Before considering a unified communications project ask yourself these 3 questions

I heard a statistic from a leading vendor last week that said 80% of all unified communications projects fail. As someone who tries to help organisations truly embrace the transformational opportunity that exists with UC I was shocked by this statistic.

The biggest problem I see for those 80% of UC projects is that it is seen as a technology initiative. It isn't. Technology is of course key, but a successful unified communications project must consider so much more than infrastructure, servers and software.

To ensure your project is truly transformational you must look outside the technology and at how this project will and should affect people, process and communication. I believe many projects fail before they start, but asking some very basic questions can avert this:

Number portability - UK businesses are being let down - OFCOM need to act

A sorry state of affairs

Number porting may not be the most exciting subject in world but it is clearly important to many businesses, and as a blog topic it is sexier than a piece about the intricacies of rating call usage. Let’s face it, the current state of affairs is a mess. Back in 1996 when the industry (and I mainly mean BT) was told that number portability was to be a right for all customers the UK telecoms industry blazed a trail. It took almost a decade for most of our EU neighbors to catch up. However, since these halcyon days a climate of inefficiency and disappointment has prevailed.

The average time to port in the UK takes 2 days, but what that figure doesn't take into account is the arduous processes put in place by the major telcos. The process from beginning to end can and does take weeks. Conversely, the average time to port in the USA, Canada, Israel and Australia is under 3 hours. We are most definitely getting something wrong as an industry.

Number portability was put in place to provide choice to both businesses and consumers, allowing them to take advantage of new market entrants and technologies in an exciting deregulated world. Instead it has become a minefield of processes, industry acronyms and (in my own personal opinion) stalling tactics from major telcos often to prevent churn.

My personal plea to OFCOM is this: make change happen and keep in mind the business consumers who are the lifeblood of our industry.

Claranet integrates Star services

Following Claranet’s acquisition of Star in November 2012, we have been working hard to bring together the two companies as one. Our focus has been on aligning our people, processes and infrastructure in order to offer our customers an expanded portfolio representing the best services from both companies.

We are excited to have integrated Star’s services into the Claranet portfolio, and believe our combined expertise allows us to offer our customers a more diverse, competitive and stronger array of services. Star’s strong offerings around Unified Communications are complementary to our core service groupings. The portfolio now covers hosting, networks and communications.

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