Sometimes, the hype surrounding unified communications can make it seem like these solutions may be cure-alls for companies, regardless of the scope or nature of their struggles. The truth is more nuanced than this. While UC systems can indeed deliver tremendous improvements in a wide variety of ways, they are not one-size-fits-all, and they are not guaranteed to remedy every problem a company has. For these solutions to deliver value, companies need to focus on addressing specific issues within their organizations.
UC offers the greatest potential benefits when worker needs and wants are the primary consideration. Rather than thinking about company-wide efforts to improve communication, decision-makers should look at their employees' day-to-day lives, and how UC tools could prove beneficial in this area.
Take, for example, video conferencing, a hallmark of most UC systems. For many workers, video conferencing can prove an invaluable resource, especially if they are interested in working remotely part- or full-time. But some companies may not be able or willing to accommodate remote staff. In these cases, video conferencing will not likely be a major priority for personnel. Instead, employees would presumably prefer a UC solution that offers tools they will use regularly, such as instant messaging or voicemail to email.
Even among remote workers eager to embrace video conferencing, different priorities will emerge. Are employees going to video conference exclusively through their computers or do they want to use mobile solutions, too? Is standard video quality sufficient or would employees benefit from HD video conferencing?
Rather than picking a UC solution and then finding applications for that system, decision-makers would do better to work with their personnel to identify specific areas that UC could potentially improve, and then finding the right option to address those issues.