NASCAR & Unified Communications: Get the Most Out of Your Investment

By Bill Kane, Practice Manager

I’m a big NASCAR fan. NASCAR stands for National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Back in the day, good old boys would take stock cars, add seatbelts and roll cages and go racing. In the early days they even drove convertibles. Today they only look like stock cars from the outside with a bunch of advertisements on them. Everything about these cars is anything but stock. My wife would tell you that it’s a huge waste of time watching 40 guys go in a circle for 500 miles. What she doesn’t see is that there is more to racing than just being the best driver.

The drivers have years of experience, the cars are highly specialized and contain none of the stock parts with engines that have 900 horse power. They are highly tuned, with specialized suspensions and tires. Even the pit crew are athletes that can change a full set of tires and fill the gas tank in seconds. Until you have sat in the driver’s seat and have gone over 100 miles an hour, it’s hard to appreciate the sport. I fulfilled one of my bucket list items by attending Richard Petty’s driving school. Yes, I got to drive one of those 900 horsepower beasts, and yes I got to go over 100 miles per hour. My favorite races start in the afternoon and end after the sun goes down. I like these the best because the way a car performs when the sun is up, when the track is hot and the tires are slick, is completely different than at night when the track cools. To watch these teams make little changes throughout the race and go from back of the pack to first is truly amazing. No one can make it through a full race without making changes. They call it putting in a turn of wedge here or adjusting the air pressure in a tire by as little as a pound can make all the difference. The guy that started the race on the pole (first row inside), isn’t necessarily the one that will cross the finish line in first place.

Cisco unified communications is a lot like NASCAR racing. Sure the guys that installed your system did a great job but, are you getting the most out of your investment so that you can win the race? What you need is a skilled pit crew. You need to check in and make sure you’re running the optimum version. In addition, you need to ensure your settings are correct so that your users are getting the full benefit of what’s available. Are you taking advantage of features such as Singlewire, Mobility & Meet-Me? Do you have the proper licensing in place to be able to able to install them? My point here is that you made a serious investment so you need to ensure that you are getting all that you can out of that investment.

I had dinner with a friend a couple of months ago who was not getting the most out of his investment. I asked him how he liked his Cisco VoIP phone system. He said that it was ok, and, when I dug a little deeper, I found out that they weren’t using all the functionality. When it was initially installed they made the decision to forgo some of the functionality for a speedy install. He was amazed when I stared to explain things like Mobility. We were able to spend a few hours on his system and, once complete, he couldn’t believe the difference.

Is there a connection between NASCAR racing and unified communications? I would say yes. You bought the best, now you need to ensure its performing up to your expectations. GreenPages can be that pit crew to ensure that you are maximizing your unified communications investment and taking full advantage of the business benefits that are available today. Reach out to if you’d like to talk about unified communications strategies and trends in more detail.