This is why Grand View Research predicted that cloud-based unified communications (UC) products will enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 16.8% from 2019 to 2025. And with COVID-19 causing a rapid acceleration of digital transformation, these numbers may now be conservative.
But reaping the benefits of UCaaS requires planning and insight into what makes the company's cogs turn. To this end, it's good to keep best practices in mind: Every business installing UCaaS solutions should have a defined project management group in front of the implementation. Additionally, all educational efforts should be outlined prior to implementation, allowing the company to train employees on exactly the facets of the platform that matter most to them.
For a successful, speedy UCaaS implementation, consider these tips throughout the early stages of your rollout.
1. Use a Single Sign-On Provider
Most businesses already use some manner of single sign-on (SSO) in their digital systems. SSO allows employees to use the same username and password across a number of interlinked systems, saving time and boosting productivity because there's no need to memorize multiple usernames and passwords.
Where do your UCaaS solutions fit in with this concept? Instead of forcing reps to remember one sign-on for social media connectivity, one for IM, one for web-based messaging, and so on, users can apply a single set of credentials, enjoying the same advantages as above. It's a natural marriage of high-utility solutions that can save the company a ton in wasted time, including time spent resetting passwords.
The trick is to know ahead of time which systems you want to interlink and which solution can help. Having everything ready from step one makes things easier for everyone involved. If your organization doesn't have a solution in place already, choose one that integrates easily with your unified communications platform and everything will be that much easier to bring together.
Implementing UCaaS solutions becomes difficult without employee buy-in; if the people it's intended for aren't using it, what's the point?
2. Measure Your Changes
Because it's built to integrate with numerous communication and productivity tools, your UCaaS solution will require configuration before your organization can derive value. It may be tempting to pore through the solution's capabilities and get excited over the many innovative use cases it offers. But don't take on too much at once, and don't make changes at the midway point.
Integrated UCaaS solutions are highly flexible and fairly future-proofed, considering the fact that they're cloud-based and vendor-supported. In terms of sheer speed to deployment, however, making surprise changes — even those that seem relatively small — at the midway point can throw wrenches in the works that lengthen the time it takes to arrive on employee desktops.
Oversights and unexpected curveballs can happen, of course. Instead of writing any unanticipated change off as an immediate loss, however, consider asking yourself, your vendor, and relevant technical personnel the following:
- How much will an unplanned change cost in terms of capital or time?
- Is it something that can be rolled out with relative ease once the initial implementation is complete?
- How much will its absence impact existing processes?
- How much will implementation benefit existing workflows?
A solid understanding of the answers to these questions is often all it takes to render a fair, business-forward decision.
3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
When your employees know that a change is coming, they can get in front of it. And when that change is communicated in clear, transparent, education-minded terms, they can fully embrace it.
Implementing UCaaS solutions becomes difficult without employee buy-in; if the people it's intended for aren't using it, what's the point? Just as employee engagement is a key factor in building a culture of success, it's also critical in getting employees to use a new digital system.
The best thing any business can do prior to rolling out a major change is tell employees exactly what they can expect once the change is in place. Discuss the UCaaS solutions and their capabilities: What can employees expect going forward? How, exactly, will their workflows (and working lives) be improved? Explaining in clear detail now can make everything from future education plans to all-out adoption a lot easier in the future.
Make no mistake about it: A UCaaS integration is a major undertaking. Following these tips and others set forth by your vendor, however, can make the process easier. From basic communication to supporting software like SSO, there's a lot of prework to be done — what better time to dive in than now?
If you're in the market for a unified communications solution, the reliable, prviate, and scalable Vonage Business Communications may be right for your business.