News and Articles
Mashup: Skills Absolutely Needed for Unified Communications, article that appears on the UC Strategies web site.
"It's becoming a software business" and "we should all be focused on solving customer problems".
This refrain is said constantly by solutions providers when Unified Communications (UC) is discussed. If it's true, doesn't it make sense to examine the qualifications and training of your solutions provider? What kind of degrees do they have and how have they spent their careers? There are three key areas, software expertise, formal business training and project management skills.
UC is a software business. Therefore you should expect your vendor to have software expertise instead of just a certification on a manufacturer specific product or family of products? MCSE and CCNA certifications demonstrate proficiency and validation of complex technical skills but they do not demonstrate software abilities. Furthermore, it remains to be seen whether these industry giants have the UC products that customers will ultimately want.
When it comes to improving business processes, increasing personal productivity and reducing human latency having proven business skills is a valuable asset in thinking about how businesses can be improved. Having a vendor who has a staff with business degrees or MBA's is desirable. A solutions provider staffed on helping you improve your business processes is far more valuable than a narrow set of product specific technical skills.
Lastly, UC projects are usually complex and have a lot of moving parts. Like most home projects, "some assembly is required". Does your solution team have anyone experienced in managing complex projects with multiple technologies? Having strong project manager skills are essential and a Certified Project Manager is a distinct plus.
These three skill sets are critical to the success of any UC project. If your vendor does not have them you will need to supply them from within your own organization or from a qualified consulting firm