Unified communications has become increasingly popular as the workplace continues to shift toward a mobile, anywhere/anytime environment. When a business commits to rolling out a unified communications platform, there are a number of different factors to be considered from an IT infrastructure perspective.
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Unified Communications is aimed at creating a unified experience between email, voicemail, IM, videoconferencing, audio conferencing, content sharing, and 'presence' across any type of medium such as desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. As users become more mobile within the office environment, moving between huddle spaces, meeting rooms, and gathering spaces, the devices they use or will be using have to be considered in the physical IT infrastructure. The question most often becomes whether the wireless and DAS design and infrastructure can support the anticipated number of mobile devices and users within the space, and whether the backbone infrastructure can support the anticipated increase in video and content sharing network traffic.
Successfully planning for Unified Communications and what anticipated usage looks like in the IT Infrastructure starts with having meaningful conversations around the business and how people work within the various spaces. The most successful projects almost always begin by involving stakeholders from human resources, facilities, real estate, and IT, in conversations about their business goals and how they will use these spaces.
Ashok Bhatt is a consultant at Labrador Technology.
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