One of the most critical aspects of any unified communications and collaboration (UCC) deployment is a positive user experience. UCC and user experience go hand in hand; if the technology involved isn't easy, convenient and helpful, users won't use it. In 2020, user experience became even more important as many were forced to quickly adopt UCC solutions as they shifted to the work-from-home (WFH) model. The opportunity to capitalize on the WFH movement still exists today. In fact, a recent Gartner survey of CFOs
revealed that 74% intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently. However, before you dive into this growing opportunity, consider the following best practices that will ensure your solutions don't fall short when it comes to user experience.
Perform pre-deployment testing.
You can do some of the most critical work to ensure a positive user experience before the solution is live. Savvy solution providers will perform voice and video readiness assessments to identify potential network configuration and capacity issues. Identifying issues in advance gives you time to remediate and ensure the live solution performs as required and in line with user expectations.
Simplify your UCC solutions.
The degree to which a unified communications solution is utilized often correlates to how easy it is to use. Many UCC vendors have recognized this and rolled out interface enhancements that significantly reduce touches and make it easier for users to perform actions.
Implement intelligent monitoring.
Once a solution is live, it's critical to implement monitoring that will enable you and your customers to identify issues. Monitoring the quality of service for voice, video and other network traffic provides visibility into potential bottlenecks and other issues. As a result, you can quickly—if not proactively—identify issues before they harm performance and user experience.
Provide user training.
Sometimes it isn't the unified communications technology itself that causes a poor user experience but a lack of understanding of how to use the solution. Let's face it, despite efforts to simplify interfaces and make it easier to use a UCC solution, there's still some complexity that requires training to overcome. Don't exclude training from your offering. Whether you include training in all your proposals or offer it as an add-on, training is a critical aspect of user experience and solution adoption.
Ensure a consistent experience.
Today's work-from-home labor force uses various hardware and software to communicate, sometimes even bringing their own devices. Whether users are on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, Mac, Windows or Chrome OS, the user experience must be consistent across all devices to ensure positive outcomes.
For additional advice on closely aligning UCC and user experience, contact Chad Simon
, Ingram Micro's unified communications and collaboration expert.