• Collaboration
We all know how difficult it is to succeed in today’s business world. Fluctuating economic conditions and stiff global competition require us to continually seek new ways to increase productivity and streamline costs without sacrificing service and quality. And, as I’m sure you would agree, often that’s easier said than done.

With advancements in UC/Collaboration technology over the years, especially over the last decade, a whole plethora of applications have emerged to help users stay better connected with their customers, their suppliers, and their coworkers. Whether we are talking about Cisco Jabber or Skype for Business (formerly called Microsoft Lync) for instant messaging and presence, Citrix GoToMeeting or Cisco WebEx for web-based conferencing, or Cisco Telepresence or Polycom for pervasive video, these applications can help any business stay better connected and improve the effectiveness of their workforce. But, only if they are used.

So Many Features, Too Little Use

In my position, I have the opportunity to speak with customers and colleagues across the country about the benefits of UC/Collaboration technology. Like many of you, I spend more than my fair share of time in airports and hotel rooms. And for years, I’ve carried the tools of the road warrior trade: laptop, tablet, smart phone. But, I’ll have to admit, it took me a while to learn how to use them effectively. For example, when I first started traveling a lot, I still processed my expenses the “old-fashioned” way. I kept my receipts and either turned them in hard copy, or scanned them and emailed them when I got back to my office. Back then, it never dawned on me that I could do all that from my phone while on the road. I had the capability in my hand to do it faster and easier—to improve my own productivity—but I hadn’t adapted my “business” process to take advantage of it.
I see the same thing happen when customers invest in new UC/Collaboration applications. Too often, technology is purchased to achieve a specific business outcome, but the full benefit and value never get realized because only a small subset of licenses are ever actually deployed. They’ve been paid for, but aren’t being used. 

While deploying the purchased applications is one problem, it’s not the only problem: actually adopting the new features and applications into the customer’s business processes is another. Many times, the features and applications may be installed, but no one uses them —or leverages their full capability —because the business hasn’t taken the time to create use case examples for the technology and adapted their business processes accordingly. Maybe you’re using Cisco Jabber for IM and presence, but are you leveraging the voice and video capability? Are your sales teams hosting WebEx meetings—with video—from their Android or iPads while they’re on the road, or are they tied to a desk in the office? In my experience, a best practice is to work with your vendors’ or partners’ business process consultants to help you build the use cases necessary to integrate the features and applications into your business processes so you can achieve the business outcomes you’re expecting.

Take a Step Back, Before You Move Forward


Likely, you’ve invested in UC/Collaboration products with specific business goals in mind. Maybe your hope was to improve productivity or drive down operational costs. Whatever the objectives were, it’s worth taking a step back to see if those business outcomes were achieved. Review what you’ve purchased compared to what you’ve actually deployed and adopted to see if you’re maximizing your investment. Quantify your results to date since investing in your UC/Collaboration solution: are you recognizing the ROI you expected? Has the solution driven the business improvements or outcomes you wanted? Are you seeing improvements using these applications in some parts of your business, and could you build a use case around leveraging those same applications in other parts of your enterprise? Make sure you’re fully leveraging the technology you have before investing in something new. 

While analytical tools to measure end-user adoption and usage may be lacking in some cases, one thing is certain: if licenses are purchased and never used, that’s money down the drain.

Comments

Load more comments
Thank you for the comment! Your comment must be approved first
* Required
comment-avatar

Ready To Begin? Contact Us Today.

Request A Presentation