Industry News >Unified Communications >

Unified Communications Can Be Invaluable - But Only When Actually Used

December 08, 2014 by

Unified communications used to be seen as a cutting-edge, advanced approach to telecoms, utilized exclusively by international corporations and other industry giants. Later, the technology became more widespread, offering a competitive advantage to a wide range of organizations.

Now, UC has become a business basic. Company leaders realize that UC can deliver invaluable benefits to their organizations, and they know that failing to embrace the technology will make it difficult, or even impossible, to compete in their market. Naturally enough, this has led to a huge uptick in UC adoption.

Underutilization Issues

That's the good news. The bad news is that, unfortunately, many organizations are not taking full advantage of their UC investments. One of the most common problems these companies run into is also one of the most obvious: Their employees simply are not using the available UC tools, as a recent survey revealed.

The survey, conducted by Softchoice, included 750 line-of-business employees and 250 IT managers, eWEEK reported. Among the employees, 71 percent said they use half or fewer of the communication tools their companies make available to them. Thirty-eight percent of respondents indicated they don't actually know how to use some of the UC tools they have access to.

On a related noted, the survey found 77 percent of employees are not typically consulted about a new communication tool before it's deployed throughout the organization, and 58 percent said they receive no guidance after implementation, the source reported.

To sum it up, the survey revealed that companies are often investing in UC solutions without checking to see if these resources will actually prove useful to the end-users - that is, the company's employees. This, combined with a lack of guidance and training, results in underutilized UC resources across the board.

Such underutilization and lack of education has serious consequences. The survey found that employees who did not receive any consultation on new UC tool rollouts were twice as likely to be dissatisfied at work as those who were better informed. They were also more likely to see their current jobs as temporary, rather than long-term.

Getting UC Right

For company leaders eager to embrace UC, there are two key takeaways for this survey.

First, UC is only useful when it actually serves employee interests. That means that decision-makers should work directly with workers to identify how UC can improve their day-to-day lives.

Second, employees need to know how to best use the available UC resources. Hopefully, the company will have selected a simple, intuitive, integrated unified communications system. Even still, workers will need training to understand how to leverage these resources safely and for the maximum possible benefits.

Subscribe to Fuze's Newsletter