Strategic CIO // Enterprise Agility
Commentary
8/1/2014
09:06 AM
Marty Parker
Marty Parker
Commentary
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Secrets To Unified Communications & Collaboration Success

These seven usage profiles will help you trace the communications activities of workers and uncover bottlenecks and inefficiencies.

nearly all of the seven ways to streamline communications and get savings and improvements. They also use powerful analytics to ensure the lowest labor cost while maximizing other objectives, such as customer satisfaction or up-selling.

7. Corporate staff includes executives, who have similarities to collaboration teams, as well as other roles similar to those described under administration/information processing workers. Corporate staffers can be on-site or mobile, and often need to share information. Some executives require a personalized form of collaboration and negotiation, so this usage profile usually includes high-definition desktop and meeting room video communication.

These seven usage profiles are found across all industries. The table below lists industry sectors in the rows and some value chain activities in the columns. Each cell shows the usage profile that might occur for a specific industry in one element of the value chain. Because usage profiles have different names in different industries, the color of each cell indicates which of the seven generic profiles is represented. Color codes are shown in the legend. A cell with two colors indicates a blend of two profile types.

For example, in the R&D/Product Management activity of the value chain for the manufacturing industry, there's a usage profile labeled "R&D." This profile is color-coded blue because it's an instance of Collaboration Teams. Likewise, in Account Sales for manufacturing, there's a usage profile for "Sales," color-coded to the profile type Mobile Field Workers.

This sample table could be extended to include the other value chain activities: operations, support staff, field services, customer services, and enterprise management. Note that some cells are blank because there are usually no usage profiles for that specific value chain activity (column) in the referenced industry (row).

As you discover the opportunities for improving your business using the "7 ways," you can plan and facilitate the delivery of those improvements using specific usage profiles optimized for the improved business processes and workflows associated with each profile. These applications of UCC technologies can then help your company lower costs, move faster, and differentiate itself from the competition.

Next up: Is UCC an application in itself or a set of services to be embedded in applications?

IT must support employees on the go as well as build mobile apps for customers. Both initiatives still have a long way to go. Get the new Frictionless IT: Mobility issue of InformationWeek Tech Digest today (free registration required).

Marty Parker, Principal and co-founder of UniComm Consulting, has more than three decades of experience with computing and communications technologies. He has been a leader in strategic planning and product line management for IBM, AT&T, Lucent, and Avaya. Now, as ... View Full Bio
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artr
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artr,
User Rank: Strategist
10/13/2014 | 3:15:13 PM
UC Use Cases Must Accommodate External End Users Too
Marty,

Absolutely right on as to different end user "use cases." However, UC&C is not just about internal employees that need to communicate and exchange information, but also external users like business partners, as well as customers. As they all increasingly exploit multimodal mobile smartphones and tablets, they will all need the flexibility of UC-enabled contacts, both as contact iniators and as recipients.. 

So, as you have often emphasized, the starting point will be the business process, followed by identifying the different types of end users involved with each process and their UC needs. Obviously, an end user may be involved with a variety of business processes and, with BYOD, will need to be accommodated by each business process for their device choice accordingly.

In addition to person-to-person communication flexibility, we also need to include the role of CEBP notifications from automated business process applications, particularly to mobile end users who are now more accessible for such contacts.

 

 
Christopher May
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Christopher May,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/11/2014 | 7:11:59 PM
A Secret Indeed
Great article Marty. This secret really is the core of an effective UC design. So often we see a pure focus on the UC application technology and the effectiveness, or not, of that application in improving business productivity. But of course you have hit the nail on the head with this "secret", that in fact you should first look at user (and device) profiles in your organisation and see what each profile needs for their work to be as productive as possible. It's so obvious, isn't it? Yet you rightly position this as a secret, since so few companies actually do this. They buy the latest technology, because of the technology, rather than focusing on what their various user profiles need. Productivity is optimised when companies effectively profile their organisations and then select and activate the UC tools for those employees. What you could have added, of course, is that no UC vendor today provides this capability to custom design a set of use profiles for an industry, or individual company. Fortunately there are 3rd party, specialist, UC service management vendors who do provide this capability. But, you need to ensure that they don't only deliver a fixed set of profiles (one flavour fits all). The real secret is to find the UC service management system that allows for complete customisation of user profiles and then also allows for customisation of the workflow and service activation required to fully automate the settings and features of the various devices and UC applications.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
8/2/2014 | 6:21:34 AM
Use case and usibility
I think the key point for UC and collaboration success is the correct identification of use case and the usability of the tool itself. Nowadays it's not difficult to develop feature-rich applications with reliability, etc. But identifying the correct use case is always the most difficult part. After identifying use case, developing software with good usibility is another story - the ideal tool would be something the end user cannot tell exactly how they launched it but it helps your daily work everywhere.
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