Future of Unified Communications and Collaboration – What Our FOX GROUP Clients are Saying
As part of the UCStrategies Experts team, I was recently asked to provide my thoughts related to what our customers are saying about the future of UC and collaboration (listen to our podcast on the topic).
Marty Parker and Don Van Doren have developed user profiles which identify how people work together. We have also developed our own UC/Collaboration profiles within FOX GROUP Technology. This enables us to develop the effective strategy, and business and technical requirements to help our clients acquire next generation technology solutions.
I thought I would also add comments from our latest updated benchmarking analysis of collaboration requirements as it applies to telework, remote and mobile workers in the health care, government and first responders.
What our Clients are Saying About the Future of UC and Collaboration
Our clients’ comments roll up into three major areas. Here are the issues/challenges and expectations that is holding them back from investing in next generation collaboration technologies:
No. 1 - Show Us
- As technology manufacturers, show us how you use the tools you sell to help improve your own business.
- Show us how you design, deploy and manage these technologies and what have been the changes your organization has had to adapt to.
- Show us the financial investments and benefits to get the required investment that is trackable and defendable over the length of the business case.
No. 2 - Teach Us
- Teach us how to effectively use these tools for the various UC profiles, and also how to use them across all employee demographics, including age, gender, culture and technology comfort level.
- Teach us how to manage the diverse applications, systems and devices, and also how to adapt as they continue to change and evolve.
No. 3 - Help Us Adapt and Continue to Evolve
- Work beside us as a technology vendor and tell us how and when you think we should change the technology, training and skills required for both the end users, IT and business support services.
Getting More of Our Clients’ Wallet Share + Faster
You heard some of my UC peers stated with their comments that most users should be able to adapt to using the many different collaboration applications, since it is not that hard. It is “as easy as using the internet,” as one of my peers stated.
As a tech savvy professional who has learned how, and is comfortable using many different UC/apps* on a daily basis (see list below), from working with our distributed clients of various levels of technology comfort and sophistication, I also think it is now an easy process for most users to find out what they need to know, and when they need to know it. In fact, the luxury of learning everything you might need to know before you actually need it is now an incredible waste of time, due to the constant and rapid “improvements” being made to applications and processes.
Just-in-time learning and quick adoption of ever-changing applications and processes is a serious advantage in today’s workforce.
In analyzing the reasons why some, but not all my folks and myself can do this is our combination of technology skills, social skills and multi-modal communications capabilities.
Believe it or not, some of us have, and use, our right brain capabilities, such as our interest in music, the arts including theatre and Second City improv facilitation skills to successfully use the many applications. Go figure!
If you think about it, there are not that many people of the total workforce who have this combination of skills. In my own companies, not everyone is comfortable, willing or able to adapt and willing to use all the tools that are available within our corporate environment.
Our Summary of the Future of Collaboration
Manufacturers and channel partners will need to not only provide the technical services and support identified earlier in my comments…
More important for the long-term success in getting wallet share of our clients, the industry must be able to bring human capital development and training capabilities to help organizations to successfully enable their workforce to develop the ability to use these many applications to successfully deploy collaboration solutions.
My guidance is to take heed of our FOX GROUP feedback and our client comments and shift your thinking to also include the “soft factors” that clients are asking for, and then the tech industry will be able to grow revenue and market share in UC and collaboration solutions.
Organizations will then be able to design, deploy and successfully manage these next generation collaboration solutions.
We welcome your thoughts, comments and feedback.
*The FOX GROUP unified communication and collaboration applications used within the practice on a regular basis in working with clients includes:
- Desktop Collaboration – Avaya Radvision, Avaya Zang, Cisco WebEx, Cisco Spark, Citrix GoToMeeting, Google+, Google G Suite, Microsoft Skype for Business, Vidyo, Zoom
- Document Sharing/Storage - Apple iCloud, Avaya Zang, Citrix ShareFile, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft SharePoint
- Messaging – Facebook Messenger, Google Messenger, Microsoft Skype for Business
- Video Communications – Apple Facetime, Facebook Click to Video, Google +, Vimeo
- Voice Communications – Cell Phone, Microsoft Skype for Business, Microsoft Skype, Facebook click to call