Unified Communications and Its Impact on IT and the Business from Delivery to a Year and Beyond

With businesses trying to cut costs and build on existing IT investments, vendors are keen to follow suit by educating their customers about Unified Communications (UC). More often than not, UC can take on many shapes and sizes depending upon the preferred flavor, but one thing remains the same: optimization of communication within the enterprise. This optimization often rationalizes upon end-user communication touch points by introducing easily accessible mechanisms for business collaboration. This article examines some of these new ways of working, specifically by deploying the Microsoft UC Suite (Communications Server and Exchange Unified Messaging).

Author: Adam Jacobs

Publication date: February 2010

Product version: Office Communications Server 2007, Communications Server 2007 R2, Exchange Server 2007, and Exchange Server 2010

As you might know, IT professionals are now likely to be responsible for delivering both voice and data infrastructure to their business. I say this because not so long ago they were separate functions. The person responsible for voice wouldn’t know much about routers and switches, and your data technician might look at you blankly when you told him you needed additional PRI cards for your PBX.

Of course, this has all changed, and while desktop VoIP has already been implemented by around 34% of enterprises*, the next generation of telephony technology is being layered on top of these former investments. Microsoft refers to this as "no rip and replace", which basically means taking your existing infrastructure and layering Unified Communications (UC) intelligence on top of it. This is a key point when trying to leverage funds from your CTO.

In my capacity as IT Service Delivery Manager for a medium size foreign exchange company, First Rate Exchange Services, I decided that by adopting UC, we could add several efficiencies to our IT provision. I could talk to you about how we went about deploying these systems, but I’m limited on space, so I will focus on our key objectives and the benefits of UC to both IT and the business.

Read the complete article in the Technical Library.

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