With vendors and service providers extolling the benefits of unified communications (UC) and mobility, do they work together or against each other to allow clients to take advantage of some of the benefits? UC and mobility are certainly hot topic and in investigating either of these areas of technology TeleConsultants recommend considering the implications on the other.
One place where these technologies can end up diverging is the use of corporate mobile plans with high or unlimited call minutes included in the plan. This moves users to use mobile devices and mobile numbers rather than fixed line DDIs and extensions. In doing this it encourages the majority of calls to regular contacts from the mobile phone address book. In itself this is not an issue and can be efficient. The problem it may cause is that it keeps call traffic within the mobile network and completely separate from the enterprise UC. This works against the UC desire to show people your status and allow them to communicate accordingly.
With most people now using smartphones, the answer is quite often to ensure your UC solution has a mobile client to bring mobile users into the UC environment. Alternatively the mobile network needs to communicate with the UC solution. This makes the choice of UC solution and its mobile client even more important. One of the key success factors of any UC solution is uptake across the organisation and if people are encouraged to move away from desk phones to mobiles they need to remain unified. This can be difficult if the mobile client is at an additional cost or the user interface is not intuitive. Any mobile client is more difficult for users to adopt than the standard phone apps they are used to because it is different.
At TeleConsultants we encourage all our clients to look at the benefits of UC and mobility focussing on what this means for their business. We know it is difficult to keep up with the various opinions especially if your mobile service provider is different to your telephony service provider as well as keeping across what you read online. Investing in a UC solution is quite often part of replacing an aging PABX and a key factor is improving efficiency. Whilst Cloud options potentially make swapping easier it is not something people will want to do often so we recommend getting it right first time.
If you are looking at UC solutions and mobility TeleConsultants is keen to help avoid this and a few other pitfalls that may impact you.