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Don’t forget a change management for your UC&C service deployment!

Unified Communication and collaboration (UC&C) service deployments do have a large-scale impact on your business. If well planned and executed a positiv one which supports the return on (your) investment over time. I’m writing this post because I’ve seen the excellent, the good and the bad adoption strategy realization. Some companies struggle and some do very well. I like to write down some notes which might be helpful for the one or the other to reach a good or even excellent adoption strategy realization.

Why is change management important for your UC&C service?

UC&C is very holistic because it is not just one service it’s a bunch of services for communications and collaboration. We all know that many IT infrastructure services are touched or involved in a properly functioning UC&C environment. That IT provides the fitting services to business should be standard. However it is not always the case. Users which keep the core business running and who will not receive what they need are more and more creative. In other words users might try to find and obtain the required service somewhere else to close the gap between provided IT services and requested IT services. But sometimes there are services provided by IT, like UC&C services but users are not aware of the features and how to use them. To put it in a nutshell if you have a car but do not know how to drive you will switch to and use what you know, so you’ll might ride a horse or bicycle instead of driving a car. So the car than stays where it is. If you bought it or pay a leasing rate there is no added value, on contrary you lose money. The same applies for IT services and UC&C. There are differences between IT services (direct / indirect services for users). UC&C is a direct service  (or bunch of direct services) because users will directly interact with the applications and devices providing UC&C capabilities. For instance database services or network services are indirect services because users are not directly interacting with these kind of services. To sum it up it is essential to plan for user adoption and training before rolling out all UC&C services and features to end users. Additionally I must also note that change management is always a good thing if your IT clients, users by default, are going to be confronted with new technology, services and organizational transformation. Don’t leave anyone behind! By using a car you can go more kilometers a day instead of going by horse or bicycle. 😉

What can I do?

You could implement an adequate project change management which accompanies your UC&C project. It will help you to …

  • establish and execute a strategy for the change to an UC&C service
  • plan and execute user communication
  • plan and execute users involvement (surveys, discussions, service previews/demos, …)
  • enable users (trainings, FAQs, wiki pages, handouts, video clips, …)
  • enable service for users (roll out / activation of services, disable / decommissioning legacy service (if applicable))

change-management

What can I provide my users to adopt UC&C?

It is common for vendors which provide applications and services for users to have supportive information and material available. Below you will find some examples what it can be like. It’s just some basic information. Depending on what the UC&C changes will be and look like within your organisation more and also customized material might be necessary. It’s no big deal but it must be taken into account for project planning.

Some resources for Microsoft Skype for Business

Some resources for Cisco Collaboration Services

Let’s start your project, make a change and improve things! 😉

Office 365 Enterprise – Skype for Business Service Preview

Office 365 Enterprise Kunden können sich bei Microsoft jetzt für eine Preview von neuen SfB Features registrieren.

Skype Broadcast Meetings / sehr große Onlinemeetings

Ausgewählte Office 365 (Preview) Kunden können mit Broadcast Meetings sehr große Onlinemeetings veranstalten. Bis zu 10.000 Teilnehmer sind bei einem solchen Onlinemeeting möglich.
Die Teilnahme ist nahezu von jedem Browser möglich.
Während des Meetings können Umfragen und Stimmungen via Bing Pulse gestartet und durchgeführt werden. Yammer gestattet die interaktive Kommunikation zum laufenden Broadcast Meeting.

PSTN Conferencing / Einwahlkonferenzen

In den USA können Office 365 (Preview) Kunden Einwahlkonferenzen bereitstellen. Teilnehmer können somit via Festnetztelefon oder Handy an der Konferenz teilnehmen, wenn keine Internetverbindung besteht.
Ergänzend wird eine Art Dialout-Conferencing verfügbar sein, d. h. ein Referent/Teilnehmer im Meeting kann einen anderen Teilnehmer in die Konferenz hinzufügen.

Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling / Cloud TK mit Anrufen ins Festnetz

Auch sehr schön, zuerst in der Preview nur in den USA, Basis-Telefonie aus der Cloud. Office 365 Preview User können damit Basis-Telefonie-Feautres nutzen, z. B. anrufen, Anrufe entgegennehmen, Anruf halten/fortzsetzen, weiterleiten und transferien.

Microsoft hat auch angekündigt, dass Cloud PBX auf Basis von Lync/SfB Server noch voraussichtlich Ende des Jahres weltweit ausgerollt werden soll. Im Detail wird vorgesehen, dass Kunden vorhandene Anschlüsse für ein- und ausgehende Anrufe nutzen können. Grandios! 🙂

Link zum Announcement: https://blogs.office.com/2015/07/01/announcing-preview-of-new-skype-for-business-services-in-office-365/

Skype for Business Solution Catalog

Das Microsoft Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program (UCOIP) ist einerseits ein Programm für verschiedene Hersteller/Anbieter, um ihre Lösung für Lync testen und qualifizieren zulassen. Andererseits ist es ein Katalog (Dokumentation der qualifizierten Hersteller-Produkte/Services). Darin ist alles was mit Lync offiziell von Microsoft getestet wurde, z. B. 3PIP Phones, Gateways, Load Balancer, SBCs, ergänzende Applikationen, E-911 Services/Trunk Provider.

Mittlerweile gibt es quasi den Nachfolger, den Skype for Business Solution Catalog mit

  • IP Phones
  • Personal Peripherals & PC
  • Meeting Peripherals
  • Meeting Room Systems
  • Networking & Hardware Infrastructure
  • IT Pro Tools (hierauf freue ich mich schon und hoffe, dass ich hier künftig z. B. den Network Troubleshooting Guide, BW Calculator, etc. finde und zentral herunterladen kann) 🙂

Skype for Business Solution Catalog (neu): http://partnersolutions.skypeforbusiness.com/solutionscatalog

Unified Communications Open Interoperability Program (UCOIP, Lync): https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/dn788948.aspx

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