5 Clues Your UC Implementation Is in Trouble
These indicators provide a good hint that your operational strategies are failing.
Over the past five years, organizations have been turning to unified communications solutions for new capabilities and positive business benefits. However, a handful of critical factors cause UC deployments to fail, or at least significantly restrict their impact -- especially at organizations applying traditional PBX operational strategies to UC management.
Here are five clues that your approach to UC management is failing.
- Your staff can't handle the workload efficiently. Managing a UC platform is more time-consuming than managing a traditional PBX, with change requests often necessitating operations staff to touch multiple platforms with different interfaces and structures versus only having to make a few entries on a single platform. This means the type of request that once required only 10 minutes of a system administrator's time may now take an hour to perform. The result is staff overload, manifested by slow work order completions, excessive overtime, and even resignations and requests for reassignment.
- Your costs are escalating. As noted above, more operational complexity means increased management activities -- and that often translates into increased cost. In other words, you cannot simply extend the PBX cost structure linearly. As Nemertes Research found in a recent survey, the average operational cost for UC approaches 50% of the system's total cost, which is dramatically higher than the typical 20% associated with legacy PBXs. Performing operational tasks required with UC often results in increases in purchased services, contractors, consultants, and staff overtime.
- Your system reliability is suffering. Another result of growing complexity and the need to touch a multiplicity of interfaces is an increase in configuration errors. Operator error, in fact, leads to 30% of outages in UC systems, a statistic Zeus Kerravala, principal of ZK Research, cited during an Enterprise Connect 2015 session last March. Configuration errors can lead to system disruptions, which in turn have a negative impact on adoption and usage.
- Your users aren't getting value from the UC deployment. If your users haven't adopted your new UC platform or aren't taking advantage of all its functionality, then you're obviously not going to reap full financial benefits from your migration. Finding early adopters and proper training are critical success factors, but so is configuring the system correctly for ease of use and setting up users for success. While making sure complexity doesn't limit functionality, you need to monitor adoption factors and work to understand the impact of operational process on adoption.
- Your team shies away from upgrades. Most UC vendors are rapidly evolving their product features and capabilities, resulting in the requirement for system upgrades and significant configuration changes. This can mean a major burden for operational teams faced with physically configuring hundreds or thousands of parameters across a range of systems. The temptation is to skip upgrades, even if doing so means missing out on the functionality.
If you see any or all of these situations within your organization, know that you need to rethink your approach to managing your UC deployment. As I've written previously on No Jitter, my suggestion is to implement a business communications operations management (BCOM) solution to automate the configuration and change processes based on the range of lifecycle events of the system (see related article, BCOM or Bust). You can find BCOM solutions from Kurmi Software, VOSS Solutions, and Unimax Systems. Consider BCOM a critical success factor.
Tune in for my UCStrategies webinar, Why UC Fails and How to Avoid It, on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 2:00 p.m. ET.