Tuesday, June 21, 2016

User Adoption – The Key To Hosted UC {Unified Communications} Advancement

Recently at the Technology Innovation Conference, we engaged a panel of experts from hosted UC providers. The conversation was insightful as the panelists discussed technology and the direction and future of this communication solution. Most agree it will be the direction of communication of the future despite the fact only about 10 percent of companies have switched to hosted UC.

During the discussion, I made a comment about the desk phone being dead. I haven’t had one for two years, which leads me to believe, in the future, less and less office workers will do the same. The features and advantages of having a computer-based soft client are numerous. The flexibility and richness of the experience do not compare. In fact, two years ago I called our VP of sales into my office and suggested our company should be a catalyst to the end of the desk phone.

Can We Change a Culture?

Fast forward to the conference, this innocent comment solicited a passionate response. Many of the hosted UC panelists disagreed the desk phone would go anywhere.

Their reasoning?

People are creatures of habit and people will refuse to give up their desk phones. While I can see their point, I think they need to reconsider their position. I think it is their job to help force the industry out of the comfort zone and into a new reality. Too often, users refuse to change existing systems to get to the other side of a chasm that is a richer and more enhanced experience. I think these same users are probably still using their Nokia cell phones and accessing their AOL email addresses.

The future of business phone systems is hosted UC. If companies want to stay competitive they will need to support things that only a smart soft communication client can enable. That said, not all use cases for the desk phone are dead. Many functional use cases will justify the desk phone for a long time. But, I never thought my Nordstrom attendant would check my purchase out on an iPhone and I would never stand in line, either. Let’s be the creative catalysts who allow our customers to truly experience the benefits of hosted UC, and avoid the temptation of keeping the experience the same and merely changing the cable to connect and the location of the same old technology.

How Do We Move to Hosted UC?

So how do we do it?

Focus on the user experience of hosted UC.

I was meeting with our VP of development recently and he was adamant about the idea of never going back to a desk phone. He just would not be able to get his job done anymore. He was reliant on the video conversations he was having with his partners, instant messaging, and desktop sharing with his employees, and the integrated experience of seeing a problem in a document and immediately seeing presence information from the user and sending an immediate invitation to discuss. Hosted UC was just too good.

As consultants in this space, I would challenge you to give your users a taste:

- Try to do only video calls for one day. Even if the customer cannot reciprocate, have your camera turned on.
- Convince your customers to enable a pilot project for collaboration—enable presence and IM and see how much time they save by not calling people who are already on the phone because they can see their status.
- Collaborate on a document, proposal, or meeting with them and share it using the rich tools you have available to you.
- Discuss with them the changes technology could make—even the ones who “don’t need anything but a traditional phone.”

The way we communicate can be rich, robust, rewarding, and effective. There is nothing wrong with a traditional phone call, but with new communications, you can get the nuances of so many other methods of communicating.

My daughter’s voicemail asks people to text her. My parents start calls with their grandkids on Skype or FaceTime first and then fall back to voice communications only when they have to.

I am excited to be part of the change to move to hosted UC in business. I fly around the country and meet with partners and suppliers and those relationships are better maintained with I video, text, and chat, in addition to our other conversations. I cannot accomplish the things I do every day without this robust experience. Let’s own our customers’ user experience and when we get it right our customers will reward us with the business, revenue, and success that comes with it.

If you'd like to see what Hosted UC Options are available to your business....including a free comparison of providers with rate quotes...simply ask at the link below. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Hosted UC Solutions

You can also watch these videos to learn more about Hosted UC.

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