We typically focus on the positives connected with Unified Communications, but there are still a lot of negative perceptions about UC out there, and an article in InformationWeek looks at some of those negatives, from a survey regarding business drivers for UC.
There are numerous comments in the InformationWeek article from users involved in UC, as well as those avoiding or downplaying UC, and some of those are revealing and instructive. For example, more than half the non-UC-deploying companies and users InformationWeek surveyed simply see it as a lower priority than other projects, and a third – 34 percent – say they don’t even see definitive business value in UC. Only one out of seven – 14 percent – consider it a high priority to integrate UC with enterprise applications.
When you’re in the position Sprint is, as a company that uses UC to improve the productivity of our business operations, in addition to providing UC network solutions, it’s hard to understand negative or noncommittal mindsets about UC. We suspect it’s mostly a matter of education about UC’s benefits.
The article also offers some good advice. For example, video and telepresence are touted as UC benefits, but too often a company sets up a sophisticated videoconferencing system, then doesn’t train its people well in how to use it, nor does it track usage or even necessarily encourage usage. “Build it and they will come” only works in the movies.
Other sound advice is to emphasize training in all aspects of UC and pay attention to the user experience to make sure it’s a good one, which encourages further usage and acceptance. Also, fully understand and test a WAN provider’s service and SLAs, to make sure all the UC applications, including bandwidth-hungry video, work as they should.
In other reports, such as one conducted by Aberdeen Group, companies that have deployed UC are experiencing improved customer satisfaction and workforce productivity. This report evaluated UC within 299 companies. The top 20 percent surveyed stated workforce productivity improved by 49 percent and customer satisfaction increased by 53 percent. You can download a free copy of the Aberdeen study by clicking here.
How has UC helped or hindered your organization? Please share your comments.