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Assembling an In-house UCaaS Buying Team Destined for Success - #SquadGoals Part 1

Monday, April 22, 2019 - 09:00

You’ve decided to take the plunge – you’re embracing digital transformation and have realized that moving your business communications to the Cloud is a logical step in that direction. So how do you begin to prepare for the journey? We’ve offered many tips for pre-planning your UC migration in our guide, Made for the Cloud: Moving to Unified Communications as a Service, along with tips on selecting a vendor and ways to ensure success beyond implementation. An instrumental part of the UC pre-planning process is organizing your buying team both internally and externally. Here, we’ll cover your in-house team and in part two (coming soon), we’ll discuss alignment with your UC provider’s team.

ADOPTING A TEAM MINDSET TO EMBRACE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

According to Deloitte companies are decentralizing authority in favor of “product- and customer-centric organizations, and forming dynamic networks of highly empowered teams that communicate and coordinate activities in unique and powerful ways.” This is evidenced in the evolving approach of technology buying decisions, which historically resided within the IT department with little outside involvement.

In basketball, teams that don’t subscribe to the team mindset are often setting themselves up for failure on the court. The same is true for your UC team. Team-inspired solutions can spark innovation by combining a diverse set of talent where playing off each other’s strengths and shared learning in encouraged. These teams promote collaboration, which is, of course, at the heart of UCaaS itself. By following this approach, you’re getting the ball rolling and setting the example for all to follow.

DRAFT YOUR CLOUD UC DREAM TEAM

When assembling your unified communications decision-making team in-house, you’ll find that not everyone will be reading from the same playbook. In fact, you’re likely to discover that challenges and goals can vary greatly. It could depend on what department they work in, seniority level, or even how and where they do their work (in the office, at home, on the road, or on their desk or mobile phone, at their computer, etc.).

While your colleagues may have different ideas, interests and obstacles, we’ve identified some of the top concerns for key members of the UCaaS buying team. To be truly successful and to help things go more smoothly, it’s worth having a grasp on what’s important to some of your key decision-makers.

The Business Leader

Your business leaders include CEOs, COOs, business owners, general managers, and so on. They tend to focus on driving effective execution across various business units and departments and want to understand how to leverage UCaaS technology as a competitive differentiator.

When working with the business leader during your UCaaS project, make sure you and your top UC vendors can:

  • Share projected timelines and possible roadblocks to meetings these timelines. The business leader needs to understand this to avoid possible frustration or misunderstandings, and also so that he or she understands when they can anticipate experiencing the positive business impact of UCaaS.
  • Drive home the time-saving aspect of UCaaS; your business leaders are often spending more time on operational tactics than strategy.
  • Give real examples of how UCaaS will streamline operations and cut costs, whether it’s infrastructure and equipment, travel, business continuity or disaster recovery.

The business leader tends to receive operational feedback from employees, so make sure you can also explain the current challenges and anticipated impact of UCaaS across different business units.

The Finance Leader

As expected, your finance leader is going to be interested in the solution costs as well as projected savings. Whether your UCaaS buying team consists of a CFO, finance director, controller or treasurer, getting real about finances is going to be a decision-impacting exercise.

Make sure you and your vendor can show the finance leader:

  • A demonstration of total cost of ownership. The finance leader is understandably focused on lowering total costs and pushing corporate-wide and departmental efficiencies. Ask your provider to map out a 5-year cost comparison between your current service and the proposed solution.
  • How UCaaS might drive consolidation of vendors and service providers. Streamlining your vendor portfolio not only has an impact on your IT management, but can also reduce costs.
  • Where it might be financially beneficial to outsource selected services. Consider your company’s core strengths and identify where and how cloud services can augment your current workforce, specifically outlining the financial impact.

You should also be prepared to discuss the Cloud’s ability to minimize capital expenses in favor of operational expenses; and if it applies, its ability to efficiently service an expanding mobile workforce.

The Technology Leader

While in years’ past, the decision-making process was primarily assigned to the IT group, in the expanded buying committee model, the IT leader is a key influencer and strong voice for the overall project.

As part of this team approach, you need to make sure you can address the IT leader’s key challenges and concerns:

  • Your IT team may have significant investments in on-premises infrastructure. While it may be aging and lacking in the latest feature-sets, talk to your provider about how you can possibly continue to leverage those financial investments while also incorporating cloud technology for a hybrid approach until your team is ready to fully make the leap to cloud. 
  • Resources can be tight and your IT team might be struggling to keep up with the day-to-day management of various on-premises systems. Discuss how the Cloud can simplify management and monitoring and look into how your provider interacts with the IT team. Ideally, your UC partner will act as an extension of the team, allowing the team to focus on more strategic endeavors. And since technology is constantly changing, explain how always up-to-date cloud services can ease the burden from both a cost and man-hour perspective.
  • Security and compliance are top concerns for IT. Make sure your UC partner can provide in-depth information on the measures they take to protect you and your customers as well as how their NOC/VOC is staffed and managed. You also need to look at their service level agreement and understand how they approach business continuity and disaster recovery

With proper thought and attention to the key care-abouts of each of your team’s players, you’re sure to start off on the right foot down the path of UCaaS Migration. Stay tuned for part two of #SquadGoals where we’ll discuss the next step to building your UC team by aligning with a provider who delivers the service and support you need at every stage of the UC journey.


What to Read Next:

Unified Communications Checklist

Embrace UCaaS

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