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Planning Needed to Ensure Unified Communications Usage

February 05, 2015 by

For all the value that unified communications systems can deliver, a quick, positive return on investment is not always guaranteed. While the vast majority of companies that embrace UC see significant gains almost immediately, some are disappointed by the short-term results.

There are a number of reasons why firms may experience these shortcomings, and one of the most common is also the most straightforward: insufficient use of available UC tools. Deploying a UC solution does not automatically lead to enthusiastic adoption - on the contrary, many employees initially resist making the switch to UC for a variety of reasons.

Writing for InformationWeek, Joseph Harsch recently highlighted a few of the leading reasons why UC services sometimes go underutilized by employees. Addressing these problems can significantly increase usage rates, which will lead directly to improved ROI.

All Aboard

As the writer emphasized, successful UC depends largely on employee buy-in. Every worker needs to act as a stakeholder in the UC deployment. When this is the case, users will be eager to take advantage of the available tools, as they'll have had a say in determining which system the company implemented.

When company decision-makers don't no consult the end-users before selecting a UC system, though, employees will often feel indifferent toward the solution. Even worse, the particular UC tools chosen may not actually be the best-suited to employees' specific, day-to-day goals and responsibilities. Naturally enough, this will dissuade workers from embracing the solution, undermining the technology's potential value.

To avoid this outcome, company leaders need to work directly with their employees when first considering a UC deployment. Getting everyone on-board at this stage will ensure that end-users have access to the UC tools they most desire.

Then, as Harsch emphasized, it is imperative for company leaders to ensure employees are aware of and trained to use the available UC tools. He explained that even intuitive UC solutions will have features that require training to utilize effectively.

Mobility Matters

Another key factor in UC underutilization, according to Harsch, is a lack of mobility capabilities. He noted that one of UC's biggest benefits should be improving collaboration among employees. However, when a UC system does not have mobile tools, workers cannot take full advantage of these capabilities. Instead, they will ignore the available UC tools in favor of mobile-ready options, even if these alternatives are not company-approved.

By making mobile a focus when selecting a UC system, organizations provide their employees with a powerful incentive to use the available resources.

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