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Develop a Telephony and Unified Communications Strategy

VoIP and UC are remaking telephony, but it’s still about dial tone.

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  • 10 professionals from different organizations contributed information that assisted with the development of this solution set.

Your Challenge

  • This project will help you make the case for a telephony and UC infrastructure that best meets the needs of the business.
  • Members who need to replace or upgrade their telephony and UC infrastructure face a seemingly bewildering number of choices with radically different implications for capital costs, operating costs, and return on investment.
  • Clients who have legacy PBX systems are facing the rising maintenance costs of obsolete technology. Those who have moved to VoIP telephony are looking to take advantage of unified communication features that can potentially increase revenue and decrease costs.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • It’s still about dial tone: Whatever cool new features you choose to add to your infrastructure, end users still expect a reliable telephony experience. UC-telephony is less reliable than traditional dial tone.
  • You need a good reason to deploy UC: UC implementations that don’t get a real business case are plagued with immature use cases and uneven adoption among end users, which undermines the return on investment.
  • Be aware of the risks of hosted services: Hosted services have different risk and cost implications than on-premise systems. Organizations considering this option must make peace with having someone else manage part of the infrastructure off-site and incurring the additional operating costs that implies.

Impact and Result

  • This project will help you make the case for a telephony and UC infrastructure that best meets the needs of the business.
  • Complete this project to develop a compelling business case for an infrastructure that realizes a greater return on investment.

Research & Tools

1. Develop a business case

Make the case to update the telephony and UC infrastructure.

2. Perform a stakeholder analysis

Form a steering committee and project team.

3. Develop use cases

Determine how the organization can benefit from UC and CEBPs.

4. Document your current infrastructure

Use a system map to make a visual description of the infrastructure and its end users.

5. Determine UC fit

Design a phased implementation strategy for UC to mitigate risks and promote adoption.

6. Design your target infrastructure

Explore a variety of telephony and UC infrastructures to find the one that meets your needs.

7. Assess the business value of the target infrastructure

Identify the return on the investment.

8. Develop an implementation plan

Move the project forward.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

Call #1 - Develop an Initial Business Case

Estimate the cost of drafting an implementation plan and a projected return on investment. Discuss project scope and financial metrics, and work out scenarios to weigh the cost of the project against the cost of business as usual.

Call #2 - Perform a Stakeholder Analysis

Identify everyone who is affected by the infrastructure refresh, and everyone who could affect its success. Clarify the different roles of these stakeholders to form your steering committee and project team.

Call #3 - Develop Use Cases for UC and CEBPs

Distinguish between the benefit of VoIP and the benefits of UC to understand how they affect your business. Develop use cases to envision UC applications for your organization, and improve end-user adoption rates.

Call #4 - Assess the Business Value of the Target Infrastructure

Discover the implications of your use cases on your target infrastructure, and assess the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Return on Investment (ROI) for each candidate infrastructure.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Develop a business case for the project

The Purpose

  • Define goals and objectives for the workshop.
  • Develop an initial business case.
  • Perform a stakeholder analysis.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An initial understanding of the potential economic impact of a telephony and UC infrastructure refresh.
  • A communication strategy that identifies steering committee members, project team members, and potential interviewees.




Develop an initial business case

  • An initial understanding of the potential economic impact

Perform a stakeholder analysis

  • A communication strategy

Module 2: Develop use cases for UC

The Purpose

  • Develop use cases.
  • Document the current infrastructure.
  • Assess the current level of UC fit.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A prioritized list of the communication opportunities to consider during the telephony and UC refresh.
  • A visual account of your current telephony and UC infrastructure.
  • A score that relates to expected success, benefits, and challenges of implementing UC.




Develop use cases

  • A prioritized list of communication opportunities

Document the current infrastructure

  • A visual account of current telephony and UC infrastructure

Assess current level of UC fit

  • A score that relates to expected success, benefits, and challenges of implementing UC

Module 3: Design a target infrastructure

The Purpose

  • Draw out the implications of use cases for the infrastructure.
  • Assess the business value of your target state.
  • Develop an implementation plan.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A visual account of your target infrastructure.
  • Meaningful insight into the economic value of your target infrastructure.
  • A schematic description of the implementation plan.




Draw out the implications of use cases for the infrastructure

  • A visual account of your target infrastructure

Assess the business value of your target state

  • Meaningful insight into the economic value of your target infrastructure

Develop an implementation diagram

  • A schematic description of the implementation plan

Member Testimonials

Schedule Analyst Call

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.


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Hubbell Power Systems



Great conversations, documentation, tools provided by Info-Tech to help us as we move forward. Great experience so far!

Baptist Health Care Corporation






Overall Brad shared his experience and guided us to check the key contract terms.

City of Sunny Isles Beach



I was able to get Info-Tech view on the vendors that the City was negotiating with and also some insight into components like video desk top phones.

Lincoln Electric System



I had no bad experience working with the analyst. He was very friendly, easy to talk to and had a lot of information to pass to me.

Travel Leaders Group, LLC



Two of the required questions in this survey are difficult to answer. My answers to questions 1 and 3 are best guesses. We did not explore other avenues so I don't have concrete answers to these questions. I can only imagine that it would have taken me roughly four months to build a strategy, compile required documents, and conduct research. Had we hired a consulting firm, we would have done as much in house work as possible to limit the costs. Concerning the quality of the experience - exceptional. While our team has an intimate understanding of the technology aspects of our project, Barry Cousins and his team provided expert insight into strategy, documentation, research, and work flow. He and his team were professional, attentive to our needs, and flexible to the direction we needed to take with various aspects. The survey he and his team created for us was top notch and provided valuable insight into our current environment. All of these aspects were critical to the successful launch of our project. Many thanks to the entire Infotech team.

Dauphin County



A very positive experience which validated our thoughts and concerns with the pending telephony project.

Delta Dental Plan Of Colorado



No bad aspects. Fred and Brad were invaluable in assisting me with my unified communications rfp.

Search Code: 74134
Published: February 4, 2014
Last Revised: February 4, 2014