Siemens Unveils AmplifyTEAMS With Some “Out of The Box” Thinking and Strategy
I was fortunate enough to have some face time recently with Chris Hummel, Chairman of Siemens Enterprise Communications during Enterprise Connect 2013. Chris shared with me Siemens' new AmplifyTEAMS concept to dramatically improve performance.
The focus on a “teams” concept and why now is relatively simple. All of us are seeing a huge uptick in the performance of the stock market and profitability of many public companies. Part of this is driven by the rightsizing of the economy and improved performance of the workforce. A key question is how much more can we right-size without having to add additional staff? One of those ways is to utilize teams and utilize additional untapped performance yet to be utilized within each of our organizations.
The Nature of Teamwork has Changed
Utilizing Unified Communications tools, the nature of teamwork truly has changed forever. For example
We used to have face-to-face fixed roles meetings. Now we can utilize audio and videoconferencing to run virtual and mobile meetings.
We used to have longer more predictive cycle times on business process. We now have shorter cycles being driven by speed-to-market and by technology available to us.
Business processes used to be directive transaction oriented. It has now transitioned to conversational and collaborative action.
We had fairly limited use of tools available to us. Today Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) can truly “amplify” our opportunity for those tools available to us to collaborate, including IM/chat, presence, ad hoc audio conferencing, ad-hoc video conferencing, Web integration, Doc sharing, Microsoft Lync or Google UC integration, mobility, softphones, Unified Messaging, and more.
With many choices out there, communications has become more complex and in some cases even overwhelming. As was published in a recent UCStrategies podcast regarding remote workers and Yahoo, work lifestyles and team collaboration have literally become more virtual, mobile, and distributed. In some cases the possibilities for cost-cutting, downsizing, and even outsourcing have become exhausted.
With the entrée of additional tools that are available to all businesses and consumers alike, it is many times difficult at best deal to be productive with the onslaught of social media outlets, text messages, instant messages, e-mails, voicemails, documents, phone calls, audio conferences, video conferences, shared workspaces, Web conferences, etc. etc.
Recent Survey Results on Collaboration
Recent research provided by Siemens includes some of the following interesting data:
79 percent of workers were frequently or consistently in distributed teams
Most teams still use “traditional” collaboration, most often via phone conference calls, e-mail, etc.
75 percent of teams are more likely to get distracted during virtual meetings
34 percent find remote team members possibly loafing or not doing their share in a team environment
Only 44 percent of those surveyed find it as productive as face-to-face teamwork
As many as 43 percent of users feel frustrated or overwhelmed by the UC&C technologies that they work with
Only 8 percent of those surveyed have some type of formal team performance management system in place
The above points speak volumes about clients engaging and utilizing Unified Communications and Collaboration – Unified Communications and Collaboration is truly here. And yet if not deployed properly, Unified Communications and Collaboration can be a cumbersome process for many organizations. It's not just about leveraging a team any longer; it's about leveraging UC&C to engage teams in a holistic way.
We are on the cusp of dramatic changes in the Unified Communications and Collaboration space. We can never forget that we are humans first and that technology is simply a vehicle to engage humans, human behavior, business processes, and business teams.
Enter Siemens AmplifyTEAMS
One of the companies that is leveraging UC&C is Siemens, with their AmplifyTEAMS model. Their tagline is “Amplify Collective Effort. Dramatically Improve Performance.” Siemens, with the amplifyTEAMS program, focuses on four key areas to move from tactical to strategic and from efficient to effective:
Reduce communications costs
Improve operational efficiencies
Increase team productivity and collaboration
Gain a competitive advantage
Siemens currently offers six AmplifyTEAMS packages. They include:
Mobile Worker Starter Pack. Utilizing Siemens OpenScape Mobility, this particular package provides benefits including faster response times between employees, partners and customers; improved productivity while mobile using single number reach, reduced mobile phone bill costs, and BYOD options.
Team Productivity Accelerator. Leveraging Siemens OpenScape Web Collaboration tools, enterprises can save money and time by minimizing expensive Web conferencing services, and meeting online and avoiding business travel, enhancing productivity and collaboration by sharing ideas from anywhere, and it proved advantage by improving communications and relationships with customers, employees, partners and suppliers.
Helpdesk Booster. With a focus on IT, CRM, and business automation applications help desks, Siemens Openscape Secure Advisor allows technical support staff to see a user screen from wherever they are in the world. This provides borderless real-time support for all users, reduced IT support costs, improved customer satisfaction, accelerated problem-solving.
Virtual Coach. Siemens utilizes Unified Communications to provide a vehicle to coach staff and clients one-to-one and one-to-many. Tools can include sharing documents through whiteboard, using integrated desktop video, using desktop control to any participants, breaking off main meeting into subsections, recording sessions for later replay and for further training.
CustomerEngagement Continuity. Siemens uses OpenScape Cloud Contact Center to create a 60-minute disaster recovery backup Continuity Center for contact centers. The cloud-based contact center facilitates discovery to create new pathways to achieve SLA targets. The Siemens model supports demand for seasonal and home workers, and enables home-based out-of-hours agents as if they are in the office.
Expert First Trade Accelerator. Siemens leverages “OpenScape Expert Trading Turrets” to integrate into existing trading environments. Benefits include increasing responsiveness through call prioritization, better market insights through team collaboration, improved efficiency with unlimited conference management and number of participants, and fastest time to first trade or first responder requirements.
Siemens, from my vantage point, is “smart” about creating new avenues for UC&C matching to their UC suite of products. Siemens is creating value by creating a team environment around their UC product suite and leveraging a largely untapped market. Note:
Some of these concepts are new, while some of these “products” are iterations of a concept already being done elsewhere in the marketplace
None of these tools are required for a Siemens-only deployment – it could be a mix and match of multiple manufacturers
Some of these tools can be used with any manufacturer, at least to some degree
UC&C is just gaining BIG traction in the marketplace, and utilizing tools like these will take the concept of UC&C from a concept to something real
The key point here is that the Siemens AmplifyTEAMS strategy takes UC from simply a concept to a real world application
So what does Siemens expect to gain from this? In my opinion:
Exposure leveraging the Siemens product line
Additional revenue or sales of professional services
Market awareness in terms of understanding UC and their own product line relative to UC
Increased use of unified communications as a tool in the marketplace
Leveraging the concept of teamwork to offer a sustainable competitive advantage, to date, has been largely untapped
Siemens is differentiating themselves from the competition using their own product and providing direct value to the customer utilizing Siemens tools. Siemens is no longer just a UC&C manufacturer. They are now a UC&C solutions provider, implementing real world change, making significant, measureable changes to the organizations they serve. AmplifyTEAMS is a concept whose time has come.
With the gaining traction of UC&C as a “high interest” or a “must have” in the many enterprise organizations we are consulting for, Siemens, in my opinion, is taking a proactive approach to identifying a need with UC&C and creating a new product and service leveraging UC&C tools available. Kudos to Siemens for creating a product from concept, and creating UC&C real-world value in specific, team-oriented focus areas.
Expect additional AmplifyTEAMs products as this new Siemens product announcement gains momentum and market traction.