Here I go again — talking about the importance of end-user adoption for unified communications and collaboration (UCC).
While cloud-based UCC services have particularly proven their value in supporting remote workers in the new work-from-anywhere environment, the role of end-user adoption has changed. At the beginning of the pandemic, workers adopted UCC tools provided by their organizations to support remote work, although many continued to use their tools of choice, despite what their IT departments provided. End-user training became particularly important, as workers needed to quickly get up to speed on how to properly use these technologies to get the most out of them.
Though the role of end-user adoption changed, its importance wasn’t diminished. However, some user adoption and training approaches and methods were by necessity modified (e.g., video training classes replaced hands-on classroom training). To identify what training and adoption approaches work best, especially in our new hybrid work environment, BCStrategies is conducting a user adoption survey.
I’ve been a proponent of end-user adoption and have presented on this topic at Enterprise Connect for many years. In fact, as Eric Krapf, GM of Enterprise Connect, noted in a recent article, I’ll be moderating a user adoption panel as part of the new Enterprise Connect Workplace Strategies track in September. This panel session will look at not just user adoption but at how a broader change management approach can help users get the most out of their UCC applications.
We know that technologies like UCC, when deployed properly, enhance worker and team productivity and effectiveness. Unfortunately, we also know that many technology projects simply focus on making sure the technology works and omit a crucial, if not the most crucial step — ensuring end-user adoption. Simply deploying UCC to end users isn’t enough. Organizations need to go beyond focusing on the technology to putting more effort into end-user adoption and usage.
When users are presented with communications tools they don’t need or understand, they are likely to rely on the tools they’ve already been using or may be using at home. This can lead to shadow IT and security and compliance issues — especially if employees are deploying consumer-grade tools. If a new technology is underutilized, organizations do not get their expected return on investment (ROI) and consider the UCC deployment a failure.
It’s important to understand not just the importance of user adoption but what techniques and approaches can help ensure success. To help organizations understand best practices and which methods and tools work best, particularly in our new hybrid work environment, BCStrategies is conducting a UCC end-user adoption study, surveying both UCC implementors (CIOs, IT managers, etc.) and end users. The information collected will be used to provide insights and help UCC vendors improve adoption and training programs to help organizations drive success. Survey responses will help us discover:
- What training and internal marketing and awareness methods work best
- Whether pre- and post-training surveys were conducted and what were general observations
- The role of executive sponsorship, sponsorship teams, and peers related to adoption
- How successful adoption is measured, and key metrics used to identify usage and adoption
- Timing of training (before, during, and after deployment)
- Methods used for awareness and measured or perceived success
- The role of change management in increasing usage and adoption
- The role of the vendor, reseller partner, and/or system integrator in training and adoption
- ROI measurement related to training, communications, and change management
If you have been part of a UCC technology implementation team or if you’re an end user who experienced a UCC rollout, we welcome your participation in this important UCC Adoption & Training survey. Survey participants can opt-in to receive a Summary Report of the findings and be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a Poly headset or earbuds. The importance of UCC tools continue to grow, but to get the true value of these technologies, end-user adoption is essential. I hope that by sharing insights on best approaches to user adoption and training, more organizations will get the most out of their UCC tools.