• 06/09/2014
    10:10 AM
  • Rating: 
    0 votes
    Vote up!
    Vote down!

Unified Communications Plans: 6 Ways To Derail Disaster

Before you choose a UC product or platform, careful evaluation of existing attitudes, equipment, and systems could save your project -- and your sanity.


SIP trunking

Hi Justin -- Can you elaborate on the benefits you see with SIP trunking? Also, are there some common mistakes organizations make when deploying it?

Re: SIP trunking

Hey Marcia,


Thanks for the question!

Benefits from SIP include the following:

Scale: You can scale up and down with SIP Trunking quickly. Need 20 additional call paths? If you have the bandwidth available, there isn't a delay to drop additional copper for traditional PRI service.

Flexibility: You can mix SIP solutions to meet business goals. Running a heavy outbound campaign? Use a Usaged based carrier for when you need the extra capacity, without impacting your inbound trunks.

Cost Savings: Use existing data connections to route voice calls and avoid copper line taxes. MPLS is a fantastic way to ensure data delivery on an existing network.

Advanced Features: DID anywhere, faxing, outbound call services, E911 and a vast array of carriers to select

Geo Diversity: Using SIP allows for easier failover if there is a single site failure or even device failure. Difficult to add redundancy to a PRI, easy in the SIP world.

SIP can add some complexity as it is an IP Service. Common mistakes I see are specifically around expectations or lack of experience with SIP and WAN technology by system administrators.

An overused internet connection with a 6 year old firewall is not conducive to great call quality. Also connections without any type of quality of service on their WAN connection will experience some sort of call quality issues due to internet traffic. Organizations that have high availably requirements will want to invest in a second, diverse internet connection.

Deploying a network monitoring solution and ACTIVLY monitoring your connections will help isolate issues when they arise and keep things working well.  Lastly, working with a provider that has experience in deploying SIP will help ease these concerns and make it a successful project.

Re: SIP trunking

Good details, thanks Justin. For an organization new to UC, it seems like SIP would require a bit of a learning curve.

Re: SIP trunking

It can be a minor learning curve, but the benefiits are worth it!

Re: SIP trunking

Resistance to change is a major factor that needs to be taken into consideration. Everyone agrees that voice is better than text, and video is better than voice. But often times, employees revert back to voice, over video. Sometimes, this is due to video shyness or the assumption that video is not needed in the current situation and is kept for the more important situations (that never arrive). A good workaround to this resistance is to involve employees participating during the testing phase, this allows for comfort levels to build and systems to be thoroughly tested.

Re: SIP trunking

Having users involved in testing sounds like a great idea Brian, and the best way to gauge their comfort levels with various technologies and ensure they will buy into the system.

Re: SIP trunking

Resistance to change always going to be the single biggest roadblock to any project. Technology or even changing the paint in your breakroom.

You are spot on that including specific end users is critical for adoption. A company i worked for many years ago switched core business systems.

The leadership team promoted the new core system with a number of "Lunch and learn" events, training sessions, and a release party.

In this case, the end users did not have choice of selection, but they felt like part of the process with the roll out.

Re: SIP trunking

My first thought when it comes to video is that it is more effort than voice.  With voice, people do not have to worry about having a nice or at least neutral backdrop.

Someone with a cold might feel a little more free to briefly press the mute button while they blow their nose.  Who knows what else people do when they're on the phone with voice only, but it certainly feels like there is more freedom invovled.

Re: SIP trunking

@Marcia, good point and I hope that Unified Communication systems come with a high quality of documentation support and customer support, so that the learning curve is streamlined. If UC is being deployed in UC as a service environment and documentation support (communication) is lacking, then it won't be long before the business begins to search for a new provider.

Social UC

Is UC just an indivisual application or we can make UC step together with Social Media, i have been listening around that we are towards symbiosis between UC and Social Networking but i guess this is still in progress..Any updates ..

Re: Social UC

Good question. It seems that Cisco and other vendors have been working towards UC integration with social media for some time, but that it's still a work very much in progress.

Re: Social UC

Marcia, Cisco is a good example of a company that knows the value that can be created by its client's team by communicates and interacts, and yes, it is still a work in progress.

Another example is that of Salesforce, its Chatter app enables a good level of collaboration. All of these tools are rendered useless, if the organization does not have a culture to collaborate, and the organization that put a heavy value on collaboration will use every technology that is available, even if it's outwards facing technology, for example, Skype or LinkedIn, etc. 

Re: Social UC

Social media in bussiness is still coming of age. Tools like SF Chatter and Yammer are bridging the gap when it comes to a protected social network within the enterprise. software tools tools is the ability to build and integrate applications within core systems. Lync is a good example as a platform that allows heavy customization to imbed applications within the client.  

I feel users like the choice of segmentation their Social feeds with mainline UC applications (IM/Voice/Video/Collaboration). Linkedin is heavily B2B focused. Facebook, Yelp, ect are B2C critical. Personally, I enjoy my Linkedin feed in Outlook. One for the ability to pull in pictures and the social activity feed if a contact has status or job/title change.

Leaving business UC and entering the contact center, it is imperative that companies look at the "Omni Channel". The ability for a customer to engage via the method of their choosing is a major driver in brand loyalty and improving sales.

The latest study from Interactive Intelligence and others from Cisco confirm, that voice is still the king of customer engagement with over 50% using voice as their primary interaction. Self Service, Email, Chat, round out the top with Social media in the 5% range. I expect this to see a more social media shift in the coming years.

Re: Social UC

@Justin, I completely agree, with each passing month, social keep on becoming more relevant and important. Another idea that I have heard recently concerning customer support, is the idea of using forums rather than, chat and email, to provide support. The rationale is that short terms there will be no benefits, but in the long term customers will have a huge database to search for a solution to a particular problem. 

Re: Social UC

Customer support keep high relevance in building market reputation and seeking towards same Forums sounds good alternate to end users, a single solution can help many. I guess many companies are already doing this for tech support like one of them is Cisco.

Re: Social UC

I think forums can be helpful -- I've actually gotten help from forums on a problem with my Honda Civic. Turned out a lot of people were experiencing the same issue. But as you note, they're only valuable over the long term once there's enough data.