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Debunking Unified Communications Myths - Is UC Too Costly and Complex?

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As Unified Communications has made the transition from a cool technology for early adopters to a mainstream solution for the enterprise, confusion has inevitably entered the marketplace. Companies have taken very different approaches to implementing UC, leading to a number of myths related to what it takes for companies to deploy a UC system and what the value is.

I want to debunk these myths, and first on my list is this: "UC is too costly and complex to implement, especially for small to midsized companies."

Many people associate the idea of deploying UC with the requirement to replace their entire phone system and this is simply not true, especially with ShoreTel! They often think they have to gut their network infrastructure and spend ridiculous amounts of time and money on implementing and managing the new system and training both administrators and users. While all this may be true for some UC solutions, it's certainly not true with ShoreTel. Let's dissect this myth.

Do you need to gut your existing telephone system? Not with ShoreTel. Some UC solutions integrate easily with existing PBXs, enabling companies to maintain a single "communication system" while providing full UC capabilities to those users who most need them and expanding the UC deployment as justified.

Do you need to gut your network infrastructure? Not with ShoreTel. Most midsized companies today have all the bandwidth they need. I'll be writing more about this in another post.

Do you need to spend ridiculous amounts of time and money on implementing and managing a UC system? Not with ShoreTel. If you investigate the various UC solutions (you can download ShoreTel customer case studies here - and this one about CB&S Bank in particular), and you'll find that ease of implementation and management is a key differentiator for ShoreTel.

Do you need to spend ridiculous amounts of time and money training administrators and users? Not with ShoreTel. Most UC systems today are based on standard interfaces and workflows that are familiar to users and easy to learn.

I recognize that the cost and complexity argument is always relative. How much is too much? But by taking a little time to discover the truth about the UC solutions in the marketplace (see what Nemertes Research says), you find that cost and complexity are not impediments to UC. Just the opposite. A Unified Communications system can quickly and easily eliminate cost and complexity from a company's existing business processes, making employees more productive and better able to collaborate.

Stay tuned as we continue to demystify other myths about deploying Unified Communications solutions.