Is the road to collaboration paved in gold, or steel?

Unified communications and collaboration is considered to be a critical business component for a competitive and productive environment. Yet with so many different options for deploying collaboration solutions, companies have to be careful they optimize their path toward success and select the right services and channels for their needs. Paving the road to successful collaboration requires several initiatives be put in place first, and businesses that take the time to perform these tasks early on will see the final stages of deployment go much more smoothly.

A recent study by McKinsey found that 80 percent of executives feel collaboration is critical for business growth – yet only 25 percent have effectively deployed collaboration solutions, Baseline reported. Furthermore, as the technology that makes collaboration possible evolves, companies that haven't optimized their own strategy find it even harder to catch up. Unified communications solutions are evolving beyond the technology they are implemented upon and incorporating new trends, solutions and ideas every day – it is up to firms to embrace a strategy that is both stable and scalable to meet changing demands and support employee needs.

A firm foundation
The best way to support evolving enterprise unified communications needs is to set a business strategy on the strongest foundation possible. In most cases this support system will lie in the service provisioning software that allows for account, channel and device management, as well as the implementation of new trends. High-quality account management is important, but companies also have to consider the technology that their collaboration efforts utilizes, and whether or not it will continue to meet their needs six, 12 or even 18 months down the line. Migrating to a software-centered strategy can eliminate these concerns and allow businesses the flexibility for growth that they need.

Building from the ground up
Once the foundation for unified communications excellence is set, an enterprise can begin building upon it based on employee and workflow demands. The right channels, device support and applications will be critical for continued innovation, and companies will have to consider SIP, VoIP, video and other issues along the way. As long as the right provisioning software is in place as the foundation for these efforts though, even if a company needs to take a step back and redeploy a solution it will be prepared for it and adapt with ease.