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Modernize Communications and Collaboration Infrastructure

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  • Aly Kara, Project Manager
  • Andre Czarnecki, Voice Technologies Architect, TD Bank Group
  • Andrew Prokop, Director of Vertical Industries at Arrow SI
  • Brendan Ziolo, Head of Large Enterprise Technology, Alcatel-Lucent
  • Derrick Wlodarz, President and Founder, FireLogic
  • Michelle Demarest, Professional Technology Project Manager, TD Bank Group
  • Richard Roye, IT Specialist/Consultant, TD Bank Group
  • Tony Vassallo, IM/IT/ICT Executive Consultant / Project Manager, APV Tech
  • 4 anonymous contributors

Your Challenge

  • Organizations are losing productivity from managing the limitations of yesterday’s technology. The business is changing and the current communications solution no longer adequately connects end users.
  • Old communications technology, including legacy telephony systems, disjointed messaging and communication or collaboration mediums, and unintuitive video conferencing, deteriorates the ability of users to work together in a productive manner.
  • You need a solution that meets budgetary requirements and improves internal and external communication, productivity, and the ability to work together.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Project scope and assessment will take more time than you initially anticipate. Poorly defined technical requirements can result in failure to meet the needs of the business. Defining project scope and assessing the existing solution is 60% of project time. Being thorough here will make the difference moving forward.
  • Even when the project is about modernizing technology, it’s not really about the technology. The requirements of your people and the processes you want to maintain or reform should be the influential factors in your decisions on technology.
  • Gaining business buy-in can be difficult for projects that the business doesn’t equate with directly driving revenue. Ensure your IT team communicates with the business throughout the process and establishes business requirements. Framing conversations in a “business first, IT second” way is crucial to speaking in a language the business will understand.

Impact and Result

  • Define a comprehensive set of requirements (across people, process, and technology) at the start of the project. Communication solutions are long-term commitments and mistakes in planning will be amplified during implementation.
  • Analyze the pros and cons of each deployment option and identify a communications solution that balances your budget and communications objectives and requirements.
  • Create an effective RFP by outlining your specific business and technical needs and goals.
  • Make the case for your communications infrastructure modernization project and be prepared to support it.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should modernize your communications and collaboration infrastructure, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Assess communications infrastructure

Evaluate the infrastructure requirements and the ability to undergo modernization from legacy technology.

3. Advance the project

Draft an RFP for a UC solution and gain project approval using Info-Tech’s executive presentation deck.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a seven call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Assess communications infrastructure

Call #1 - Gain a notional picture of your tech debt. Determine methodology and goals for a deeper assessment.
Call #2 - Check in with analyst on progress. Brainstorm solutions to any current or upcoming obstacles.

Guided Implementation #2 - Define the target state

Call #1 - Discuss and gain a clear picture of business needs and goals for documenting purposes.
Call #2 - Gain a working knowledge of the deployment model options available and how they relate to your business.
Call #3 - High-level gap analysis between current and future state; make plan to gather data for TCO/ROI.

Guided Implementation #3 - Advance the project

Call #1 - Gain expert insight from Info-Tech analysts on how to approach and draft your RFP. Leverage Info-Tech as a sounding board and ensure your RFP misses nothing critical to obtain a successful response.
Call #2 - Ready to take this project to upper management? Let our analysts give you experienced and objective insight on how to present the case for modernization.

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: Assess the Communications Infrastructure

The Purpose

  • Identify pain points.
  • Build a skills inventory.
  • Define and rationalize template configuration needs.
  • Define standard service requests and map workflow.
  • Discuss/examine site type(s) and existing technology.
  • Determine network state and readiness.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • IT skills & process understanding.
  • Documentation reflecting communications infrastructure.
  • Reviewed network readiness.
  • Completed current state analysis.




Build a skills inventory.

  • Clearly documented understanding of available skills

Document move, add, change, delete (MACD) processes.

  • Documented process maps

List relevant communications and collaboration technologies.

  • Complete list of relevant communications and collaboration technologies

Review network readiness checklist.

  • Completed readiness checklist

Module 2: Learn and Evaluate Options to Define the Future

The Purpose

  • Hold focus group meeting.
  • Define business needs and goals.
  • Define solution options.
  • Evaluate options.
  • Discuss business value and readiness for each option.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Completed value and readiness assessment.
  • Current targets for service and deployment models.




Conduct internal focus group.

  • Understanding of user needs, wants, and satisfaction with current solution

Align business needs and goals.

  • Assessment of business needs and goals

Evaluate deployment options.

  • Understanding of potential future-state solution options

Module 3: Identify and Close the Gaps

The Purpose

  • Identify gaps.
  • Examine and evaluate ways to remedy gaps.
  • Determine specific business requirements and introduce draft of business requirements document.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Completed description of future state.
  • Identification of gaps.
  • Identification of key business requirements.




Identify gaps and brainstorm gap remedies.

  • Well-defined gaps and remedies

Complete business requirements document.

  • List of specific business requirements

Module 4: Build the Roadmap

The Purpose

  • Introduce Unified Communications Solution RFP Template.
  • Develop statement of work (SOW).
  • Document technical requirements.
  • Complete cost-benefit analysis.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Unified Communications RFP.
  • Documented technical requirements.




Draft RFP (SOW, tech requirements, etc.).

  • Ready to release RFP

Conduct cost-benefit analysis.

  • Completed cost-benefit analysis