The process of bringing UC&C into a business involves several stages, and does not end once the contract has been signed. Leading up to that, business objectives must be set, communications needs must be assessed and vendors need to be evaluated. These topics were explored in earlier entries of this series, for which this blog is the fourth and final post. (For further reference, please see our latest white paper, Best Practices for UC&C Productivity.)
Achieving a good ROI requires UC&C to be deployed with alacrity and have end-user engagement from the very beginning. As I’ve previously written, these critical factors cannot be realized without a clear roadmap.
There are many elements to consider for such a plan, and here are three we find businesses often miss.
1. Providing proper end-user support
There are many ways to define support, and it’s easy to confuse self-service with self-support. With IT resources being stretched, the more end-users can self-manage their UC&C experience the better. However, it’s not enough just to provide self-service in the form of intuitive options through which people can provision basic features on their own. At some point, there will be technical problems, and end-users won’t be able to address them without help. If IT cannot provide that necessary level of support, interest in UC&C will wane and your ROI will suffer.
To mitigate the possibility of weak adoption, your deployment plan should incorporate third-party technical support, leaving IT to focus on other needs where their expertise is deeper.
2. Ensuring employees will use UC&C
Assuming that employees will embrace UC&C on their own is perhaps the most dangerous oversight IT can make. With today’s technology changing so quickly, it’s risky to presume that IT knows the true extent of employee communications needs, not to mention all the capabilities of a UC&C solution. Old habits can be hard to change, and we find that employees generally aren’t asking IT for UC&C.
To address this, employees need some basic education about the UC&C value proposition in terms they can relate to. This would involve training not just about how UC&C can make them more productive, but also how easily the underlying applications can be used across all their devices. These are powerful benefits, but unless employees see UC&C as being a different and better way to collaborate, businesses will struggle to get impactful end-user adoption.
3. Employee training
Deploying UC&C is one thing, but getting full engagement from employees is another. Even if you’ve executed a proper needs assessment, UC&C solutions have rich capabilities that most end-users will need help using. In most cases, employees are already using common features such as presence, IM, conferencing, file sharing, and email invites, but not in the same system.
To drive meaningful productivity gains, they need to use these features in a more integrated fashion – this is UC&C’s real value-add. Beyond that, UC&C often brings features with which most people are not familiar, such as video or mobility, and others will be coming as a matter of evolution. Even tech savvy individuals will need an introduction to a recently implemented system, whiles others may need more in-depth, ongoing training to gain the necessary comfort levels for everyday use and improving their collaboration and productivity.
The training doesn’t have to be exhaustive, and even monthly short hands-on sessions can go a long way to getting great collaboration results.
Contact Yorktel today to learn how our Professional Services team can guide your UC&C deployment.