It seems like many companies have made significant investment in Unified Communications. Employees seem to know all the buzz words associated with messaging and collaboration. Yet strangely enough, I am continually surprised at how few of employees really know what their company’s telecommunication system offers or how to use those features. It is no wonder that UC investments typically don’t reap the cost savings or productivity benefits touted by the manufacturers.
The user device does not seem the issue holding back UC Adoption. The problem is familiarity. For the most part, people are familiar with PCs, tablets, smartphones, and even the plain old telephone. What they don’t know is how to take advantage of UC features or services that can be accessed through these devices. According to a Softchoice survey 33% of employees indicated they received no education regarding new services and those that did, 50% indicated it was less than 30 minutes.
A single training class isn’t going to increase UC usage regardless of the time investment. Building familiary through consistent long term exposure seems to be the key. When individuals are given multiple opportunities over an extended time period to learn unique UC services the usage of those services tends to increase dramatically. A point in case –use of one company's internal conference calling system increased by more than 300% (eliminating outside services) when the effort to familiarize and educate staff on in-house capabilities was made.