By Brad Dupee
Imagine you’re an IT decision-maker (ITDM) and are ready to implement a new Unified Communications (UC) tool. Maybe it’s exactly what your team needs to increase productivity, streamline operations or improve processes. Even if you’ve grasped the benefits and stepped confidently into the role of product champion, that new tool still needs to be adopted company-wide in order to make the impact you envision.
A recent Wainhouse Research study shows that ITDMs identify the following priorities (in order of importance) when selecting an enterprise conferencing solution:
Despite their best efforts, however, IT professionals often complain that employees never use the UC tools they are given. So, what factors stand in the way of adoption? The usual suspects — time, money and resources — spring to mind; but, perhaps the biggest challenge emerges from internal resistance to effort, risk and change within an organization.
Working through resistance requires each team member to go through the same discovery process you have. But, there is good news. You can help guide your team members to the technological Promised Land by ensuring three critical components are in place: awareness, education and a vendor that’s willing and able to push adoption forward.
Step 1: Create Awareness
Let’s keep in mind that the ultimate goal is change — and people don’t always like change. Your task will be even more difficult if the tool you’re introducing equates to a shift in working culture. The odds are certainly stacked against you, with one ISPI study suggesting that a daunting 81 percent of culture change initiatives fail.
So, if most employees ignored that helpful email announcement from the IT department, maybe it’s time to get creative. Get the word out with a notice posted in the bathroom or perhaps leverage the leadership of some noisy product champions. Spark some initiative by offering a $5 gift card for the fastest signup or enable a company-wide conversation using your new platform.
Step 2: Make Education Meaningful
Adoption is also contingent on how well employees understand the new tool and believe in its relevance. So before simply setting up the whole team with a product demo, consider components that might prove particularly useful for the individual or specific department. Think beyond listing features and focus on functionality — operational aspects or challenges the tool addresses.
Also, expect a drop-off in enthusiasm following the initial rollout and first end user training session. Just counter that drop-off by being proactive. Identify users who are not accessing the tool and provide them with additional forms of online support.
Step 3: Pick a Vendor That Can Do It All
Yes, a vendor can successfully drive the adoption of its solution within a client organization. So what do you need to look for? First, a vendor should be comfortable working directly with as many users as possible. Your IT department shouldn’t find their time monopolized by troubleshooting. Instead, direct channels of communication need to be opened in order to empower your end users to contact the vendor directly for support.
Ultimately, your vendor should be a real partner. At FreeConferenceCall.com For Business™, managers are on staff to facilitate service rollouts to enterprises. In a recent rollout within a Fortune 500 company, for example, the enterprise project manager collaborated with the customer to create personalized training materials and use cases that are accessible through the company’s intranet and other information sharing platforms. The PM also developed a direct link to the FreeConferenceCall.com For Business Customer Care team for employees. Those customer service conversations are a gold mine of information, uncovering hidden challenges and providing additional opportunities to increase adoption.
Remember how you were proactive and identified certain end users in the last step? You should be able to pass that information along to your vendor’s customer support team. They can then contact end users directly and offer assistance.
Hopefully these steps will help you successfully complete the rollout the way you planned. Do you have a creative strategy for capturing employee attention, or a particularly impactful training tip? We’d love to hear your tips and comments, so please share below!