Polycom recently presented a series of four design clinics which you can watch on-demand to benefit from best practice approaches to:
Designing your collaboration environment
Ensuring your data network is ready for voice and video
Implementing winning workflow strategies
Measuring and driving performance and utilization
In the third webinar, Kirk Butler, Services Portfolio Manager, demystifies the process of rolling out hybrid solutions to video-enabled workforces, and details a variety of workflow scenarios and self-service strategies to fit any organization’s needs.
Simplifying the Complexity within Unified Communications
Often project teams make the mistake of beginning their discussions around the product set and features, which can derail the discussion from the most essential subject – what is the use case? Kirk suggests the discussion should begin with workflow use cases, which he breaks down into two categories:
Scheduling and connecting – how users organize and connect which will depend on your company culture, and whether users click to connect, dial in from a conference room, or use a concierge model
In-call services such as content sharing, virtual white-boarding, recording, live streaming etc.
Once use cases have been defined in line with the organization’s culture, you can then look at the feature set needed to support the models. Polycom Global Services can help lead this conversation.
From Concierge to Self-service
Under a concierge or ‘white glove’ model, an operator or VNOC has traditionally handled conferencing from the scheduling through connecting and closure of the call. But concierge services can be expensive for companies and cumbersome for users, so concierge-led calls are now being superseded by self-service or “ad-hoc” models. There are six different approaches to giving your users more control, each appropriate for different types of calls, situations, company sizes and cultures:
Shared VMRs. A VMR is a virtual meeting room with functional and security characteristics set by an administrator, and which users can book as they do a physical conference room. VMRs are easy to configure, with simple calendaring, and are a basic solution for businesses with limited MCU resources.
Personal and speed dial VMRs. With personal VMRs, a persistent VMR is assigned to each user which they can then use anytime, from any device. Personal VMRs are a highly scalable solution for tech-savvy users requiring no support, while Speed Dial VMRs provide an added layer of user-friendliness – a single-click functionality for room-based systems to join.
Click-to-schedule. This model gives users a single button to initiate scheduling, and maximum control over the call they’re setting up. Polycom Click-to-Schedule integrates with Outlook, Lotus, Google and Yahoo calendars, and provides a single scheduling experience across all these platforms. Polycom RealConnect creates a seamless experience between Lync video users and Polycom systems. And Polycom RealPresence Web Suite lets people initiate business-grade video calls with users outside the business, who connect to these calls via their web browser.
The method you choose will depend on your users’ habits, the applications they’re already working with (especially Lync), or on factors such as whether or not you have a hybrid environment that uses many different applications. These scalable, ‘meet-on-the-bridge’ solutions also help you avoid the complexities of point-to-point calling, and are far easier to administer.
How to deploy multiple workflow models
Although it would be great to have a simple one-size-fits-all solution, if yours is a large company with many departments, you know people work in different ways. What you ideally want to do is:
Define a clear purpose for each workflow model: e.g. for all non-director-level calls, implement Personal VMRs and let the user choose which device they’re going to use.
Assign one workflow to one workspace or user group: e.g. for all immersive telepresence rooms, make everything concierge-based, as these will primarily be used by executives.
Adapt workflows to user experiences: If you have a department (e.g. HR) that’s constantly engaged in external calls, then choosing Web Suite may be the way to go. Similarly, you could implement specific models for Customer Service, Sales, Marketing and Manufacturing, that fit each department’s specific needs.