Communications systems are one of the most important aspects of any business, connecting often global workforces with each other, customers and partners. Ensuring your systems are working as they should be is critical to operational success. By setting operational efficiency goals and implementing strategies to achieve them, organizations can become more proactive in this constantly evolving space.
Within the unified communication (UC) space a disproportionate amount of time is spent being reactive, instead of proactive. This is largely because the space, and the technology, are evolving faster than people can handle.
Add that to the already complex nature of UC ecosystems – on-premises, cloud-based, hybrid? Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya? – and you begin to understand why achieving or maintaining operational efficiency can be so difficult.
So, how can organizations simplify some of these complexities?
Unfortunately, there is no single solution to achieving operational efficiency. Requirements will differ depending on your set up, platforms, challenges, industry and where you are on your journey. But whether your objective is to minimize downtime, improve user adoption, or deploy new technology, aligning the right people, processes and technology is the first step in optimizing your UC environment and making headway towards your goals.
Expert in-house team: In-house resources are familiar with the day-to-day fluctuations and will notice irregularities faster than outsourced help.
Trusted technology solution partners: Channel partners are a valuable resource for providing expert advice on new technologies, helping with deployments, and recommending best practices.
Buy-in from the top: Ensure the challenges and strategic vision of an optimal UC are communicated effectively to C-level executives.
UC optimization plans: To optimize UC, get comfortable with changing the process of “this is how we do it.” Start by compiling a wish list of things you wish you could do (for example, reducing the time to produce weekly update reports). Get input from your team and other key stakeholders, prioritize the items in order of business impact and design a plan around your final wish list.
Threshold alerts and automatic fixes: Set up threshold alerts (if you haven't already) when standard levels of fluctuation are exceeded. Better still, if you can, put in a failover procedure that automatically fixes the problems and prevents an outage from happening.
Network reliability: Your network will always be efficient if network capacity is correctly provisioned to meet required demands. If network demand increases, so too must your bandwidth.
Trusted vendors: It is twice as hard to optimize your UC if you rely on building tailored solutions from scratch. A vendor that integrates with a variety of platforms and vendors will make your life easier when you want to tap into higher performance.
Monitoring and troubleshooting tools: Most UC environments are made up of technology from multiple vendors, across different platforms and networks. When outages or slowdowns impact the environment, valuable time and resource is wasted determining what the problem is, and whose responsibility it is to fix. You need to gain end-to-end visibility of the entire ecosystem to monitor and troubleshoot effectively, and ultimately reduce the time to resolution.
The integrity of UC systems should be at the forefront of every IT system operators mind. Communications platforms often form the fundamental basis of the most critical business systems. There is little margin for error.
By having access to real-time UC monitoring and troubleshooting, and a well-thought-out plan in place, teams can start to move away from reactively “fighting fires” in their UC environment, and towards proactively preventing problems, dedicating more resource to strategic objectives, and reaching the next operational goal.