The End-User Experience Is Key to UC Success

Technology gives us powerful tools for doing our jobs better — provided we know how to use them. When new technology doesn’t work the way we expect, it can become a source of extreme frustration. Just ask Lucas Hinch.

In 2015, the Colorado Springs, Colo., man became so irritated with his computer that he lugged it into an alley and shot it eight times with a handgun. He was cited for discharging a fireman within city limits. He told the Los Angeles Times he did not regret his actions.

“It was glorious,” Hinch told the newspaper. “Angels sung on high.”

Although it rarely involves gunplay, tech frustration is a very real thing. A study conducted by 24 Hour Fitness concluded that 65 percent of Americans regularly become angry because of technology. Half of the 2,000 individuals surveyed admitted to yelling at a piece of technology.

Unified communications (UC) systems can transform businesses by integrating key communications and collaboration capabilities, but these solutions have a reputation for complexity. Research finds that about half of employees are frustrated with the UC user experience, and so they either don’t know how to use it or are afraid to try it. As many as 75 percent of the advanced features in UC platforms regularly go unused.

Capital investments in new technologies can only be fully realized when they are fully adopted, managed and utilized. The 2016 Connected Enterprise Report from Dimension Data notes: “The quality of the user experience has a determining effect on the success of UC adoption, and the resulting enterprise productivity. If employees don’t use the UC tools effectively, then organizations will not benefit from the technology.”

It’s important to understand that UC is not a single application, but a platform for integrating a range of communication and collaboration technologies such as data, voice, video, email and instant messaging. Working with a trusted systems integrator such as IPC that has experience integrating the various elements of a solution can help ensure a smooth implementation.

We believe that the ShoreTel platform delivers the best user experience in the UC industry and will thus maximize and accelerate adoption of the solution. ShoreTel Connect is a unique communications platform with a single code base that runs as a managed service from the cloud or as a self-managed hardware system on-premises. This innovative approach eliminates the need to piece together complex solutions, and provides a consistent user experience across any deployment model. A browser-based interface allows seamless collaboration without the need for plug-ins, multiple application windows, passwords or complex setup.

Additionally, IPC offers our customers training before, during and after implementation to facilitate knowledge transfer. We can provide face-to-face instruction for both end-user training and “train the trainer” sessions. We can also work directly with ShoreTel to set up a variety of virtual classroom experiences for users and administrators. Periodic training events and webinars are designed to help you gain maximum value from your UC investments.

Technology is of no practical value if users don’t understand how to use it. At IPC, we work closely with our customers to gain end-user input before, during and after an implementation. In this way, we can better understand what features you want, while helping you understand how new features can drive your productivity.