Unified communications endpoints are any device that connects to a network. Depending on the user, the device may be a desktop computer, telephone, laptop, tablet, printer, or mobile phone.
Assigning such devices used to be a simple matter. If an employee worked primarily in the office, he received a standard telephone and a desktop computer. Employees who traveled were assigned laptops and cell phones.
Today, the lines blur. Even once standard roles have hybridized. For example, an office employee may well still use a desktop computer and a telephone. But he is also likely to have a personal cell phone. Your “road warrior” (traveling employee) may prefer his own tablet for jotting meeting notes or logging client information rather than the laptop assigned to him.
And then there are the roles that are not so easily defined. The company president, for example, probably has her own office in a building. But she also travels, attends outside meetings, or remains accessible after hours.
Step one – clarify the organizational chart
Before connecting any device to a UC system, update your organizational chart. Start at the top with the president, working down through the senior executives that report directly to him or her and on to junior staff until you have a clear map of who reports to whom.
Step two – assign essential functions to each employee
Would your office personnel like to receive new cell phones simply because your sales staff did? Probably. But is that expenditure truly necessary for them to fulfill their essential job functions? Probably not.
Different job functions require different equipment. Warehouse staff may need hand-held scanners to read barcodes and track inventory. The president’s executive assistant does not. Office personnel require powerful word processing and graphics capabilities. The sales staff may not.
The type of work performed often dictates the device needed. There are exceptions. For one, employees, say marketers, who cross multiple jurisdictions.
Another exception is the individual who prefers to work with a certain type of device. Some people are simply more comfortable working on a laptop than on a tablet. Try to be as accommodating as possible with these requests, as comfortable employees are productive employees.
But, as a general rule, once the organizational chart and essential job functions get mapped, you will have an idea of which employee needs what type of equipment.
Step three – develop device management regulations
Some systems are simple to define. A desktop computer can connect directly to the company’s mainframe. Other systems are a little more difficult, bearing in mind that each connection represents a possible security breach to your company’s data.
As a result, decide whether your warehouse scanners should dock to a mainframe computer or upload their information wirelessly through a secured network.
Thinking of secured networks, what will you do with all of the mobile devices on the road? Or, for that matter, what will regulate all of the personal cell phones that make their way into your office in purses, briefcases, and pockets?
Well-developed device management regulations will cover each of these issues, granting your employees the mobility that they need while safeguarding your sensitive data.
Step four – choose a partner to guide you
Unified communications spanning multiple devices and platforms are an asset to your company when properly deployed.
TetraVX can guide you through the steps towards unifying your devices across various platforms. We will use your legacy equipment when possible to save you the capital expense of buying all new equipment. We will work with you and your IT personnel to ensure a smooth transition and that all of your employees are properly trained.
Contact us to receive an analysis of your current system and a quote on a system customized to suit your needs.