Tips & How to Setup a Unified Communication System for a Business
Over the years, communication in businesses has evolved. It has evolved to accommodate more features and provide more cost-effective communication solutions. Businesses abandoned the use of landline phones. They adopted telephones that used internet connections and transmitted using VoIP.
A change that has occurred in businesses is the adoption of unified communication systems. Unified communication systems are an all-encompassing platform. They are used for collaboration and communication in businesses. They achieve these through voice calling, messaging, and video calling.
The adoption of unified communication systems was not popular before 2020. However, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more businesses implemented unified communication systems to promote the hybrid working style. Since then, unified communication systems have become a common asset in many businesses.
Brands looking to set up unified communication systems ought not to be afraid since the setup process is straightforward. This article discusses the process of setting up a unified communication system for a business.
1. Requirement Understanding
Similar to other systems implemented in business environments, one has to define the requirements clearly. A clear-cut requirement definition helps ensure the system that is implemented has an impact on the business and helps it achieve its strategic goals.
Businesses looking to implement unified communication systems ought to outline their requirements before embarking on choosing their UC service provider. The first step when defining requirements is to approach the intended users of the system and ask about the functionality they would like to be offered by the system.
Communicating with the intended users or business employees helps ensure the system will get a high user acceptance rating. You should also analyze the current system in place to identify any loopholes or features that you opt to retain and those that should be ditched. Analyzing the existing system and defining the requirements also helps a business know whether it can develop the unified communication system in-house or get one from a service provider.
It is also important to discuss other management features of the unified communication system that will be needed. One common capability required by most businesses is user provisioning. User provisioning entails the management of user accounts. Functions such as account deletion, creation, and editing fall under user provisioning. Advanced user provisioning also enables a business to define the access limits of users based on their allocated system privileges.
2. System Devices
In any business, any unified communication system is developed to run on various devices for the users. The systems are run on common devices to allow quick response to communication and avoid inconveniencing users by requiring them to get new devices.
Depending on the business, the devices that will be included in the unified communication can be grouped into two categories. The two categories are personal devices and company devices. Some companies opt to provide their employees with work devices such as smartphones and laptops. Some other businesses, on the other hand, require employees to use their own devices to execute their daily tasks and meet their objectives.
Depending on which category your business falls under, the implementation of the unified communication system will vary. In businesses that give employees devices, the devices are often linked to the business and are highly secured. In such cases, the business is not worried about adding the devices to the unified communication system since they are secure and will not create security vulnerabilities.
When dealing with businesses where employees use their own devices, the security of the system can be compromised. This is because most personal devices used by employees do not have adequate security provisions.
In such instances, it is safe to limit the tasks and data that can be accessed from these devices. The data is limited based on its importance and confidentiality requirements. Allowing the employee-owned devices to have unlimited capabilities as part of the unified communication system can put the business at risk of hacking, corporate espionage, etc.
It is also important to consider the integration of devices into the unified communication system. Systems that offer easy integration with other devices are more recommendable to ensure all users can benefit from the system.
3. Data Security
While the implementation of unified communication systems offers many advantages, it can also be a huge drawback for a business. When setting up a unified communication system, you expect the data security to remain constant or increase.
When implementing unified communication systems, the most common data security concern is web conferencing and virtual meetings. These are the most susceptible to intrusion by unauthorized personnel.
To ensure your system does not compromise the data security of the business, contact the system’s provider or developer. Request proper documentation of security implementations and features in the system that will ensure your business data is not compromised. You can consult a cyber security expert to review the security implementations in the system documentation to explain whether they are sufficient and well developed.
Once the system is implemented in the business, it is also important to consider the various recommended ways to protect the system. There are numerous safe computing practices to observe when using unified communication systems.
Another aspect of system security to highlight is user credential encryption. This is key to ensuring that in the event of a data breach, the user credentials cannot be used to access the system.
4. User Training
The final step when setting up a unified communication system for a business is educating the user. It is vital to educate the users on how to use the system well and ensure they get the most out of it.
User training is done before the complete rollout of the system, which replaces the previous communication system. During user training, defensive computing should also be taught to boost the implemented security features of the system.
The user training should not overlook training the users on how to handle various errors from the system. This helps ensure that the users can work with the system with minimal help from the IT support team.
The implementation of a unified communication system will offer many benefits to your business due to its additional features. The additional features will help improve the workflow and enable the implementation of hybrid working.