People, Processes and Tools: The 3 strategic elements that keep a communications implementation from derailing

By Dion Hooks, Director, Global Program Management

Benjamin Franklin was on to something when he stated that, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Business outcomes require a plan—based on goals and set milestones—to gauge progress and achievement.  A Unified Communications implementation is no different, in theory, but requires a very intentional plan that is supported by an intentional combination of people, processes, and tools.

Let’s dive in a little deeper.

The 3 strategic elements that keep a communications implementation from derailing

1.  Hire the right PEOPLE

When preparing for an implementation, it is crucial to have the right people on the project. Whether utilizing internal staff or an implementation service team, those responsible for an implementation project should embody a persona of service delivery—get the job done, no matter the obstacle. People with this trait will drive the plan forward, achieve project milestones on schedule, and ensure that the implementation achieves the goals set at the beginning. Highly experienced and qualified individuals, such as PMP-certified Project Managers and Tier 3 Engineers, will often embody this trait and are an easy choice to see the project to completion.

2.  Remember, PROCESS makes perfect

There are several standards and processes surrounding the implementation of business communications technologies. The most reliable UC and IT companies follow internationally recognized ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) standards to keep customer-facing and internal processes running smoothly. In addition to this widely accepted model, vendor-specific processes, such as Microsoft’s RASK (Rollout and Adoption Success Kit) and Cisco’s PPDIOO (Prepare, Plan, Design, Implement, Operate, and Optimize), are designed to ensure that an implementation follows proper rollout phases and readiness focus areas, with a core emphasis on end-user adoption.

3.  Select the top TOOLS

The third element of a successful implementation is the selection and use of the right tools. Industry analysts do a lot of the hard work for us, such as Gartner’s Cool Vendors report of industry-leading tools and Microsoft’s report on qualified IT Pro Tools. But it’s still the job of the people to research and select the right tool for the job. Considerations should be made regarding a tool’s ability to provide pre-implementation information, including network assessments and infrastructure readiness. Equally important is the tool’s post-deployment insight, such as health monitoring, system management, and reporting. Additional considerations include price, industry recognitions, training, user adoption, and support requirements, adding to the already complex selection process.

What’s the key takeaway?

Ultimately, a business must be equipped with the people, processes, and tools to pull off a successful communications implementation. When internal resources are lacking in one or more of these elements, there is a high risk for a de-railed—or failed—implementation. If in doubt, consider partnering with a managed services provider that will employ their people, processes, and tools to make the implementation project a success.

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