Today, successful organizations must be dynamic and able to respond quickly to feedback. A new UC platform is the information system of this lean revolution. Team members will be able to communicate and make decisions faster and more effectively, and customers will be able to collaborate with team members without proxies. New ideas or new ways of looking at business can appear when the tools we use to communicate inspire us.
The UC platform itself must thus adapt over time to transforming needs, both inside and outside the organization, allowing users to collaborate better with customers and to always provide better service.
In order to do this, the UC platform must be constantly fine-tuned by users and updated to take advantages of all the latest improvements. UC solutions providers must strive to always provide new usage scenarios and ideas to organizations. Organizations at all levels must be open to adapt to new technologies.
In one of the previous blog articles (Introducing Lean Communications), I explained how lean communication can improve the way organizations work. This approach must also be applied to the deployment phase by making it as incremental and simple as possible.
The adoption of a new UC system must be supported and required by one or more key users, usually managers of departments inside a company. These key users must support the adoption by understanding the advantages.
The role of key users is very important, and they must be involved in all steps of the platform introduction. Key users, before and after the deployment, must collect important feedback from other users and create requirements for the UC solution.
When installing a new system, it is hard to escape the paradigm of creating yet another user database and new passwords for each one of these users.
How does this happen? The engineer who configures the system usually starts by adding a few accounts manually to perform the first test calls and then more and more, until all users are created. This approach has clear drawbacks, since it is:
- Error-prone: it is easy to make mistakes
- Not secure: users are not removed, even when they leave the organization.
The best way to manage accounts creation is to let somebody or something else do it for us. The ideas described below also apply to customer contact creation in the UC server.
Depending on how critical the UC service is for the organization, it might be necessary to put service continuity scenarios in place, including:
- Failover: a secondary server is used in case the primary server fails.
- Load Sharing: both systems work at the same time, but if one goes down, the other can manage the whole load.
Let’s start analyzing the simplest scenario: one UC Server and X users / devices connected to it. Failover is perfectly fine in this first scenario.
In the previous article we discussed why network reliability is crucial for UC solutions. This time I will explain why PoE switches are important to grant power continuity of the phone service to match those of traditional PSTN systems.
When switching from a legacy phone system to a modern UC server, many things are taken for granted by the buyer. For example, that the system will also work in case of emergency situations, like a power outage.
Home analog phones connected directly to a local exchange usually work in the case of power outages, as the local exchange uses a UPS system. Legacy PBXs worked in a similar way, either embedding a battery or relying on a separate UPS system.