End users should prioritise employees over infrastructure when it comes to UC - Plantronics

By Sooraj Shah
26 Jun 2014 View Comments
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Organisations tend to concentrate solely on their infrastructure, rather than the comfort of their users when deploying unified communications (UC) tools, according to Plantronics UK&I head of corporate operations, Judith Hogan.

Hogan, speaking during Computing's web seminar on UC, suggested that organisations think about the "technical excitement" but forget the key part of the deployment, which is user engagement. Many companies roll out a one-size-fits-all deployment which is a common cause of failure, she said.

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"The investment is focused on the infrastructure not on the end point and that's typically where companies fall down. If you're making someone use their PC as their phone, you need to think about whether they feel comfortable to do that," she said.

Hogan added that employees who are made to change the way they work against their will, typically want to prove that the technology doesn't work, so there needs to be a plan in place to not only train staff, but make them aware that that there actually benefits that come with new tools - for example using a headset for a call is actually easier than holding a phone.

Clive Longbottom, founder of research firm Quocirca, added that there is a case of quality over quantity when it came to training staff.

"It doesn't really make a difference how much you educate them. If the quality of it is not good enough, they will go back to what they're used to," he said.

Computing's own research found that only four per cent of firms were rolling out on-going training programmes for UC deployments.

Longbottom suggested that companies were being "naïve" if they offered training as a one-off.

"People need on-the-job training, they need to be able to ask for help to take them take through and difficulties, they need to be able to tap into a helpdesk to screen share their issues," he said.

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