the actual hosted service provider and making sure you can trust what is said and delivered. Will voice and data be delivered on the same pipe? How will the networks work together – yours and the provider’s? And, what support is there for redundancy? These and other questions are important to address, and a clear understanding of delivery and support is essential.

About the author
Goran Velickovski is Director of Engineering for West IP Communications, a provider of cloud-based communications for enterprise and mid-market companies (www.westipc.com). He can be reached at gvelickovski@westipc.com.
View all posts by Goran Velickovski
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources



Recent comments

Thanks for your comment, Derek! While this article was just a brief background about Audinate and Dante, we…

Posted by Chelsea Cafiero on 2014 08 08 · commented on
'What is Dante and Why is it So Popular?'.

Nice Overview Jason!

Integrators should be taking note of these changes and positioning themselves…

Posted by Mark Coxon on 2014 08 04 · commented on
'Stricter California Lighting Standards Take Effect'.

Robert,

It is curious that you just threw in the sentence “Audinate is a member of the AVnu Alliance,…

Posted by Derek R. Flickiinger on 2014 07 29 · commented on
'What is Dante and Why is it So Popular?'.

Casey - another great project! 


Your design and implementation came out a amazing!

Posted by Chanan Averbuch on 2014 07 10 · commented on
'Getting 'Serious' About Boa Lounge Upgrade'.