As you define the requirements for your new unified communications (UC) solution, it’s important to identify the capabilities that fit best with how your team works.
Because rolling out the right features and applications will have a direct impact on adoption rates which, in turn, will maximize the use of the technology.
One way to ensure a higher rate of adoption is to have a clear picture of how your employees work, communicate and collaborate. You can use the three-step process outlined below to ensure that you gather all the data necessary to develop a reliable picture of your team’s needs and preferences.
As you are likely abundantly aware, telecommunications is changing very rapidly. It’s now not only about your on site telecommunications equipment— premise equipment versus cloud — but also about your Telco services and trunking options, too.
High Tech has partnered with many best of breed telecommunications manufacturers and UC providers — both on site and cloud — and we would be happy to provide this internal research and discovery service to you on a consultation contract, after which we can present options to you.
1. Conduct Internal Research
Before getting caught up in all the options, identify the needs of your organization. First, conduct an internal systems audit. Look at what’s in place, create an inventory of communications applications employees already have and gather data on which ones they actually use, how often they use them and through which endpoints and devices these applications are accessed.
Then, identify how these various applications are applied to everyday workflows, paying particular attention to the processes where integrating voice and data will add new values.
Next, survey your employees. How your employees work today is only one piece of the puzzle. You could ask them how they want to work. What would make their day easier, more productive, more fun? Are the employees happy with the procedures and tools they use today? Which ones do they find most useful, least useful. What improvements would they make? You’re sure to get criticism, but also gain valuable feedback in the process.
2. Analyse Employee Demographics
Where your team members work is as critical as how they work. If your team members are dispersed across multiple locations or work from home, Unified Communications (UC) collaboration tools such as desktop sharing, video, audio conferencing and web conferencing will merit a closer look. We can look for a solution that can deliver the same features and flexibility for all employees, no matter their device or location.
If you have a large workforce that travels frequently, mobility features will be essential. For example, those users will likely want features that enable them to move seamlessly from a laptop in their hotel room to a mobile phone in the car on the way to the airport.
3. Review Organizational Goals
Finally, align your findings with your organization’s goals. Know your key performance indicators (KPIs) and determine which UC capabilities are most likely to have a strong impact. For instance, one KPI might be to increase workplace productivity. Features such as click-to-call and pop-up windows linked to your CRM database can streamline workflows, while the ability to integrate business process applications can reduce the time spent on each customer call.
As a result, UC features will allow your staff to handle more inquiries in a more efficient and effective manner. This valuable discovery and audit process will provide a 360-degree view of your team’s communications needs and preferences. You’ll be rewarded with a clear definition of exactly which UC capabilities best fit your organization. Your choices will not only guarantee higher adoption rates, but also help your company to achieve other goals as well.
The Top Ten Must Have Unified Communications Features
1. Presence - knowing the availability of the other users
2. Unified messaging - one inbox for emails/voice mail messages/faxes
3. Integrated audio/web conferencing
4. Instant messaging/chat
5. One number reach - Call one number to reach the individual because the call could be routed to a desk phone, cell phone, home phone, etc.
6. Click to dial features from Outlook and/or a web browser
7. Corporate phone books across all locations - domestic and international
8. Extension dialing amongst all locations - domestic and international
9. Screen pops with specific, customized customer information
10. Disaster recovery - calls can be routed to other locations to ensure no call is missed and data can still be accessed so that there is little to no loss of productivity