SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Blair Pleasant
Blair Pleasant is President & Principal Analyst of COMMfusion LLC and a co-founder of UCStrategies. She provides consulting and market...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Blair Pleasant | October 30, 2012 |

 
   

UC Training for End Users: It Matters

UC Training for End Users: It Matters Training will increase the return on your investment and make your workers more productive.

Training will increase the return on your investment and make your workers more productive.

Last week I was speaking with an IT manager about his company's usage of unified communications and the benefits UC produces. When I asked about specific capabilities, such as screen sharing and federation, he mentioned that he's the only person in the organization who uses these, because he hasn't trained the workers at the company on how to use these features.

This got me thinking: Should we have to train people on how to use a UC system, or should it be intuitive and simple enough to not require any training? We don't have training for our mobile phones or even tablets; they're generally intuitive enough to figure out on our own or, in the last resort, by reading the manual.

Think about using Facetime on an iPhone or Mac versus using a video system in an enterprise. The former is easy to figure out, but an enterprise video system is generally more complex and rarely obvious.

The fact is, UC is more complicated than most consumer-oriented tools, and it typically requires end-user training in how to use some of the more advanced features and functions. We can debate whether UC systems are too complex and whether vendors should simplify their solutions, but IMHO, the answer isn't to "dumb down" UC; instead, we need to make sure that training is a part of every deployment.

A couple years ago, a colleague and I conducted a study for a company that had deployed UC across its organization to determine the effectiveness of its UC training program. We spoke with end users at the company both before and after the training, as well as some workers who had not gone through the training. Most of those surveyed agreed that while the UC solution is intuitive enough to start using without training, those who went through the training, even if they had been using the system, found that their usage of UC capabilities increased. Those that had already been using UC found that the training showed them features and functions that they hadn't known about previously, and they began to use capabilities they were already familiar with more frequently.

All of the interviewees felt that the training was worthwhile. Even though most workers quickly figured out how to use presence and IM, click-to-call, and use other basic capabilities, many of them did not use the more advanced features prior to the training, such as teleworker, screen sharing, and more advanced collaboration and mobile capabilities.

Adoption, to a great extent, is driven by training. In any organization, there are technically-savvy people who "get it" but for the rest of us, end-user training is a key step in getting UC's advanced features and capabilities utilized. Not surprisingly, unless someone understands the value that UC brings, they're not as likely to integrate it into their daily routine.

This is especially true when integrating UC to business processes; and the end-user training needs to include both the "hows" and the "whys." Several of the study participants noted that they would welcome business productivity training, and that it would be better to have training that helped focus people on business productivity rather than just how to use a feature.

Bottom line: To get the most out of your UC system, integrate training into your implementation plan. Conduct the training before the deployment and on a periodic, ongoing basis. Training delivers a positive double-whammy: It will increase the return on your investment and make your workers more productive.





COMMENTS



July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

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.