IR: Collaboration or Frustration?

Unified Communication and Collaboration (UCC) applications are widespread in the modern workforce. Long gone are the days of snail mail and fax, even e-mail is on the decline as employees’ preferred method of communication with colleagues, customers and partners.

Organizations demand increased efficiency and productivity. Employees demand faster communication, easier collaboration and more flexible working arrangements.

These demands are met in large part by utilizing UCC apps. And there are no shortage of tech companies developing new apps, all promising to service these demands, each better than the last. But do they really solve the problems they promise to? Do they deliver increased efficiency and productivity? Are they worth the investment of time, money and resource to deploy and maintain? Are employees satisfied with them? Are they even being used?

New research, conducted by IR with independent research company GfK, has found that these apps do not necessarily deliver on the promise of improving workplace efficiency, productivity and collaboration. Further, the research identified that IT Support teams are ill-equipped to support these critical applications resulting in lost employee productivity and satisfaction.

The report features findings from a recent survey of employees from over 500 organizations who use UCC applications in their workplace. The research found that on average, only 62% of users are satisfied with UCC apps and that level of satisfaction differs significantly based on seniority level, with 82% of C-Suite users indicating they were satisfied compared to just 54% at a non-manager level.

Much of the dissatisfaction can be attributed to the poorly managed real-time communications functions of the apps such as voice and video. The top four issues identified by respondents were all related to system performance, including poor audio quality (25%), inability to connect (23%), insufficient connectivity (19%) and poor video quality (17%).

Additionally, the findings suggest that IT teams are ill-equipped to provide support to resolve issues with 40% not having access to UCC performance management tools. More than one in four respondents admitted they do not report between 75-100% of issues they encounter, largely due to a lack of faith in IT departments to solve problems in a timely manner, if at all. So, even if your key performance indicators say that your tech investment is a success, your end-users could be suffering in silence, resulting in reduced productivity and low adoption rates.

But it’s not all bad news. The research also indicated that using performance management tools, such as Prognosis, to monitor, troubleshoot and optimize UCC ecosystems can lead to improved satisfaction rates.

As the use of UCC apps in the workplace continue to increase, enterprises that focus on ensuring these real-time collaboration aids work as they are intended, and measure engagement with them in a meaningful way, are those that stand to emerge as the winners in this new cloud-transitioning, video-enabled, mobile-supported business environment.

Key findings:

  • Overall, only 62% of users are satisfied with UCC apps they use at work. There is a significant disparity in satisfaction between seniority levels, with C-Suite indicating a much higher level of satisfaction (82%) as opposed to those in non-manager roles (54%).
  • There are a significant number of issues with UCC apps that go unreported by end users. One in four respondents said they do not report 75+% of issues they experience.
  • The biggest impacts of poorly performing UCC were identified as reduced productivity (58%) and underutilization of UCC apps (37%).
  • The top four issues encountered with UCC apps are all related to performance, as opposed to usability.
  • The use of performance management tools to monitor UCC ecosystems leads to an increase in satisfaction with UCC applications.

Source: IR

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