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8/8/2006
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Users? Recommendations For Effective Collaborative Conferencing

In my first blog I explained that users view collaborative conferencing as being confusing, and I briefly suggested what needs to be done to drive adoption of collaborative conferencing within an organization.  My firm constantly surveys users regarding all aspects of collaborative conferencing.  In a recent study of 100 end-user organizations, we asked for recommendations to help users successfully adopt audio, web and video conferencing within their organizations.  While their responses sound logical and intuitive, when further study was done to determine how well their recommendations were put into practice, it was sad to note that many forget the obvious.  Here are the recommendations made by the users.

Audioconferencing

•    Make it easy to use
•    Quantify cost savings
•    Better describe internal PBX capabilities
•    Provide training & case study experiences
•    Purchase good quality equipment
•    Trial usage, create awareness
•    Adopt self service reservationless model
•    Promote, promote, promote

Webconferencing

•    Do a business case and promote it
•    Use it and see how it works
•    Remember that not everyone is web friendly
•    Provide training & case study experiences
•    Advertise and don’t restrict use
•    Explore all products & standardize on one
•    Make it easy to use

Videoconferencing

•    Make it easy to use
•    Provide open house demonstrations
•    Quantify cost savings
•    Provide training
•    Provide a user competency test
•    Pick up charges under general overhead to promote usage
•    Get senior management endorsement
•    Make it part of the corporate culture that everyone be trained & required to use the technology
•    Promote, promote, promote
•    Hire a consultant

Given all the suggestions presented above, the next obvious question is: How do you get started?  My next blog will address how you can drive the adoption of collaborative conferencing technologies.  The following four questions will be answered and will help make your adoption of collaborative conferencing easier and more worthwhile to your organization:

•    What is our benchmark for success?
•    Why are we implementing these technologies?
•    What are they going to do for us?
•    What will we do with the technologies once they are installed?

Topics to be discussed in future blogs include:

•    The latest in audio, web, and video conferencing,
•    How to determine your benchmark for success
•    Assessing your needs
•    Developing a return on investment
•    Developing applications
•    New technologies

If there are other areas you wish addressed, please contact me.  While I may not have the answer to every question at my fingertips, I do know where to get the answers and will report on whatever topics the readers wish addressed.

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