The Lowdown on Unified Communications System IntegratorsToday’s businesses—and business leaders—are far more flexible than those from even a decade ago. A company’s workforce can span multiple countries, continents, and time zones, and virtual offices—where employees work from various locations and are constantly on the go—are the new normal. The challenge for the modern enterprise lies in bringing together these dispersed business units in order to maintain and increase productivity and efficiency. The good news is with unified communications (UC), businesses are able to break down office walls by allowing employees, clients, and associates to collaborate effectively, wherever they are located. However, for organizations to take full advantage of a UC deployment, they need to think of it as something more than a mere tech upgrade or a simple “new system” installation. This is where systems integrators step in.

Why Businesses Need Systems Integrators for UC Roll-Out

Unified communications integrates various technologies, such as data, voice, video, e-mail, and text, and makes them all accessible from a single platform to give end users a consistent user experience. Businesses are often left wondering, after UC integration, if they need to invest in a new communications infrastructure. The main concerns are complex integration requirements, the wide range of devices required to bring users together, and the constant tech evolution that forces the IT department to find new deployment approaches. System integrators can calm these concerns and help organizations create strategies to help them reach the business goals they hoped to achieve through UC deployment. But wait a minute. Weren’t value added resellers (VARs) doing the same thing? So how are systems integrators any different?

While a VAR adds features or services to an existing product and resells it as an integrated, turn-key solution, UC system integrators go way beyond technical procedures to incorporate the different systems and equipment within the business and help them work together. The integrators become a bigger part of organizational strategies by using their expertise to show how best to use UC.

As opposed to a VAR, an integrator often acts as an extension of their client company. This service is invaluable when a company does not have not enough internal infrastructure or the right skill-sets available in house. System integrators help businesses leverage the advantages of UC by building effective and viable strategies around UC adoption and usage.

How UC System Integrators Help Enterprises

UC implementation is a daunting task, but with the right systems integrator it can feel as simple as plug and play. As mentioned above, integrating UC can affect all the existing contact channels, such as audio, video, web conferencing, VoIP, and other elements in an organization’s communication framework. An integrator can add value to the existing communication system and increase the ROI for a company. Let’s explore the ways this is possible.

Client-focused approach. Instead of a complete overhaul, systems integrators consider the company’s existing communications infrastructure and suggest how to implement UC for the most desirable outcomes. They conduct thorough research of the company’s requirements, network capabilities, and usage profiles, plus more, and they devise UC strategies that are well-aligned with company goals.

Project management capabilities. Systems integrators make sure the business objectives of a UC roll-out are accomplished within the decided time frame. This can mean increased cost-savings and productivity for an organization.

Complete hardware and software assistance. Integrators help weed out infrastructure complexities and offer cost-effective solutions. They take care of all infrastructure, as well as software-related issues, such as data center surveillance, service level agreements (SLAs), and so on. Whether you want an on-premise solution or a hosted one, UC systems integrators will provide the appropriate services.

Consultation. Systems integrators provide recommendations based on the company’s communication needs, objectives, and any technical limitations. They also offer consultation on evolving UC strategies.

Unified communications is a vital part of today’s business model with mobility and flexibility dominating the workforce. UC helps organizations collaborate and communicate across various platforms, which is crucial to a company’s ultimate success. System integrators have become an important piece of this puzzle by taking an active role in UC deployment and support, while helping to steer business strategies in the right direction.

At Advanced AV we empower live meetings and remote collaboration by deploying the technology that helps your organization connect, communicate and engage with its customers, employees and stakeholders. Connect with us to find out more about how Advanced AV can help you achieve your business and technology goals.
Photo Credit: mickeyono2005 via Compfight cc