8 Critical Tips For A Successful Unified Collaboration Implementation

What business goals are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to improve service, cut costs, or drive revenue?

Migrating or implementing a new voice infrastructure isn’t easy. To be successful, you need to understand all the variables from hardware to software to how people will interact with the new system.

We’ve installed hundreds of telephony infrastructures for a wide range of customers right across North America and found that Unified Collaboration (UC) can provide great value. But, despite the value, there are some hurdles to jump over to ensure the best outcome of an implementation. Below, we’ve compiled a few of the common issues we’ve come across while helping customers that when not addressed, set back the implementation or result in increased costs later on. [Read more…]

A Softchoice IT forecast: Hot technologies to watch in 2012

As 2011 comes to a close, Softchoice customers are evaluating the success and challenges from the present year, and planning for the year to come. The Softchoice Advisor sat down with our Manager of Category Marketing, Bryan Rusche, to understand the opportunity organizations should expect to encounter while continuing to mitigate risk and maximize efficiencies in 2012.

What are the key IT priorities that Softchoice and other organizations will be focusing on in 2012?

I think the big theme is continued economic uncertainty and the need to continue driving greater efficiencies within IT. Using that as the backdrop, I think there are four big areas where we will see our customers investing. One is going to be on providing efficiencies and better management tools on client infrastructure and helping organizations deal with some of the dynamics around new devices and operating systems. The second thing is driving greater efficiencies in the data center through greater density, more efficient use of power and cooling and better utilization. Unified Communications is the third area, particularly people-driven processes and creating efficiencies by reducing travel expenses as an example. Lastly, cloud – which remains the most
hyped term in the industry, will play a growing role. Spending on public cloud as an example is expected to grow four times faster than IT spend in general.

The evolving client infrastructure continues to be a hot topic. What challenges are organizations facing today and what solutions are they going to look to in 2012? [Read more…]

Softchoice CIO Interview: How to ride the cloud-wave without wiping out

How to ride the cloud wave without wiping out

Everyone has an opinion on the best way to leverage cloud technology. And with all the hype out there, it’s hard to know what’s just hot air and what you can actually use to your organization’s advantage. Our CIO Kevin Wright sat down with the Softchoice Advisor to give some straight talk on successfully riding the cloud computing wave.

Q: With a lot of breakthrough innovations, there’s often a lot of initial hype then a reality check. Where’s the cloud on the so-called hype curve?

Coined by Gartner, the hype curve – or cycle – represents the stages of maturity, adoption and social application of technologies. It starts with a breakthrough, then reaches a peak of inflated expectations, then enters a trough of disillusionment as some hyped expectations aren’t met, followed by more practical enlightenment and productivity. Where the cloud sits on this curve really depends on which part of the cloud you’re talking about. Software-as-a-Service (Saas) has already reached a comfortable and proven level of maturity for the right types of businesses, while Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is getting more mature and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is really still in its infancy and, therefore, still more prone to hype. For me, the cloud sits somewhere between 3D television and e-book readers. With technologies like 3D televisions, you’re still not sure if they’re going to live or die. With the cloud, the economics and technology drivers are unquestionably here to stay.

[Read more…]