Why Culture Eats UC Strategies For Lunch
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User Rank: Strategist
1/7/2014 | 12:06:40 PM
What's Also Missing From UC Planning
While I  certainly agree with the need to customize UC capabilitie3s to specific use cases and individual end users involved with those use cases, the big mistake about UC implementations is that it often ignores the greater value it has for mobile users and BYOD issues vs. desktop usage. Further, there is not enough consideration given for external end users (business partners, customers) who may need Mobile UC facilities through a service, rather any premise-based solution.

Another thing that gets ignored about UC is that it is not just person-to-person contacts, but also about contacts and interactions from automated business process apps (CEBP). That kind of planning needs both business management and IT participation, as well as end user involvement for BYOD issues.
Lorna Garey
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2014 | 5:17:27 PM
Change is always hard
I remember like it was yesterday the sad moment IT took away the Lotus Notes database that we used to collaborate on our editorial calendar. That db was a thing of beauty, honed over many years to let us slice and dice in all the ways that mattered, get a monthy or yearly overview at a glance but also dig into minute detail. Then, suddenly, it was "no longer supported." And while the dev team tried (I think) to provide something with similar functionality, the reality is, they didn't.

Same deal, often, with UC. Teams have collaboration processes & tools that work for them, that they've customized over time, and now IT is "improving their lives."

Can you tell I still miss that Notes database?

User Rank: Apprentice
12/31/2013 | 2:55:50 AM
Not every industry can easily migrate to UC
As I work in the legal field I can attest as to the shoddy roll out of UC, particularly as regards confidential info in the cloud. It isn't just about employees refusing to give up old habits as much as it is about attorney-client privilege. In other industries if your info is breached and the client finds out about it maybe a slap on the wrist is applied, but in legal, the responsible parties are disbarred and their assistants terminated. The stakes are much higher and make UC that much more of a crap shoot.
User Rank: Apprentice
12/31/2013 | 1:06:06 AM
User Rank: Apprentice
12/30/2013 | 1:50:58 PM
Re: Solve the Problem
Agree. Great post. The "c" word -- culture --gets thrown around a lot, but it's especially important when it comes to deploying unified communications technology. My colleagues and I are big users of UC, if that moniker covers email, IM, wiki, videoconferencing. But before we were provisioned those work apps, no one asked us how we work. Our collaboration culture is different from those of other departments. We can't all have our own UC environments, but our input needs to be factored into the platform(s) decision.
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2013 | 11:48:35 AM
Solve the Problem
Nice post. With any technology it's important at all levels to think about what problem you are solving, and how the technology you are installing provides a solution. In some cases the end users don't care or aren't impacted, e.g. if you move from legacy telephone services to an IP-based toll bypass, then the users shouldn't see a difference, but the company will save some money; great. On the other hand if you are redesigning the user experience by pushing IP telephony to the desk (and computer desktop), then as you say, training on that is critical - but so is understanding how people use the existing system, and how your new system will replicate that function. People are, as you say, creatures of habit, and if you're going to take away their telephonic cigarettes, so to speak, it's important to explain to them that there's an alternative, and here's how the new solution provides an alternative nicotine patch. 

I think sometimes UC is not seen as being part of a user's daily workflow efficiency (beyond the things you hope will happen based on the brochureware), and how changing something so fundamental can severely impact the ability to function. At the very least if you know an old way of doing things will have to be addressed by way of an entirely new approach after a change, then prepare in advance and traing people up front so they're not left floundering after the fact. And remember that it's supposed to be about making the workflow efficient for the USER, and NOT for the convenience of the system behind the scenes.

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