Selecting UC Audio Devices

8 Questions to Ask Beforehand

With so many options available to customers accessing the voice components of UC, we find that an adoption checklist always helps to ensure a seamless deployment and high user adoption rates.  Plus it makes everyone happier communicators!

1.  What are our employee and organisational requirements?

  • Identify employee requirements, based on their work styles, to determine the appropriate UC audio device (will it be corded, wireless, multi-device connectivity?).
  • Identify organisational requirements for UC audio devices and determine what type of devices fit these parameters (high-volume, cost-effective or high-quality, value-add).
  • Specify your UC integration requirements.  Ensure that UC audio device standards match UC platform standards.

2.  What are our work styles?

  • Outline the parameters of a successful pilot.  Define real-world test scenarios that reflect actual user work styles.
  • Create a pilot plan, including test duration and evaluation methods.  Recruit a representative test team.

3.  Which UC manufacturers will we use?

  • Determine how much technical support you need from your manufacturer.
  • Investigate UC audio device durability from third party resources.
  • Evaluate device offerings.  Compare volume and value versus value-add features.  Identify a product range that reflects the work styles of users.
  • Acquire the audio devices you will pilot.

4.  How will we test our UC devices?

  • Test the UC platform on the acquired devices.
  • Select the appropriate tests, including installation, intelligibility, inbound & outbound calls, in-office mobility and roaming range, call control – volume and mute, conference calls, ergonomics, multipoint connections.

5.  How will we introduce the UC devices?

  • Identify who will install the audio devices and how they will install and support them.
  • Define a strategy that balances complexity and cost.
  • Define the level of control your IT team will impose within your organisation.

6.  How will the devices integrate with our overall UC strategy?

  • Consider the level of current and future integration of existing technologies.
  • Determine the cascading effects of your approach on timelines, types of audio devices required, and support strategies.  For example, there will be different implications from different approaches of rip and replace, hybrid strategy with sunset plan or hybrid.

7.  How will we prepare for change?

  • Identify the nurture ownership from those who might have objections or concerns.
  • Prepare employees by enlisting an executive sponsor to help you communicate your program to employees.
  • Develop a thorough communications plan that focuses on what will happen and the benefits of change.
  • Recruit and train super-users to disseminate knowledge and provide support.

8.  How will we define success?

For the coming adoption phase, identify metrics, including utilisation rates and key "aha" moments.