IT leaders responsible for unified communications and collaboration (UCC) are still managing their services as commodities. That is what Irwin Lazar from Nemertes Research has concluded. Behind the issue, IT leaders are still focused on operational metrics such as mean time to repair rather than application metrics or the impact of UCC on workflows within a business process. Lazar goes on to imply that this laggard approach is precisely what has slowed the adoption of UCC down in the enterprise.
eZuce agrees that without the focus (and more importantly the metrics) on the business impact of UCC in the enterprise, adoption will continue to move at a snail’s pace. One approach to gaining this insight is the use of UCC analytics.
As UCC becomes available from within business applications such as CRM or ERP, a salesperson or purchasing agent can chat with customers or call them from within their application. UCC analytics and reporting can enable line-of-business managers to see the impact in real-time of these capabilities. Correlating the use of visual collaboration with sales performance or its impact on collections would be very useful.
In Nemertes report: Research 2015-16 Unified Communications and Collaboration Benchmark, 50 senior-level IT leaders representing 45 companies were interviewed. Out of the findings, almost half (46%) of the IT leaders say they track employee usage as their primary metric for measuring success. This is a good starting point, but it needs to be taken further. A first step toward analyzing UCC metrics is determining what information will be of value. If you look at visual collaboration as an example, line-of-business managers will value different information than IT staff members who are responsible for delivering the video conferencing system or service. As a department manager with budgetary responsibilities, understanding whether the monthly spend or charge back on a collaboration service is money well spent can be measured by how much the service utilized. Knowing who uses the service and how extensively provides real business insight. Another example would be to understand how, and from what location, people access the service and how the enhanced unified communications and collaboration solution has enabled team mobility.
Solution providers need to take this into consideration as they design their offerings. For a service provider projecting future capacity requirements is critical especially in today’s elastic computing environment aka the cloud. Predicting utilization and allocating infrastructure become more important. Providing information to your customers on not only their consumption levels but how they are using the service is becoming a key value add.
To this end, eZuce is trialing a new Viewme portal directed at Managed Service Providers (MSP) that assists in determining service utilization by customer. The portal helps predict peaks in utilization to ensure that the service provider infrastructure can meet the demands of its customers. It can also characterize customer utilization to allow for pro-active adjustments to each customer’s service. At the same time, the system collects and reports on key demographics that can be shared through a user portal to profile how their employees are using visual collaboration in their day-to-day interactions. This insight can assist line-of-business managers in determining how pervasive the use of visual collaboration is among their teams. It can also be used to correlate how the use of video conferencing and collaboration impact workflows between co-workers, business partners and customers.
Please contact us for more information on the Viewme portal.