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Blog - Insights and Ideas on Unified Communications as a Service

  • May 10, 2016
  • in Events
  • by Eric Hanson

Adopting Technology? Know the Pitfalls...

Did you know user satisfaction is the single most important factor of a high IT rating? That’s the opinion of employees across job function, title, or department. IT must have a leave-no-one-behind policy when it comes to technology adoption across an organization, otherwise their reputation – and effectiveness – will be at risk.

Years of experience and innovation with unified communications have given us a few thoughts on the topic. Don’t know where to start? We can help.

A couple of weeks ago we joined forces with Nemertes Research, with some help from No Jitter and Enterprise Connect, for a webinar that addressed tech adoption in depth. Here are a few takeaways in case you missed it:

Understand the IT Landscape

To make the case for any implementation, IT needs to know the latest-and-greatest technology available on the market and build a case to support adopting it. Having a sense of what’s on the horizon helps you build rationale for IT investments early and often, creating buy in for technological improvements. This includes knowing which skills will be required for sustained success, as well as the breakdown of internal staffing and vendor/outsourced support. Knowing user preferences is a strong sell: what employees have adopted in their personal lives is driving adoption at work, too. This means they’ll respond favorably to technology that mirrors their personal technology usage. And as workforce behaviors change, so should the technology an employer offers its staff. If 75 percent of knowledge-based project work is being completed by distributed, virtual teams, shouldn’t unified communications solutions support that?

Build Alignment

For a smoother implementation, organizations need to work closely with both IT and stakeholders from key lines of business.  It is important that requirements reflect the business initiatives of each relevant group, so that the objectives of the project are clear. This includes defining timelines, understanding critical use cases, establishing a communications plan, and working with your vendor so that there is consensus on tasks and checkpoints along the way. Understanding the scope of the project, planning ahead for specific rollouts, and engaging with all stakeholders will ensure the vision of the project mirrors its execution within your company. The last thing anyone wants is an issue to arise in the 11th hour of a deadline, only for IT to find out at that moment that the technology has been misused – or worse, not used at all – due to lack of knowledge, inconsistent adoption, or frustration with the technology overall. Building alignment early on will save many headaches in the long run.

Prioritize user experience

Is the interface design friction-free? Does the technology deliver consistent experience across the devices and locations required for your business? Testing out the technology so that employees understand what it’s capable of is one way to set the right expectation. UC technology should be simple to use – fast, minimal steps, quality connection – and be secure, increasing employee productivity and collaboration without fear of compromising the integrity of company data or your hard work.

Measure the Business Impact

Outlining measurement goals, KPIs, and reporting capabilities should precede implementation and should align to the originally defined business objectives.  The ability to track progress within hours, days, weeks, months, and years after deployment will enable you to identify problems early, support your employees quickly, and mitigate the risks associated with poor adoption.

Name Your Champions

C-suite, middle managers, team leaders: take note. Any deployment is futile without consistent, cross-team adoption. A top-down, lead-by-example strategy is the way to go here.

As “early adopters” within your organization, they can champion efforts and accelerate ROI by removing obstacles. However, it’s also up to IT to work with folks on the business side to make sure the process is clear. Robin Gareiss of Nemertes Research shares a few tips for success:

  • Market IT services internally
  • Train employees adequately
  • Connect the dots between technology and business improvements: how it enables employees to do their jobs better, how it makes an impact on revenue and customer experience

With these best practices in mind, employees outside of IT will see what they can gain with new technology, as well as better understand their role and expectations for making it a valuable resource once incorporated into day-to-day routine. These integration investments are important considering the amount of time and resources spent to update technology.

The flexibility of your unified communications technology is essential to connect today’s distributed workforce, drive employee engagement, and ultimately performance and productivity. Thinking early on about implementation and engagement strategies will pay off tenfold so that technology can get out of its own way on the path toward widespread adoption.

For more information on technology adoption best practices, download the full recording of last week’s webinar.

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