IT managers often express frustration by having their plans for unified communications (UC) upgrades put on hold due to lack of executive sponsorship. During a soft economy executive budget approval for technical projects is difficult.
While many companies have partial investments in UC, they fall short of integrating many of its applications such as video, unified messaging, integrated conferencing and mobility, to fully realize its benefits. Steps for getting executive endorsement and budget approval include:
€¢ Align with your executives’ success strategy. This means associating UC benefits with internal issues that keep executives up at night, such as cost reduction, productivity improvements and accelerating time to market.
€¢ Keep language simple and avoid technical jargon. Executives want to know why UC will benefit their goals and are less interested in the technical details of the solution. Relevant contextual examples enable executives to better see how UC applies to their operations.
€¢ Gather facts on business process bottlenecks. Interview departmental stakeholders and ask them what gets in the way of getting their job done. Most managers can provide numerous examples of lack of collaboration and delays due to ineffective communications.
€¢ Make your business case personal and relevant. Abstract business cases don’t sell so it is important to focus on specific areas that will deliver a short term payback that can be monitored and measured.
€¢ Limit the project scope. Not all employees have the same issues or job responsibilities. Restrict your proposal to address specific roles that require UC to improve their job functions.
€¢ Extend to existing applications. Leverage existing applications where possible and describe how UC enhances the use of these applications and improves performance, such as eliminating the need to launch separate applications and accessing them easily from their integrated desktop.
Once UC is deployed, train and encourage employees to use its many features and report back to executives cost savings achieved through its use.