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End-User Adoption: The Survey Says…


A graphic showing people learning a new platform
Image: - Irina -
For years I’ve been talking about the importance of UC&C end-user adoption and training – and now I have the data to back up the need for a robust user adoption strategy. With the support of Vonage and Zoom, Kevin Kieller, co-founder of enableUC, and I conducted a study on behalf of BCStrategies, surveying end users and those responsible for deploying UC&C in their organizations. Designed to help organizations understand the value of UC&C end-user adoption and provide insights as to what internal marketing and training methods are most effective, the survey sheds light on what organizations can do to optimize usage and adoption.
Companies have invested significant amounts of money on new UC&C solutions, particularly cloud-based UCaaS offerings, and demand for these services continues to grow, especially in the COVID era. By now, we all understand the many benefits of UCaaS, particularly for remote workers, as UC&C solutions make it easy to communicate and collaborate from any location on any device. To maximize their investment and reap the benefits of UC&C solutions, organizations expect that their workers will actually use the technology. However, in some cases, user adoption of these technologies can be as low as 20%, largely due to the lack of user adoption programs, including training and internal marketing of the technology.
We’ve learned over time that UC&C end-user adoption generally doesn’t just happen, and workers don’t always switch to the new tools that employers roll out. Organizations need to have structured adoption strategies and programs that begin even before the UC&C solution is purchased, with various steps, including:
  • Involving a diverse set of end users in the definition of requirements and ideally in the evaluation of potential solution options
  • Developing an end-user adoption and training program prior to deployment, taking into account end-user needs and use cases
  • Communications and change management, including internal marketing and promotion, evangelizing, and executive sponsorship
  • Creating an initial and ongoing training strategy
  • Monitoring and refining the adoption and training approaches based on actual usage and adoption measurements and metrics
To get the full benefit and return on a UC&C investment, organizations must invest the time, money, and resources in user adoption programs and strategies and various types of training programs.
While some organizations are doing a good job of preparing their end users for the new UC&C deployments, others are failing to do so, resulting in less-than-expected usage and adoption, as the survey results showed.
For example, less than half of the companies surveyed have a UC&C adoption program, with only 43% indicating that they have an end-user adoption program and strategy. The good news is most organizations involve executives in their adoption strategy, which is important for increasing adoption. Executive sponsorship and buy-in helps promote usage throughout the organization; if employees see executives adopting these tools, they’re more likely to do the same.
However, follow-up and measuring metrics are sorely lacking. As the saying goes, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Unfortunately, just over one-third of organizations surveyed don’t measure user adoption, and only one-third measure adoption on a regular basis. When asked if they regularly survey training participants related to their impression of the UC&C training sessions, a large majority admitted that they did not do this, nor do they measure usage and adoption before and after training sessions. Without understanding the effectiveness and impact of training methods, it’s difficult to identify what works best and what needs to be changed.
Clearly, end users surveyed feel that they would benefit from additional training. The study found 64% of users felt they were not aware of all the features and capabilities of their UC&C solution, and 71% of users believed they would be more effective with additional training.
At this point, enterprises shouldn't have any excuses for not having an end-user adoption and training program and strategy. Most of the UC&C vendors have customer success programs, and some like Microsoft, Fuze, and others have detailed user adoption programs for customers. Third-party offerings like Unify Square (now part of Unisys) and 1UC and digital adoption platforms from WalkMe, WhatFix, and others can be useful.
I’ll be discussing some of the BCStrategies survey findings and various end-user adoption approaches and best practices at Enterprise Connect. Please join me on September 27 for “Rethinking User Adoption: Leading the Way with a Personalized Approach.” A panel of experts will provide guidance on improving or overhauling your user adoption techniques to best serve an agile, hybrid workforce. Some key takeaways include:
  • Learn what user adoption strategies and tactics to add or adapt for the new hybrid workforce
  • Get the latest best practices advice for improving technology migrations and assuring strong adoption
  • Uncover where automation might fit in your user adoption roadmap
I hope you can join us and learn ways to get the most out of your UC&C investment by increasing end-user adoption.

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This post is written on behalf of BCStrategies, an industry resource for enterprises, vendors, system integrators, and anyone interested in the growing business communications arena. A supplier of objective information on business communications, BCStrategies is supported by an alliance of leading communication industry advisors, analysts, and consultants who have worked in the various segments of the dynamic business communications market.