By Seth Robinson, Director, Technology Analysis, CompTIA
As companies continue to pursue their strategies for mobility, cloud and social tools, they are also looking for a common thread that ties together their technology investments – allowing their employees to interact, share information, manage processes, and balance work and home life. The understanding that unified communications (UC) is more than a collection of technologies is essential for selling communications as a service.
When embarking upon unified communications technologies, solution providers should spend even more time than usual in the needs assessment phase of a job to ensure a deep understanding of customer use cases and expectations. CompTIA’s research found that a number of power users, such as customer service staff, sales people and remote workers, are often excluded from the unified communications evaluation and purchase process. Solution providers that interact only with the person writing the check – like the CIO – will likely miss out on valuable insights that could ultimately affect the organization’s overall satisfaction with their deliverable. Not surprisingly, the research also confirms that customer understanding of terminology varies. For example, only 40 percent of IT or business executives report familiarity with the emerging concept of communications as a service (CaaS). Complicating matters, many channel partners have differing views of the unified communications ecosystem as well. A net 80 percent of channel partners think there needs to be further clarity with definitions and terminology to improve the sales/marketing process and increase efficiency in the channel.