20th November 2017

By Naeem Azam – Unified Communications Product Manager at GCI.

It is very evident that Unified Communications (UC) is bringing in rapid change to the IT industry; from replacing ageing PBXs to providing the tools for increased collaboration and productivity. Many businesses have already started the journey towards Unified Communications adoption, with many more actively searching for a UC solution.

Technology is certainly one enabler which initiates the cultural change that customers are seeking. The second crucial element is the drive towards UC adoption. The pressing need for UC is evident in the below survey from Jabra, who found that the biggest challenges holding back users were inadequate training (58%), resistance to giving up established tools (44%) and resistance to giving up existing ways of working (34%) – all of which would have been significantly reduced by UC adoption guidance and training.

User Adoption Challenges for Businesses

To use an analogy, let’s treat our technology as our cloth and UC adoption as our tailor. We have the technology (the cloth) but require a strong UC adoption process (the tailor) who can ensure it fits and delivers long-term value.

“Just because it suits someone else doesn’t mean it will suit you as well. Tailors were made for a reason.” – Goitsemang Mvula

UC adoption objectives and requirements – like selecting your tailor – must begin before you have selected your preferred technology, before you choose your cloth and before you start to cut it. Strategy, planning and profiling are areas which must be researched to choose a suitable solution. This investment will pay dividends in the short and long-term and ensure you have that bespoke fit – just like a tailor’s suit!

So, you have a nice tailored suit – now what? Well, the next steps are about getting added value, and for that you need two components. Firstly, you require deep insight and analytics on your technology investment; information such as call quality, network bandwidth and product usage…in fact, why not get forensic and even look at feature usage?These analytics can be presented in a visual format to provide you with key trends and themes, and will really highlight which areas of your technology you should invest in further or which areas require a little more nurturing.

The second important area of UC adoption is knowledge. A cultural change enabled through technology is fine, but what’s going to drive this forward? A blended e-learning solution is required to not only ensure your users have the right knowledge and skills on products, but also the right support for that cultural shift. Just like UC is making your business a more modern, collaborative and efficient performer, a cultural shift will only happen if you can provide your users with the tools to learn and adopt.

When looking for that custom-made Unified Communications solution, remember to think about the tailor. Choose a partner who uses proven methodologies, ensuring you receive that value-added benefit.

By 2020, PwC predict a near 100% penetration of Unified Communications in companies, so as services mature, UC adoption is no longer the tailor’s apprentice – it’s becoming the master. Cut your cloth accordingly.

On the 31st October and 1st November, GCI were Headline Sponsors at Microsoft Future Decoded. During the event, we demonstrated how GCI use analytics and e-learning to drive user adoption and deliver ROI. We’ve created a webpage that features our UCversity product sheet. View it here:

Naeem Azam

Naeem Azam is a UC Product Manager for GCI

Naeem is responsible for the growth of product and proposition with 3 new recent releases including Cloud PBX, Contact Centre and UC Adoption. Naeem has introduced and embedded a new culture to productise such as lean, agile MVP launches. He is intrigued by the product design experience and how GCI can utilise user experience, psychological principles and data to create the best UC experience.