When IT service providers (ITSPs) evaluate new solutions and services, the opportunity must be weighed against the challenge of selling and deploying the new solution or service. Unified communications (UC) is an example of an IT solution with a lot of earning potential combined with serious challenges. The Radicati Group
, for example, forecasts the worldwide UC market (including on-premises UC, hosted UC, and telecom UC segments) to grow from just over $4 billion in 2011 to $7.7 billion in 2015. UC is a key enabler of collaboration – especially among remote workers – as well as a critical component driving customer experience initiatives. But, an article published on CIO.com
last year sums up why UC adoption rates have been traditionally lower than expected: “Many obstacles face firms hoping to deploy unified communications, from technology that doesn't integrate to users who don't want to give up PBX systems
,” says Brian Eastwood, the author of the article.
One of the primary obstacles to UC success is a lack of UC federation (i.e. compatibility) among disparate UC video systems, which is becoming a growing issue as other trends such as the remote workforce and BYOD continue to soar. Employees familiar with consumer apps such as Skype or Google Hangouts find it frustrating that they’re unable to communicate as easily via corporate communication systems.
Even when these issues are addressed there are a myriad of other culprits that can sabotage a UC deployment.The Solution to UC Challenges Is A Voice and Video Readiness Assessment
Unlike some IT deployments that can be implemented and tweaked after the fact, taking this approach with UC can be disastrous. For large (i.e. $50,000+) projects, UC vendors typically step in to help ITSPs conduct a thorough network (wired and wireless) and data center voice and video readiness assessment. However, for smaller projects, ITSPs have traditionally shouldered the readiness assessment burden themselves, which oftentimes resulted in shortcuts being taken due to limited resources or technicians with limited UC assessment expertise.
It’s with this thought in mind that Ingram Micro Professional Services developed the IM Expert Voice & Video Readiness Assessment. With this service, a Cisco certified Ingram Micro technician works with the ITSP to ensure a thorough assessment is performed before proceeding with a Cisco UC deployment.
“After completing the assessment, the data will be reviewed and compiled by an Ingram Micro Technical Architect and delivered as a report with recommendations for both network and infrastructure improvements, including Bill of Materials [BOM], if requested,” says Michael Diamant, manager, technical IT services delivery, Ingram Micro. “using this service will lead to shorter UC deployments with fewer problems, plus it will enable partners to realize increased margins through an expanded services portfolio. Most importantly, this new service will boost our partners’ roles as trusted advisers to their clients.”
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. Learn more at www.ingrammicro.com/professionalservices
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