SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Jeanne Bayerl
Jeanne Bayerl has over 25 years' experience in the Enterprise Communications market in North America and Europe. She is...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Jeanne Bayerl | August 24, 2011 |

 
   

Enterprise Communications Strategy: It's All About the User

Enterprise Communications Strategy: It's All About the User Start with the user, keep the user in the center of the strategy and look for solutions that can seamlessly and flexibly help the ever-changing user.

Start with the user, keep the user in the center of the strategy and look for solutions that can seamlessly and flexibly help the ever-changing user.

Hello, world. So, I'm starting this new blog here on NoJitter today. My intention is simply to provide you with some food for thought on topics that I believe should at least be considered in the creation or evolution of an enterprise (or organizational) communications strategy. Yes, full disclosure--I work for a vendor (Alcatel-Lucent--and no, I will not be commenting on any rumors regarding the future of our Enterprise business; there are plenty of others doing that today!) However, I'm writing this as someone who has been around in the enterprise communications industry for 25 years. I cannot say that my thoughts are not influenced by my day-job, of course, but I promise my blog articles will not be veiled product advertisements. I have many thoughts about possible topics, so I'll begin here today with some simple, perhaps intuitive thoughts on what I believe to be the central starting point--the user.

At the core of an enterprise communications strategy should be the user--plain and simple. It’s not about technology and the latest trends--these are the means to the end, helping you provide more to the user perhaps using fewer resources. It's not about a Cloud strategy or a SIP strategy. It's about what the user--employee, customer, partner, student, patient, guest, citizen, or whatever you have--needs to communicate more efficiently and effectively, or about providing more cost-effective alternatives as budgets and staffing tighten, without sacrificing existing user capabilities. It's about examining how users within and outside your organization interact with each other, and uncovering road-blocks or time-sinks that aggravate their daily lives.

For example, some of my colleagues recently did a business assessment with a hospital, and in talking to the pharmacy staff discovered that in order to fill the roughly 1,000 prescriptions that come to them each day, about 20% needed up to 5 follow-up calls to verify and research the request. Imagine the time and therefore cost savings that could be realized if we could make that process more efficient. So then we look at how these issues can be improved or remedied through technology. And of course to do that, we need to know how "the cloud" or SIP (or whatever technology) can provide real solutions to real user problems, in this example forming the "Improving Pharmacist Efficiency Strategy".

Technological solutions also need to center on the user--not the device, not the location, not the media. The overall goal of enterprise communications is, and has always been, helping people who aren’t standing right next to each other, well, to state the obvious--communicate. A seemingly endless choice of devices, applications and media may be available to effectively connect people to do their communicating, but adding in these capabilities tends to render them useless from the start if they are siloed and complicated. It’s not a "nice to have" to make this seamless and natural to the user--allowing them to switch between media, move from location to location, and change devices to suit the needs of the moment without disrupting the conversation. It's really a make or break requirement to enable user-adoption and allow you realize the return on the investment in terms of improved efficiency and higher user satisfaction.

And finally, as we all know, the user is changing. For sure the millennials and digital natives (like Abbey here in this video clip), with their practically-from-birth exposure to technology, drive I-want-it-my-way-and-now expectations as they start entering or interacting with your organization. And even among the other generations, it's clear that advances in personal communications are setting a fast pace. With a broad choice of smart-phones, the "apps" craze, easy and inexpensive video, and the social networking phenomenon, we are all changing as users and bringing new expectations to the workplace. This means solutions need to be highly customizable, flexible and adaptable to personal preferences or they simply will not be used. And while you may still have some (albeit diminishing) control over the devices, applications and media that your employees use, you certainly can no longer fight the "bring your own" trend with your extended circle of constituents--and how long until this wave overtakes the organization fully? More on that for sure in a future blog-post.

So, my thought for today: start with the user, keep the user in the center of the strategy and look for solutions that can seamlessly and flexibly help the ever-changing user. My hope is that you will find my insights helpful, and of course I welcome any discussions or counter-arguments.





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

October 18, 2017

Microsofts recent Ignite event had some critically important announcements for enterprise communications. Namely, Microsofts new Team Collaboration offering, Teams, will be its primary communicatio

September 20, 2017

Customer experience can make or break your business. But how do you achieve outstanding customer service when you're dealing with outdated organizational structure, lagging technology, dated proces

September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.