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Let Employees Experience UC Tools First Hand To Ensure A Successful Deployment

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As we continue to press further on into 2015, gone are the days of single channel collaboration where a meeting in the conference room or an email with attachments would suffice. Today, workforces are widely dispersed and results are expected in almost real time, making traditional forms of business communication outdated and ineffectual in the modern enterprise. To successfully implement collaboration tools in today's organizations, IT decision--makers must focus on fast--paced, multimedia solutions.

Modern Collaboration Technology Has Changed The Playing Field

Now, companies looking to increase their collaboration capabilities are able to access multiple cloud communication tools within a single integrated interface when they deploy unified communications solutions. Hosted voice, video and Web conferencing tools are all available, as well as features like screen sharing, instant messaging and presence notifications. While all of these services serve a particular and necessary function within the enterprise, employees can be overwhelmed if they are given access to a wide variety of features without any guidance on the best ways in which to use them.

In an interview with Forbes, Jaclyn Kostner, a virtual meeting management consultant, noted that too many businesses make the mistake of showing employees which buttons to click and then thinking deployment of the program is complete. This is hardly ever the case, however. With so many new features being introduced at once, staff members that have not been adequately and thoroughly trained on best practices related to the new solution can become overwhelmed and will either latch on to a singular tool or ignore them altogether, leaving the workforce just as disconnected as it was before the new system's rollout.

"You have to know how to get and keep everyone actively engaged," said Kostner.

Experience Is The Best Teacher

Training staff on how to use each feature of a UC suite, as well as giving a thorough demonstration of the advantages they offer, is the best way to ensure employees understand both sides of the technology. Kostner used the benefits of Web conferencing as an example. In a traditional meeting where brainstorming and discussion are required, everyone goes around the room and offers ideas one at a time while a group leader writes those ideas on a flipchart. The process is often time consuming and tedious, reducing productivity and interest in the subject. However, using a Web conferencing tool would eliminate the wasted time and allow for more meaningful discussion.

"Within one or two minutes, this electronic meeting captures and prioritizes the key issues for voice discussion – something that would take much longer in a traditional meeting," explained Kostner. "So now, instead of spending 20 minutes getting everyone's ideas on the table, we've taken only two, which buys 18 extra minutes for verbal discussion about how to solve the problem."

Allowing employees to experience a new technology first hand and realize for themselves the benefits it brings to the table is the most reliable way to ensure full and effective deployment of cloud communications solutions.