Seven Steps to a Successful IP Telephony Experience

There are seven steps to convergence success. These are seven common traits, or elements, that I've seen in each case where a customer has had a successful IPT deployment. Some of these steps might appear to be simple common sense.

The first step is to have an objective. Companies who have had success with IP telephony can complete the following sentence: We deployed IP telephony in order to_.

As with any project, success begins with identifying the goal. People don't jump in the car with packed bags and the kids in the backseat and just start driving until they decide where they're going for vacation. They make plans, and the plans start with identifying the destination. So it is with convergence. The following is a list of possible objectives:

® For hotels, the goal might be a new application environment that enhances the customer experience when they stay at the hotel.

® For schools, it might be creating a safer, more secure environment for their students, or possibly enhancing the parent-teacher communications.

® For hospitals, it might be creating a flexible, innovative environment that attracts and retains the best doctors and nurses in the area.

® For a retail organization, it might be enhancing the payroll and time-reporting process to control and contain overtime expenses.

Finally, it might be as simple as an organization saying they want to reduce their budget across the board by 10 percent.

These are just examples of good objectives. Customers who have deployed IPT successfully have been able to achieve objectives such as these. There is no right or wrong goal—just have one, and make that the focus of the convergence journey.

This is a key element. What metrics will you use in order to measure, or assess, whether or not this was a successful journey? It's the roadmap for the journey. The metrics are those signposts or those landmarks that ensure you are on the right path.

In a review of the objectives previously listed, it is possible to identify a sampling of potential metrics:

® For hotels, if the goal is a new application environment that enhances the customer experience when they stay at the hotel,

® For schools, if the goal is to create a safer, more secure environment for students, the metric could be the development of an application that ties the school network in with the local police department, enabling alerts to be processed at the touch of a

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