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GCN : June 2013
tion when they are making these kinds of selections. And they need to make sure that their business part- ners have experience in the selected kinds of deploy- ments and can speak with expertise about parsing those kinds of roles and responsibilities, and working across multiple delivery platforms. F k t t , t t t t t t Our advice is to start where the most pain is. Maybe the biggest pain is people not being able to easily access their voicemail when they are out of the o ce. So, maybe the rst thing to do is to make of- ce voicemail available to people over their personal devices. Or maybe they have teams spread across the country, so they need to create collaboration environ- ments where people can work in a virtual world and see if that saves them some travel costs. And faced with decreasing budgets, they might want to institute some things on an incremental basis and test out what the return on that investment looks like. ese are all very logical, incremental steps that agencies can take. What s important, though, is to have some discrete goals that the agency must accomplish. Having a plan is key. Agencies should not want to adopt things willy-nilly, but instead should bring them online in a systematic way. Otherwise an agency could end up with disparate communications instead of uni- ed communications. t t t t - t I am biased toward having things in a hosted environment for a number of reasons. e principal reason is the ability to size things to a scale that the agency will need over time. Also, the agency needs communications a disaster recovery environment, where its systems are backed up appropriately and always available. ese requirements are best satis ed by a hosted environment. ere are too many op- portunities for things to go awry in a premises-based solution. I also think that government IT depart- ments have better work to do than to manage a physi- cal environment that can and should be outsourced. e work of an agency s IT department should focus on developing the operating model and de ning the requirements for the folks who are hosting that environment. But physically having to watch over the folks who manage the widgets? at s so last century. t t t k Well, UC clearly provides a way for people who telework to be fully functioning while working out of their home o ce and avoiding the need to commute and tie up the roads. It also lets people be produc- tive when weather or other events prevent them from going into the o ce -- for example, when we have another "snowpocalypse." It makes it possible for people to access all of their IT resources, including their collaboration environments, whether they are working from home or on the road. For agencies, this provides more productivity and improved continu- ity as they move forward. It also allows them to be more strategic when working within limited budgets. Agencies can plan more e ectively for how to get a project accomplished when they have in their toolkits an array of capabilities for enhancing and increas- ing participation and collaboration. en the cost per project can be driven down because the agency doesn t have to y in a bunch of people and incur big costs, and instead can bring in people from around the world to participate in projects virtually. I don t think it s a replacement for physical collaboration, but it s a wonderful way to augment an agency s ability to support a worldwide, mobile environment. 6 For more information about CenturyLink Govern- ment s services and offerings, please contact your agency s representative or email us at CTLfederal. email@example.com. For more information on CenturyLink, please go to: CenturyLink.com/gov 7 8 In depth Q&A with Diana Gowen, Sr. Vice President and General Manager, CenturyLink Public Sector