I recently attended Technology Services World (TSW) 2014 which is the Technology Services Industry Association’s (TSIA) fall conference. The terms, adoption and utilization, were evident everywhere – from keynotes to breakout sessions. And the reason is obvious. As the technology market evolves and business buyers begin to exert their influence over IT buyers, the focus is shifting from features (aka – speeds and feeds in the video world) to customer success and business outcomes, as it well should.
Technology has long ridden the wave of faster, broader, cooler, more bells and whistles while the end users and business functions have been flooded by this “more is better” mentality. More is better only if it’s truly useful and users can figure out how to use it. Technology is great but only to the extent that it helps someone work smarter not harder, increases their productivity, allows them to maintain a better work life balance, or more effectively drives collaboration and connections with colleagues, partners and customers.
So why is adoption so hard to drive sometimes and utilization quite regularly woefully low despite our best efforts to create great technology solutions? Even when solutions are designed from the beginning with ease-of-use in mind, they are often being deployed into highly complex, multi-vendor, cross application environments. Without sufficient planning and strategy upfront, and consideration of use cases and integration points throughout, it may simply be too hard for that easy-to-use solution to become a seamless part of how users do their jobs every day.
The good news is it’s never too late to plan, integrate and drive adoption. Whether your organization is new to video collaboration or has been using it for many years, it's probably a worthwhile exercise every few years to assess where you are, what if anything has changed and are your users adopting and utilizing the collaboration solutions available to them. And if not, ask the question, why not? Have their needs changed? Has the technology environment changed? Have business processes changed. Adoption is affected by culture, processes and technology – any of which can and do change regularly in highly dynamic organizations.
Technologies that are underutilized are bad for the customer and bad for the vendor. Generally a good first step is understanding where you are today and a benchmark study is a great way to find out how your organization’s utilization stacks up relative to others. Check out a sample of the Polycom Benchmark report available to Polycom customers.