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Let ShoreTel help you become a UC hero

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As I gave my keynote address at the TMC ITEXPO on Tuesday, I couldn’t help noticing a sea of heads nodding in agreement throughout the presentation – with the exception of a few competitors who sat in, too. Several key points seemed to resonate with all participants, regardless of their IT role, the size of their organization or the market segment that they came from.

The fact is that when it comes to choosing a new communications system, many shudder at what seems an ominous and overwhelming task. Many are either experienced with IP networks, but not telephony. They’re an expert in Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Sametime and other office applications, but not telephony.

Or, they are the telephony expert responsible for the current communications system and familiar with the TDM digital systems, but new to IP.

The goal of my keynote was to offer up some practical ideas and suggestions on how to be a hero in the organization by implementing a new communications system that delights IT staff, end users and other stakeholders and delivers visible cost savings and productivity gains.

This is what unified communications should be all about.

While the features and capability offerings of most high-end UC systems today are fairly comparable, no UC system is worth considering unless it offers an intuitive communications dashboard that provides each user access to a wide range of communications tools, and integrates you into your company communications system regardless of location.

The key driver of end user adoption is the ease with which they can grasp each of their new communications tools. End user adoption is directly associated with the UC communications client. This drives satisfaction and is the key driver of hero status for the IT team.

And since no UC system will be universally adopted unless it is easy to use and easy to manage, during the evaluation stage the most important thing you can do is to use it.

Ask each vendor on your evaluation list to bring in a system that your end users can try. From there, narrow the list down to two side-by-side trials and have your IT team take it for a test drive. Can they manage it without a PhD in an obscure computer code?

In addition to ease of end user adoption and IT manageability, there are other items you should consider including, reliability, scalability, architectural design, total cost of ownership and customer satisfaction.

ShoreTel has a rich history in each of those criteria, and if your head is not nodding in agreement by now, I invite you to take a ShoreTel Test Drive for yourself.