3 Steps To Take Before Deploying Hybrid UC

    Successful technology deployments always start with good upfront planning.

    When it comes to planning for your hybrid unified communications (UC) deployment, start by deciding what you need to achieve, what your company’s strategy is for the cloud and how you want to handle the costs – all of which can have a direct impact on choosing which hybrid UC solution is right for you.

    Hybrid UC systems allow businesses to mix and match phone system deployments in ways that best meet their needs. They can be set up either as an onsite phone system with cloud-based branches, an onsite system with cloud-based apps, or both.

    To ensure a successful hybrid deployment, first work through the three steps below. The outcomes will allow you to deploy hybrid UC more quickly, while avoiding mistakes that could derail the implementation:

    1.  Align Department Needs. It’s impossible to determine the best solution without a clear understanding of your organization’s needs. Yet, many companies miss this basic step. Gather information about what users in each department require and ensure alignment across all functions. Rolling out every function to every employee may not be necessary and proceeding without this knowledge can lead to inefficiency, poor employee adoption rates and higher costs.

    Sit down with each group within your organization and probe for information about how they handle their work and what improvements would streamline their processes. Be sure to ask about apps that would help them work more efficiently. Prioritize your IT goals according to group need and consider pilot projects to learn more before broader deployments. Also consider the organization’s growth plans. For example, can your business benefit by having the ability to easily expand the phone system with cloud-based branches? Once you have all this knowledge in hand, you can map out which apps would work best residing in the cloud and which should be kept onsite, allowing you to avoid performance issues.

    2.   Remove Unnecessary Complexities. Companies often fear that adding cloud-based branches to their onsite phone system will increase its complexity, causing major headaches for IT. In fact, hybrid UC can actually reduce complexity because, if it’s like ShoreTel Connect, it’s vertically integrated, uses a single software code base and offers a single solution for cloud and onsite components. This eliminates the complications that arise when you’re patching together disparate solutions. It also ensures the parity of cloud and onsite features and makes it easy to deploy the latest updates and innovations.

    3.  Don’t Neglect the Cloud. Cloud phone systems are growing in popularity. Here’s why:

    • They reduce the need for phone system hardware and maintenance and enable automatic software updates, freeing IT to focus on more strategic objectives, rather than operational issues.
    • They offer greater flexibility. Businesses can easily add or reduce seats and office locations to handle growth or seasonal spikes in demand.
    • They’re more economical. Because the systems are usually paid for through a monthly subscription, companies can preserve their capital budget.

    As you prepare to make the switch to a hybrid UC system, be sure to cover these areas in your plan. By addressing these common issues upfront, you can be sure of delivering the right mix of onsite phone system and cloud apps to meet the needs of your business today as well as be well prepared for where the company’s growth may take you in the future.

    Learn more about ShoreTel Connect HYBRID Sites here.


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