Make a Data-Driven Decision on Unified Communications

Quantify the real value and need for UC to make the business case and build a realistic roadmap.

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Your Challenge

  • The organization’s phone system is due for replacement soon.
  • The alternatives for replacement aren’t just phone systems, they are Unified Communications (UC) suites and an array of point solutions for communicating and collaborating.
  • The infrastructure manager must identify and prioritize the UC features and functions that are most needed, valued, and readily adoptable by users in your organization. 

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • The most important but often overlooked challenge of the UC project is maximizing user adoption. The more readily users adopt UC, the more business value it will create.
  • Users increasingly have access to consumer tools for communication and collaboration. Many of these tools are free to them but have high costs to secure and support in an enterprise environment, are difficult to integrate with enterprise systems, and have unclear product roadmaps.
  • The case for UC is unclear: should IT invest in UC or take a point solution or best-of-breed approach that leverages low-cost consumer-grade tools?

Impact and Result

  • Survey stakeholders and users to validate IT’s assumptions about what UC functions users really want and need.
  • Build a business case on hard data in order to establish buy-in for UC decisions and gain approval.
  • Align the UC roadmap with the end-user computing strategy (as well as networking), especially mobility, to ensure UC functionality is compatible with devices and platforms used in the foreseeable future. 

Contributors

  • Dennis Roberts, IT Director, Blue Waters Products Limited
  • One anonymous contributor
  • Survey with 322 respondents

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Get to Action

  1. Make the case for conducting a UC end-user survey

    Build a business case for conducting an end-user survey and gain buy-in and momentum.

  2. Conduct a preliminary needs assessment

    Maximize UC project support by engaging stakeholders early and ask the right questions to elicit usable, high-quality survey data.

  3. Develop and distribute the survey

    Survey end users about UC preferences and requirements.

  4. Review and analyze survey results

    Make a data-driven decision on UC, validate UC use case assumptions, and support the UC business case.

  5. Incorporate data into UC strategy

    Generate meaningful insight into the economic value of your UC target infrastructure.

  6. Update the UC roadmap

    Create and communicate the definitive plan for moving the UC project forward.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a nine call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Develop an end-user survey for UC

  • Call #1: Define scope of the UC project and create a high-level UC project timeline

  • Call #2: Estimate the value of making a data-driven UC decision

  • Call #3: Document IT’s initial assumptions about UC current state, unsatisfied needs, and future possibilities

  • Call #4: Define stakeholders to interview, and user groups to survey

  • Call #5: Refine questions and finalize the survey

  • Call #6: Select a survey engine to test and distribute the survey

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Analyze and apply the UC survey results

  • Call #1: Review the results to identify and assess unused capabilities, unsatisfied needs, awareness gaps, and user trends

  • Call #2: Assess the business value of the target infrastructure to identify the financials of your investment

  • Call #3: Determine actions required to complete the UC project and finalize the UC project communication plan

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Make the Case

The Purpose

  • Assess the value of making a data-driven UC decision.
  • Make a go/no-go decision.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Clarify scope and goals of the UC project.
  • Make a business case for conducting a UC end-user survey.
  • Build buy-in and momentum for the UC end-user survey.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Define scope of the UC project
  • UC Project Mini-Charter
1.2 Create a high-level UC project timeline
  • UC Project Timeline
1.3 Estimate the value of making a data-driven UC decision
  • Estimated value assessment for conducting a UC end-user survey
1.4 Make a go/no-go decision on whether to conduct an UC end-user survey
  • Go/no-go decision on whether to conduct a UC end-user survey

Module 2: Conduct a Preliminary Needs Assessment

The Purpose

  • Establish the right direction and momentum for the project.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Maximize UC project support by engaging stakeholders early in the process.
  • Ensure you ask the right questions to elicit usable, high-quality survey data.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Document IT’s initial assumptions about UC current state, unsatisfied needs, and future possibilities
2.2 Define stakeholder and user groups
2.3 Interview or survey stakeholders
2.4 Collect and consolidate stakeholder feedback
2.5 Identify gaps between IT’s initial assumptions and findings of stakeholder interviews
  • Preliminary UC Needs Assessment

Module 3: Develop and Distribute the Survey

The Purpose

  • Elicit data and insights into UC use cases, demand, and opportunities.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Survey end users about UC preferences and requirements.
  • Produce a visual report with insights into end-user preferences and needs.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Select a survey engine
3.2 Refine questions and finalize the survey
3.3 Test and distribute the survey
  • UC User Awareness & Interest Survey

Module 4: Review and Analyze Survey Results

The Purpose

  • Turn the data into a compelling report and usable insights.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Make a data-driven decision on UC.
  • Validate UC use case assumptions.
  • Support the business case for UC.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Collect and review the results
4.2 Identify and assess unused capabilities, unsatisfied needs, awareness gaps, and user trends
4.3 Rate the drivers of platform change based on your analysis
  • Telephony/UC End-User Diagnostic

Module 5: Incorporate Data into the UC Strategy

The Purpose

  • Align the UC implementation with data and insights from the survey.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Clarify and communicate plans to cultivate agreement and inform the UC Business Value Assessment.
  • Generate meaningful insight into the economic value of your UC target infrastructure.

Activities: Outputs:
5.1 Design a UC target infrastructure
  • UC Target Infrastructure
5.2 Assess the business value of the target infrastructure to identify the financials of your investment
  • UC Business Value Assessment

Module 6: Update the UC Roadmap

The Purpose

  • Foster buy-in and adoption as you move forward with the UC project.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Create a definitive plan for moving the UC project forward.
  • Communicate the UC project goals, benefits, and requirements.

Activities: Outputs:
6.1 Use Info-Tech’s UC Roadmap template to communicate the business case and project overview
6.2 Visualize schedules for UC benefits realization and costs
6.3 Determine actions required to complete the UC project
6.4 Define roles and responsibilities for completing the UC project
6.5 Finalize the UC project communication plan
  • UC Project Roadmap

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Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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Search Code: 75047
Published: June 9, 2014
Last Revised: December 16, 2014

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