In the mid-1990s, communication and real-time messaging were starting to combine. This gave birth to the term Unified Communications which is still widely used to this day. The system was originally created for IBM’s internal use and is found in 55 branches of the brand. It provided the employees with a phone number used for different communication devices in the office. For example, their voicemail, fax, follow-me, and paging all use the same business number.
Currently, you can say the concept remains though the process and products have evolved. Especially with the hybrid work setup, onboarded employees need to be assigned computers or laptops. And this must be a seamless, high-quality experience for them to help them blend with their team easily and get started with productive work at the earliest.
IT staff certainly have their hands full configuring what new employees need to get started. Not to mention, the technical difficulties that might be encountered during the setup.
Hence, a UC provisioning automation framework is necessary for any company dealing with multiple accounts and devices for an employee. Your IT staff can only do so much and this would help their workload immensely. There are many other benefits to using such a framework which we will discuss further below.
Why Should You Automate UC Provisioning?
Unified communications is a business concept that integrates enterprise communication services. Those include chat, audio, web, and video conferencing among many other software. It’s more of a collection of products than one program that does everything.
Basically, when you’re onboarded into a company, the IT staff is in charge of preparing everything tied to your user ID. It may sound simple from an outsider’s perspective but there is much to prepare for new employees. They need to tie together your account and devices and define and provide access roles to other programs.
Automation of UC provisioning ensures your tools are functioning optimally because the routine aspects are taken care of. Provisioning tools are used to monitor their usage, often done by IT staff or UC service providers. This allows the IT staff and service providers to reap automated provisioning benefits which we’ll discuss.
Automated Provisioning Benefits: Reasons to Automate UC Provisioning
- Seamless Provisioning and Deprovisioning
“To err is human,” which means it’s natural for people to commit errors, even in their specialties. In this case, anything done with manual labor is bound to have an error in one way or another. That is especially true when it comes to complicated and repetitive tasks, like provisioning.
However, utilizing automated provisioning tools saves you from all those potential errors. You only need to configure the user provisioning software once or make periodic changes. It’s a flexible and customizable system that can meet your company’s needs. The best part is you only need to maintain the software or the product itself, not one per employee.
Automated UC provisioning also eliminates repetitive tasks and streamlines administration work. They have templates and methods that help turn a 30-minute task into a 30-second one.
- Security and Risk Management
Senior-level IT staff can easily control access to your company’s UC programs using automated provisioning tools. Automated UC provisioning tools provide Identity and Access Management (IAM) to define organization-level roles and assign them to users. This will restrict access so you can minimize potential service disruptions. You’ll have improved security and risk management by controlling who is allowed to control what.
Devices with similar configurations can be deployed as a group using bulk provisioning. And you can define the groups based on a common characteristic that the devices have—you can group them by function or role.
Meanwhile, zero-touch provisioning can automatically configure hardware devices when you add them to a network. These all aid the company’s onboarding process and helps save time in configuring your assigned device.
- Faster Resolution with Self-Service Portals
Efficiency is often strained by needing to wait, whether for a solution or a confirmation. Technical difficulties force employees to lose out on time they could have used to get things done. Even something as simple as a password reset sometimes renders employees incapable for a time.
However, automated provisioning tools can empower employees to resolve simple matters. They can reset passwords by themselves which saves the time of having to wait for IT staff. And even IT staff don’t need to bother with simple tasks and get to focus on system maintenance instead.
A good way to do this is to equip employees with a self-service portal for basic needs. This will make simple troubleshooting more efficient and it will empower workers to get things done. They’ll be more capable outside of their work assignment since they can troubleshoot on their own.
- Increased Reporting Insights
Automation is a necessary step to ensure that your system is up-to-date and audited. Traditional UC monitoring systems fail when it comes to accurate reporting and monitoring. With automation, you get the full picture of your assets’ health and status.
This helps you arrive at useful insights like unused accounts and assets that can be reassigned or reprovisioned. It can also help IT teams cut costs by freeing unused devices and their corresponding licenses.
Technology keeps evolving and so do other industries, creating a need for more advanced tools. The significance of error-free and quick user provisioning has increased greatly with the emerging remote work trend.
Automated provisioning benefits IT admins by saving time and effort on routine and redundant tasks. This also saves other employees’ time since they don’t have to wait for the physical presence of IT admins to address their concerns.
Provisioning software comes with many benefits, including the reduction of human error and the improvement of security. Your employees are also empowered because they’re able to troubleshoot minor issues themselves. And finally, provisioning automation allows for work consistency that people may falter in from time to time. Hence, it’s highly recommended to automate UC provisioning for your business as an investment.