Every Lync deployment goes through a typical lifecycle: IM and presence sneaks its way throughout the business and then conferencing brings about fast ROI, then Enterprise Voice goes into a pilot resulting in a staged rollout across the business. Sometimes this goes great and sometimes there are hiccups along the way. Here at Unify Square we want to help you minimize the hiccups with these four focus areas where you should bring in some extra attention to ensure your success. If you pay attention to all four of these areas, no matter where you are in the Lync lifecycle, you’ll greatly reduce the risk and increase the likelihood of rapid adoption and early achievement of positive returns!
Strategy and Design
Due to the fact that Lync is actually several different products all wrapped into one, there is temptation to simply drop in IM/P and then keep going without ever looking back. Unfortunately, this can be a recipe for disaster later down the line, especially if you didn’t really pay attention to hardware compatibilities and requirements at the beginning. Before you turn on IM/P for the IT team, step back and take the time to determine your overall business goals for installing Lync and its different modalities. Get the stakeholders in a room and make sure everyone is in agreement on the big picture. Then design your architecture to support the desired end-state that addresses the goals. It may take a few years to get to the end-state for the biggest companies, but you’ll be on a path to success from day one if you pay attention to strategy and design from the onset. At Unify Square we start our initial services engagements with a UC Roadmap session to make sure everyone is aligned and that everything we do going forward makes good business sense.
Implementation and Deployment
Implementing the different modalities of Lync each have their own unique differences relevant to your environment. Conferencing in China, Enterprise Voice across Europe, and Peer-to-Peer video at HQ are just a few examples. There is no one-size-fits-all model to ensure success for implementation and large scale deployment of each technology, so you need to pay attention to best practices and seek out assistance from those who have gone before you to reduce your risk. One piece of advice: It’s critical that you determine a repeatable and predictable process for deployment that can take into account movement and variability. Site roll-out can quickly spiral out of control and escape your grasp if you don’t have this predictable process in place from the get go. At Unify Square we’ve taken our experience and captured what it takes to roll out massive numbers of sites into a special program called the “Global Voice Deployment Program,” enabling our customers to successfully deploy 20 sites per month on a predictable basis. You can get there, too. Model out your first site, use that model on the second site and then keep improving.
Just because the Lync system is turned on doesn’t mean that the users are going to be jumping on board. Unlike most IT initiatives, Lync is special in the fact that users have choices. You can focus on the user adoption element starting with an understanding of how the different types of users will be working with Lync. Then determine the right set of end-user devices that will support those users. If the devices don’t meet the end-user needs, then adoption won’t happen. Another tidbit, pay attention to training and education, leveraging not only online tutorials but also spend time establishing a peer support group. Simply seek out Lync promoters and then empower them to evangelize and help others around them. This is the old “train the trainer” type program and it works well. We help our clients with User Adoption Workshops that helps to set the groundwork and provide the plans needed to set the stage for fast adoption across the business.
Most companies completely ignore ongoing operations until Lync is fully deployed across the enterprise. And unfortunately, it’s too late at this point and an awful lot of scrambling can occur. Once Lync is deployed it becomes mission critical and must be available 24hrs a day 7 days a week around the globe. There is no time for outages and no patience for problems. As you setup your first IM/P servers you need to be thinking about operations and how you’ll deliver Lync as a world-class IT service to your business. It all starts with understanding who is going to support the environment, how you are going to keep it running and how you are going to measure success. We suggest focusing on the three KPIs that really matter including availability of the system from and end-to-end perspective, quality of the voice and video communications and the measurement of end-user satisfaction with making calls, collaborating and getting their job done using Lync. Our clients benefit from our expertise where we’ve learned the hard way how to manage and maintain Lync over the long haul. We’ve done it for enterprises impacting more than three million seats of Lync. You may not know everything day one, but with the right tools and attitude your Lync environment can support your business with a high level of excellence.
Unify Square UC RightTrack
No matter where you are in the Lync lifecycle and regardless of your current state, Unify Square can help you get your Lync deployment on the path to success across all four of these areas with our UC RightTrack offering. We take those best practices mentioned above and combine them into a single offering that is ready to go! You’ll get amazing results and will be on a path to success in as little as thirty days. Our team will meet you where you are today and get you started down the path to where you want to be. We’ll cover major elements across strategy and design, implementation and deployment, user adoption and ongoing operations. After this short engagement your team will know exactly what they need to do to be successful. Find out more about UC RightTrack by contacting our sales team.