Suresh Punjabi, managing director at CC, an independent consultancy and convergence integrator, specialising in voice, data and contact centres, says that despite the recent hype surrounding unified communications, it has become clear that organisations are increasingly unsure of how to implement the technology effectively. Successful integration of voice and data networks can remove the geographical limits of the workplace enabling phones or remote gateways to exist anywhere on a wide area network (WAN). Communications are simplified as employees are able to operate under one single identity rather than using different directories for their voice, data, IM, video and email. Yet these benefits can only be achieved if businesses are aware of the practicalities of integration and of the changes that will take place as a result.
Punjabi believes that unifying communications networks can present many difficulties for companies that are not ready for integration. “In order to get the best results from an integrated network, employers need to consider a host of variables including maintenance issues and the cultural change their employees will be subject to.”
“Unified communications will improve business procedures in a variety of ways, but organisations need to really understand the technology, otherwise the implementation could have disastrous results. There are a range of issues which businesses regularly fail to consider when they integrate their voice and data networks. This is why it is important to consult experts before integration, making sure that existing network resources are utilised and ensuring the change over is as smooth as possible.”