UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS

  • 10/22/2014
    8:06 AM
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Why UC Implementations Fail

Unified communications and collaboration projects fall flat when companies don't understand needs or consult with their employees. Get the facts and figures from Softchoice's UC study.

Comments

The truth behind the stats

Great insight into why users choose when to adopt new IT tools, and more importantly how to get better buy-in from employees!  I wonder if readers share the same feedback, I know I have definitely seen many organizations which have shared the same adoption hurdles.

Re: The truth behind the stats

Hi Marcia,

As far as tips go there are many.  In my experience, spending the time to understand how the technology can make someone/team role that much more efficient and then translating that into usage focused training works best.  General training on new technology tends to focus on the technology itself - more features and functionality.  For many people, it's not until they see the actual usage case for them in their workday that the light goes on and as a result they adopt right away.  If you come at this from how can we make a workday more productive and then provide really specific examples, people will thank you for it!

Re: The truth behind the stats

Thanks for the guidance, Erika! Focusing on use cases rather than technical featurse and functions makes a lot of sense. 

Re: The truth behind the stats

@Erika. "Focusing on use cases rather than technical featurse and functions makes a lot of sense."

One question though, is internal IT best equipped to offer training on use cases?  It seems that in order to offer the best advice, one would ideally have first-hand experience on how people in a typical department might use it.

Re: The truth behind the stats

Thanks for your post AbeG!

IT is not always resourced with the skills or people to go out to design usage and adoption style training.  What we do see more often is IT bringing in the Business Analyst role (to their team) to act as a liaison between the business and IT.  For some, this role works to truly understand the business user requirements, workflows, and day-to-day operations to not only build out the business requirements but to also provide the HR or Training team(s) with the foundational elements on which to build the appropriate training strategy.  The emphasis being on true usage therefore driving adoption.

user training

Hi Erika -- Any tips for UC user training? Any best practices you can share? 

Games with Statistics

Most of those stats seem pretty useless. For example, 18% who are consulted are more likely to embrace tool. 18% greater than what? Without knowing how many people embrace without consultation, what does that tell you?

If 10% of people feel tool is useful, is that 18% increase to 11.8% really make the effort worthwhile?

The takeaway for me is that if you need stats like this to justify UC, it is not a clear winning technology yet.

Re: Games with Statistics

Terry, I think you may be reading more into the statistics than is intended. There are two slides about consulting vs not consulting with employees, so the 18% of employees on that slide are more likely to embrace the tool because they have been consulted, unlike the employees on the previous slide (who had not been consulted). When I think about that, I would actually expect it to be a lot higher than 18%.

Re: Why UC Implementations Fail

I see what you're saying, Terry, about this being a lot to chew on, but I think there's plenty of useful information here. Maybe it's an inherent problem with infographics - if you're too concise, then the point seems obvious redundant, but if you're too obtuse, then it can be hard to make sense of. For example, the issue about employees not being consulted makes repeated appearances here. While adding all those numbers together might lead to a bit of mess, the overall point is easy to see - it's important to employees that their input is considered. That is, it's important that they feel like it's considered. The problem could be as much a failure to communicate as it is an actual failure to make the right call.

I'm a fan of ballparking these numbers. Whether more or less than 50% of employees agree on something is important - whether it's 52 or 58 percent, not so much. The 44% of IT managers finding UC implementation hard stuck with me though. That's just under 50%. Adding that up with the other stats, it means that implementation is not the hard part. Getting users to use it is - but that's mixed with a healthy slice of difficult implementation, mixed objectives, and support issues. Sounds true to me - and that's a good lesson for IT pros to take home.

Re: Why UC Implementations Fail

I guess ability to connect everyone, everyplace and required device asks extensive research and planning and if we miss anything out of that planning part, UC is all set to fail.

Specific Use for Banks

A few years ago I worked with a leading UC company focusing on the banking sector. 

Apart from daily use of the tools, some banks wanted collaboration and video conferencing to do weekly meetings.

In Spain banks have more branches per number of customers than anywhere else in the world, and that creates a problem for the small branches -usually staffed with 2-3 people- to attend regional and area meetings. Video conferencing has been the prefer solution.

In a classroom setup regional managers can meet with many branch managers without them leaving their desks, thus avoiding travel times.

Another example is the use of video conferencing for meeting experts. A leading Spanish bank is using VC to allow customers to meet with the bank experts using their branches as vitual meeting rooms. This way an expert from Barcelona doesn't have to travel all the way to Malaga to talk about international taxes with a customer there, saving the bank and the customer precious time and saving money.

Re: Specific Use for Banks

Thanks for sharing those use cases, Pablo. Did the banks do a lot of work up front to tailor the UC deployment to their users? 

fixing what is not broken

It was mentioned the UC implementations do not succeed when users cannot find any compelling added vale from it as well as if there already several question. This begs the question similar to the title above. A new app or tool should not be deployed just because but due to the need of the employees. 

The millenial condition

Recent studies have shown that the younger generations are more likely to be comfortable multitasking due to the bevy of devices and content sources that are at their disposal. This is why they will be more at home when using new collaboration tools. How will the older side react to this, well as long as the technology is used to support the presentation or collaboration it should to a positive difference. Too many times it has become simply a way to showcase tech and nothin else.