Q: What are the steps you go through with a client to design, build, and integrate the best UCC solution for a company and its needs?
LC: The first step is consultative with a focus on current, desired, and recommended use cases and summarizing all those use cases into how that will impact the business. It’s also important to make sure, at the start, that whatever is built or designed incorporates a plan for training and adoption of the technology so new users get the maximum value out of the solution. A design also considers the solution sustainability and maintenance with total cost of ownership in mind.
After a successful design phase that incorporates sustainable technology applied to user cases, the next step is to create a mock-up or demonstration of the technology. Typically called “piloting,” this is an important step, particularly for a larger UCC integration. Next, you have the implementation phase. Finding the right sponsorship within the company is important during this phase. The adoption of the technology starts during implementation, and a strong sponsorship is key to increasing adoption. Finally, there’s ongoing maintenance and training that must continue after the primary implementation, including ongoing training of the user base as updates occur.
Q: How does an AV integrator coordinate with the IT department throughout the process?
LC: Early engagement with a keen focus on IT understanding the business objectives is crucial. IT needs to understand what the full scope and effect of the project is to the company. Then, IT needs to take a key stakeholder position in the success of the project. I think it’s vital that it becomes one logical, critical project for a company, not just the AV integrator or the facilities in this case, if there is separate ownership from IT and AV within an organization. Common key items for IT’s stake in the process include physical and logical network readiness from a LAN/WAN perspective, as well as a thorough understanding and proper implementation of the security requirements of the solution.
Q: What are some future trends for UCC in the workplace?
LC: Companies will be driving more adoption of their current UCC investments, and investing where they can deliver more options for collaboration. Those options are required to address more collaborative spaces in the open workplace of the future. At the same time, those companies are driving the adoption of video technology in as many modalities as possible, increasing accessibility with, for example, WebRTC and Skype, and also enabling UCC as a service to provide more options for consumption. Ninety-six percent of conference rooms worldwide do not have video technology. Only four percent do. Driving UCC adoption outside of the conference room can increase the need for more closed-door meeting spaces with UCC technology. Where it wasn’t possible before, there are now more options in the market to address these new spaces.