With your business case and justification complete, the next step is to build your productive spaces. For many IT professionals this not only includes making use of legacy collaboration assets from multiple vendors—room-based video conferencing systems and UC tools—but procuring new solutions to enhance and expand their collaboration practice as well. What’s more, all solutions must work together seamlessly to produce the desired user experience. Generation-e’s approach is to deliver radical simplicity.
In a connected and collaborative work environment, the ultimate user experience is a single click of a button to launch a meeting from any device, room, or platform. This ideal minimizes training and all but ensures user adoption. But achieving this ideal isn’t always easy. The reality for many businesses is that the solutions from multiple vendors often don’t fit together well, resulting in a underutilized environment and a missed opportunity because of poor user perception. Users avoid meeting rooms that can’t connect to their preferred tools and IT teams are strained with management and support.
Microsoft Skype for Business
According to “No Jitter” enterprise adoption of Skype for Business surpasses 60%. From an individual user perspective, it’s easy to start a meeting with other Skype users on desktops or mobile devices. The complexity begins when you need to join users in a Cisco or Polycom video conferencing room to a Skype for Business meeting—a very common scenario. These tools simply weren’t originally built to work together out of the box and it often requires third-party integration to achieve a seamless user experience regardless of room or platform—but it can be done.
Internal vs External Communication
The majority of enterprise video calls are still internal—calls for internal team management, work meetings, and the like. However, external or off-net calls are on the rise. Wainhouse Research shows that a third of video calls in 2015 were external, which is an increase over 2013 and 2014.
The distinction between external and internal is important because your network and security requirements will be different for each. External calls can also introduce a host of technology integration issues based on the types of tools external clients, vendors, or others use to connect to your internal users.
Ad hoc vs. Scheduled Meetings
User expectations for impromptu and scheduled meetings is another area that needs to be well explored and documented to ensure a successful delivery of your collaboration program. Traditional scheduling will always be important because it allows rooms and AV assets to be booked in advance and enables users to look up meeting details.
The impromptu meeting is a natural extension of today’s mobile, connected workforce. The complexity is in delivering an experience that allows for easy escalation from presence to IM to an audio call to a video call to an impromptu meeting with some or all participants joining from an available meeting room. Top it off by making that impromptu meeting experience as close to a single button click as possible. When the impromptu meeting experience works well—because it was engineered to—users can serve themselves instead of relying on IT, creating a more efficient and streamlined collaboration environment.
Before you invest in specific technologies for your collaboration environment, make sure you’ve asked the right questions and addressed all potential challenges. Generation-e can work with you through this assessment to ensure your collaboration solution delivers the outcomes your business expects including:
- Network readiness assessment
- Detailed design
- Change management & user adoption
- Deployment and migration planning
- Managed services