Unified communications as a service is poised to see a major expansion in 2015. Countless companies, eager to combine the advantages of cloud services and UC platforms, will use the new year as the ideal time to make this move. It's easy to see why: UCaaS offers organizations the most affordable, effective, efficient means of deploying tools such as video conferencing, presence, live chat, and more to every member of their staff.
It would be difficult to exaggerate just how beneficial UCaaS can prove to be for businesses in virtually every industry. However, to fully take advantage of these resources, firms need to make sure they approach UCaaS strategically and carefully. As Channel Partners contributor David Byrd recently highlighted, there are a number of common UCaaS missteps that organizations must take great pains to avoid.
Employees On BoardOne of the biggest mistakes that companies make in this area, according to Byrd, is failing to engage with employees.
"Employees need to understand the reason for the change and be given the opportunity to provide input with regard to their unmet needs," Byrd wrote. "If the decision process is made in isolation by management without input or review by employee representatives, then adoption of the UC solution will be slow or possibly fail."
This level of interaction and attention to employee needs is important for any IT deployment. However, it is far more crucial for UCaaS simply because of the scope of these solutions. A unified communications system will inevitably impact every single employee throughout a firm, and their use or rejection of these tools will have a major effect on the company's bottom line.
Even though UCaaS solutions will almost certainly improve a given worker's ability to complete his or her job responsibilities quickly and successfully, the fact remains that most people resist change. Staff will not want to use a new offering if they are satisfied with the current one. This can undermine the UCaaS deployment. By taking the time to explain the functionality and benefits to employees, though, business decision-makers can avoid these problems.
Training NeededOn a similar note, Byrd asserted that underestimating training time and user setup was another common UCaaS misstep.
"UC consists of several major elements, each of which requires training, practice in a workshop environment and repetition to learn," he wrote.
This is true even when employees are fully on board with the UCaaS solutions being deployed. While ideally UCaaS tools should be very intuitive and easy to use, there will inevitably be a learning curve. By paying attention to this issue, companies can see a return on their UC investment much faster than organizations that overlook training needs.