Right now, as social distancing keeps everyone away from each other, we need technology more than ever to bring us together. But to be a legitimate part of business continuity plans, that technology must do more than connect us — it needs to simplify our jobs, foster collaboration and increase engagement. Achieving those aims is as much about the users as it is about the technology at hand.

Here is what I mean: Last week, I was invited to Cisco Webex videoconference with 15 participants to discuss business continuity planning. As everyone joined the meeting, I couldn’t help but notice how some people had terrible call quality and others didn’t know their webcams were even on. The technology component was solid, but the user experience was still not. If this sounds familiar to you, continue reading to find out how we improved the meeting experience.

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Here are some tips for significantly improving meeting experiences through end-user enablement, marketing and communication, and a service desk adoption strategy.

End-User Enablement Strategy

One of the hardest lessons I have learned in my role as a principal engineer is that typical users don’t care about a fancy button or a cool new feature unless it simplifies their job. The value of end-user enablement comes from understanding the business so technologies can be integrated into day-to-day processes.

End-user enablement is not just training. It is figuring out relevant use cases for each tool or feature and understanding how users prefer to consume training material. I have seen on-demand training work well for one customer but fail miserably for another — you need to find the right approach.

Once we understand the value of end-user enablement, what’s next?

Marketing and Communication Plan

Most of us fear what we don’t know. One way to overcome that is to keep users fully informed. Successful communication campaigns begin by explaining the following:

  • Why the business chose to deploy the technology
  • What problems it will help solve
  • Where users can find the right resources to help

This can happen through professional, engaging marketing and communication campaigns. Another aspect of marketing campaigns is creating tailored collateral such as quick-start guides, drip campaigns that offer tips for using the tools and gamification features to motivate users.

Now that we know about a few ways to inform and enable our users, we are ready to tackle the third integral piece: providing an adoption strategy for the service desk and IT teams.

The Service Desk Adoption Strategy

A properly planned adoption strategy aims at making users self-sufficient for the most common issues. When we create FAQ repositories, troubleshooting guides and design overview sessions we enable our unsung heroes in IT to sustain the success of our deployment.

Putting all of this together, here is how we improved that awkward meeting experience I described earlier:

  • Designed a matrix that helped users decide how they should connect based on where they are connecting
  • Created a 90-second quick-start video on demand with best practices for joining Webex meetings
  • Enabled support staff with analytics and troubleshooting training to identify the source of call quality issues and other common problems
  • Conducted “office hours” where users could join a Webex call, receive answers to their questions and then drop off the call at their leisure

A Good First Impression

We get one chance to make a first impression. We have the option to present the technology we are deploying as a powerful tool that simplifies users’ jobs, increases their engagement and achieves the intended business outcomes. That is what technology adoption is all about.

Explore more ways CDW can support your work-from-home strategy.

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