Channel Partners

SEP-OCT 2013

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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> SOLUTIONS <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< By MaRc F. BEattIE aNd BIll a. HaskINs tools the end users rely on, and what tools are missing, to ensure that the planning process starts off on the right foot. Define solution bundles by role. Not every user, nor every function will require the same communication tools, hardware and solutions. It is important to segment the user population by role and common communication requirements. Functional examples could include: f Administrative assistant 3 f Standard cubicle employee f Manager f Executive 6 STEPS TO SuCCESS WITH COLLABORATION SERVICES f Road warrior Depending on the organizationÕs size and complexity, it may be appropriate to add specialized roles, such as: f Heavy collaborators (i.e., training teams, project managers) f Secure collaborators (i.e., legal and financial teams) f Technical collaborators (i.e., IT and operations teams) M any IT teams find the creation of a unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) road map daunting. Therefore, itÕs critical that a solutions provider add value upfront, helping its clients carefully plan and successfully deploy against a well-thought-out UC&C road map. While no two road maps are the same, the process should include the following high-level elements. Assess the current environment. Understanding what technologies are in place today, what skill sets the IT team has and what the current state of the infrastructure is will ensure the team understands what is required from start to finish. 1 Assess the current user experience. Helping the client understand its end usersÕ needs is a key, and sometimes overlooked, step in the road map process. It is easy for an IT team to jump quickly to a technology deployment conversation. Assessing the end usersÕ needs can be as simple as holding a series of interviews with key staff members, or as formal as running an organizational survey to quantify the current experience Ñ or a combination of the two. Regardless of the approach, it is critical to understand what 2 12 ChaNNel paRTNeRs SEPt/OCt 2013 DISCUSS ON TWITTER: #collaboration #conferencing #uc Once collaboration roles are defined clearly, hardware and services can be associated with each group. For example, cubicle employees may receive headsets, while managers (or other office workers) receive desk/speaker phones. Heavy collaborators may receive host accounts on hightouch Web conferencing services, while everyone else leverages the UC data-sharing experience. A key point to remember in this step: not one size will fit all. Accounting for the Òniche usersÓ who require nonstandard solutions is as important as providing a standard communications solution. This is especially critical for those functions that regularly interact with people outside of the enterprise, such as HR, procurement and sales teams. The

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