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Taking a People-First Approach to Unified Communications
Today’s corporate workplace is the most dynamic it has ever been, with the Millennial-driven mindset leading to development of corporate cultures and adoption of advanced technologies that allow employees to work remotely, or outside of business hours, to gain flexibility without hindering their ability to contribute to organizational success.
To accommodate this shift to remote work, many enterprises are turning to unified communications as a service, or UCaaS, for its ability to enable the desired freedom and flexibility to employees no matter their job functions or locations. Successful UCaaS adoption, however, requires a change management strategy, a formal framework that ensures that all stakeholders are in lockstep and following a specific blueprint to drive user adoption.
While a formal process is paramount, also essential is a people-first approach to UCaaS adoption. A people-first approach completes the circle and drives initial success, as well as a long-term return on investment (ROI) in the form of employee satisfaction and retention. It’s not enough to focus on a checklist of services; a strong strategy will also take a hard look at how UCaaS can make everyone from the mailroom staff to the sales force, the IT department, and executive management more effective, more efficient, and more collaborative.
Solving for Scenarios
Widespread UCaaS adoption means organizations must place a high focus on the particular scenarios taking place across their businesses, such as:
- “My team needs to be able to work from anywhere.”
- “We share and collaborate on more than just documents.”
- “We need one way to look at all our work.”
- “There are just too many versions.”
- “I need to connect with other topic experts.”
There are dozens of other specific scenarios that are particular to each individual organization. By understanding these situations and working to drive solutions that match those needs, organizations can better position their UCaaS deployments for broad and measurable success.
Understanding employee requirements across the business is critical, as no two users, or their roles and responsibilities, are ever the same. Each has a distinct set of tasks -- and communications preferences -- so it’s critical to develop and evaluate personas and use cases throughout the business -- at all levels. As this evaluation takes place, some questions will arise:
- What does a “day in the life” look like for individual employee personas? What’s a typical schedule for each persona? How much time are users spending in meetings? Answering email?
- What specific functionality does each require? Will they be working offsite frequently? At home or on the road?
- What devices do different types of users need? How often will they need to check in from them?
- What value does a UCaaS solution bring them? How can UCaaS help them streamline some of their most time-consuming tasks?
- What are the common use cases across all roles within the organization?
Taking the time to identify and fully build out the scenarios in which employees would use UCaaS is key. Employees’ current use cases and scenarios can help create a starting point. The journey to UCaaS can begin with “like for like” functionality, leveraging the net-new capabilities, or somewhere in between.
Buy-in must come from every part of the organization -- from the mailroom to the boardroom. While having the approval of the executive team is vital to success, champions must be found throughout each department and at every level. The growing Millennial workforce will be key to this success.
UCaaS adoption is a multifaceted strategy that encompasses both a structured framework and a people-first philosophy. With both working hand in hand, organizations will see strong ROI, not just in the cost savings that UCaaS can offer, but also in the ever-important areas of employee satisfaction, development, and retention.
Change management is not a one-time event. For the ongoing success of UCaaS adoption, teams should revisit goals regularly and engage with employees frequently about emerging challenges and scenarios. By understanding the changing needs of the workplace and its need for work-life balance and creating and implementing a change management framework designed to meet those needs, businesses will be well on the road to successful UCaaS adoption.