It was Benjamin Franklin who once said, “failing to plan is planning to fail”, and no sentence rings truer with regards to implementing a successful communications strategy.
Unified communications (UC) is a technology system that connects or “unifies” the different communication strategies in business. For instance, your UC solution might include file sharing, instant messaging, email management, audio conferencing, and video conferencing. When properly planned and executed, a great UC strategy can drastically improve business productivity, improve internal collaboration, and build brand loyalty.
Starting with the end user and working back from there, is one of the best ways to assess which communications and collaboration tools will work best for the business. Click To Tweet
On the other hand, a poorly implemented system for unified communications could have the opposite effect. With this in mind, we have decided to write a quick guide on how to implement a successful communications strategy for businesses.
Set your business communications strategy goals.
You can’t score a goal if you don’t know where the nets are, and you can’t execute a communications strategy successfully unless you know where it’s leading to. Before choosing a UC solution, think about the pain points of your business and what UC can do to resolve them.
Start with the end user.
Starting with the end user and working back from there, is one of the best ways to assess which communications and collaboration tools will work best for the business. By researching how the end users prefer to communicate, whether they use their own devices for work and if they prefer any particular apps, it’s clearer to see which UC vendor would be most suitable for their needs.
Assess the current infrastructure.
By performing a rigorous assessment of your business’s existing infrastructure beforehand, it’s much easier to determine which UC solution is most suitable.
With features such as IM, conferencing, video calling, team collaborations tools, and many others, it’s crucial to first determine whether the existing servers, routers, Wi-Fi, and data connections are capable of supporting the UC solution successfully.
Consider deployment options.
Think about the various deployment options of UC. Does the company want to invest in full-cloud UC, on-premises PBX, or a hybrid UC solution? Which of the three would be more suited to their needs? Can they afford to go all in or are there existing on-site investments to protect? Consider the benefits of all three options and compare them with the problems found in the “set your goals” step.
Plan for the future.
One of the most common mistakes many people make when building a business communications strategy comes from focusing too much on the present and failing to address the problems they may face in the future.
By determining where the company will be in three, five, and ten years’ time and establishing what problems it will likely face further down the line, finding a UC solution that offers ongoing support and a greater ROI becomes much simpler.
Choose the right provider.
By researching the reputation of several providers and analysing reviews from existing businesses with similar needs, goals, and desired outcomes of investing in UC, it’s easier to gauge whether the provider is suitable and will provide the needed service.
A well-planned unified communication strategy with the right forward-thinking technologies, the best deployment options, and the ideal provider can set a business up for long-term success. When your UC solution is implemented correctly, it can provide a unique competitive advantage by allowing you to tap into the most beneficial communication strategies for both your brand and your customers. What’s more, a UC service can help to future-proof a business by streamlining the transition to more advanced technologies and methodologies.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the perfect unified communications experience, but the tips above should help you to choose something that’s well-suited to your organisation.
Originally published Mar 29, 2018, updated Jan 17, 2023