Back in January Dell released results from a survey that showed more than half of Microsoft Lync users didn’t know whether their implementations met their cost-saving goals and nearly as many (46%) didn’t know how much they were saving on travel, communications and other expenses thanks to Lync.
What’s more, 52% said quality of service was a barrier to user adoption of Lync and 48% said they couldn’t easily track which features were being adopted by end users. Only 24% said they did track feature adoption.
The survey was clearly designed to make the case that customers need more help in figuring out why end users gravitate toward some UC components and not others, to help ensure they get the ROI they’re after with UC. Last week Dell announced general availability of the tool it’s been working on to help with just those problems, the Dell Unified Communications Command Suite (UCCS).
Dell Releases Software Suite to Help Drive Adoption and Deliver ROI for Microsoft Exchange and Lync UC Implementations
UCCS is intended to help customers collect information about the extent to which end users are employing various Microsoft Exchange and Lync applications. It also includes tools to report on how well the applications are performing.Taken together, the data is intended to point to steps that customers can take to increase adoption and deliver the expected ROI from their UC projects.
Dell’s focus on trying to quantify user experiences with UC solutions is well-founded. In its latest Magic Quadrant report on UC providers, Gartner cited user experience (which it calls UX) as the first of five factors that have an important effect on the success of a UC project and user satisfaction:
The quality, intuitiveness and effectiveness of the overall UX across all devices will heavily influence the effectiveness of the solution, its adoption rate, usage and, ultimately, enterprise productivity. While consolidated administration and management are important characteristics of a successful solution, it is the high-quality end-user experience that will drive adoption and productivity.
One example of that high quality user experience is providing a headset that delivers good call quality, as we reported recently. Michael Keenan, product management consultant for Dell Software, had this to say to eWEEK on the issue:
“There’s not just one user experience,” Keenan told eWEEK. “It could be call quality. What you want to do is provide insight into the different [user] experiences. It could be the UI … it could be video.”
Survey Digs into Challenges Companies Have With UC Implementations
The Dell survey of Lync customers showed 81% had some sort of concern about the quality of service with their Lync implementation. Nearly half (47%) cited network bandwidth availability while a third said they suffered from network congestion. Nearly as many (32%) cited video performance and quality as an issue while about one-quarter noted mobility support, multiple device connection support and desktop sharing quality as issues.
Dell UCCS is intended to help users address such problems, Dell says:
With Unified Communications Command Suite (UCCS), you can harness the valuable intelligence in your UC system to:
- Increase user productivity
- Encourage adoption
- Protect sensitive information
- Throttle ROI
- Plan for future growth and migrations
I particularly like “Throttle ROI.” I’m envisioning the likes of New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski throwing ROI into a TV camera, like he recently did to a certain Indianapolis Colt (see 0:49 mark of video). But I’m pretty sure Dell means something along the lines of “increase” ROI.
In all seriousness, getting widespread adoption for UC applications is crucial to ROI, so the Dell UCCS makes a lot of sense – at least for Microsoft Lync users. Dell is promising future versions will address Cisco and Avaya UC implementations as well.
We’d love to hear what users think about this issue. Have you been able to measure the ROI on your UC implementations? If so, how do you do it? Please let us know in the comments below.