Most of us are aware that moving from the legacy voice infrastructure to a centralized Unified Communications infrastructure is a fundamental shift for the organization. No longer are phone systems isolated boxes managed in regional locations. Companies gain tremendous benefits from the centralization of telecommunications technologies but they also have to accept the realities of this shift. The path to success requires an understanding and the resources needed to handle the technology, operational and end-user challenges.
On the technology side, prepare for a big shift in the way Lync impacts your IT organization. Lync itself is an excellent piece of software that has proven to be effective in global enterprises running on hundreds of thousands of endpoints. The challenge comes in the complexity of the overall environment and the need for interoperability 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
There is an amazing array of components to the Lync environment including Lync servers, edge servers, session border controllers, firewalls, Exchange, SQL Server, WANs, LANs, Active Directory, SIP trunks, PSTN connectivity and more. Not only do these servers and systems need to be up and running, they need to be able to support the real-time workloads of Lync whenever the users demand.
Unified Communications brings together so many pieces of the business; the interoperability requirements are unprecedented in the Enterprise. No one person or team has had to deal with so many parts of the business all at once. This complexity can stretch the IT team to its limits and beyond if not properly resourced or augmented in advance.
On the business side of the house, prepare users for the changes they are about to experience. End-users are creatures of habit and the change from using a desk phone to a PC-based soft phone will likely result in rumblings and pushback. Companies should anticipate this reaction in advance and help smooth the transition for the end-user.
In our experience, a few simple actions on the part of the company can have tremendous positive impact on the adoption of Unified Communications. First, give end users a choice of headsets that help them get the job done. And remember – cheaper isn’t always better when it comes to the devices. Second, provide real world training for your end-users taking into consideration the way they work.
For example, you may want to have special sessions for executive assistants who handle calls on behalf of others. A little extra effort getting end-users comfortable and productive with Lync early will yield big rewards.
For more details on understanding the challenges ahead with real world advice from our experts, watch the on-demand Five Ways to Keep Your Lync Deployment on the Right Track webinar.