So, you’ve invested in video collaboration. Now what? Is it delivering on its promise? Has it made a tangible contribution to the success of your business? Is it regularly being utilized by your staff? How do you even measure its effectiveness and determine whether it’s making a positive impact?
Or, if you’re considering a move to video collaboration, how can you best ensure you find a solution that works with your needs and delivers the design, deployment and ease of use to meet your business goals?
Analysis by Polycom suggests many organizations that switch to video collaboration don’t achieve the utilization or ROI they anticipated when they bought the solution. And according to the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA, www.tsia.com) many technologies have become so complex that to maximize their benefits, engaging with a specialist with relevant expertise can be vital throughout the solution’s lifecycle - from the earliest planning stage through to ongoing operation.
In the case of video collaboration, this ongoing engagement will help you:
Ensure closer alignment between your business goals and the video conferencing technologies used to achieve them
Deliver a high quality, highly available, video-enabled unified communications and collaboration solution for all your users
Achieve stronger ROI through a solution that is well utilized and has high adoption
Better manage capacity for video conferencing resources such as rooms, schedules etc. and critical infrastructure including your data network
Why engage early?
When an organization is thinking about investing in video conferencing, it typically focuses on what it wants, not what it wants to do better. It also assumes that a solution with the right technical specifications will automatically be easy to use, well utilized, and deliver good ROI.
But what’s often missing from this process is any detailed conversation about the application of the technology, its specific use cases, implementation, and/or measurements of business success. It also fails to address the critical questions the organization really needs to answer, such as:
What business results are we going to drive by deploying a video collaboration solution?
How many days are we going to take off our product design cycle? Or how can we stop products from shipping late?
How can we make better decisions, faster?
How will the solution help our line of business managers with their specific challenges (e.g. HR vs. Engineering vs. Marketing etc.)?
What will the system’s impact be on the organization’s bottom line?
All of these are areas where early and ongoing engagement can deliver tangible business benefits, results, and added value throughout the solution cycle of planning, deployment and operation.
Why keep engaged?
Early engagement during the consideration and decision phases can help to address specification, assessment, integration and design challenges - by establishing clear goals, mutually understood expectations and definitions of success, increased transparency during design and readiness, and reduced downstream implementation issues - resulting in greater value.
To ensure successful design and deployment, you should therefore expect your video collaboration vendor to be actively engaged in:
Assessing network readiness to ensure you have the right foundation to successfully deploy the kind of solution you need, and deliver a video and audio experience your users can rely on
Ensuring the solution integrates seamlessly with your production environment, including email, calendaring etc. and is made as easy as possible to use
Post-installation you should also expect proactive support in areas such as adoption, analytics, utilization, and potentially the complete outsourcing of ongoing operation. For example:
Driving adoption can often be as simple as raising awareness of the availability of video, or providing users with access to self-service training
Analytics can give you visibility into your end users’ experiences, who is and isn’t using the system, where any quality issues are coming from, and how your system’s utilization compares with similar businesses
Managed services can help you lower operational costs, increase uptime, and significantly reduce total cost of ownership
Proactive support options can include value-add services such as regular utilization reports, benchmarking against other companies, and self-serve user adoption programs