Most business leaders understand the power of video collaboration. According to a global study conducted by Forbes Insights, 62 percent of executives agree that videoconferencing significantly improves the quality of communication. And 55 percent of executives believe that videoconferencing also improves employee engagement.
But driving the adoption of video solutions can be tricky. While employees often have essentially no choice about whether to use, for example, a new email or payroll system, they can typically bypass videoconferencing tools by picking up the phone or arranging a face-to-face meeting. Because of this reality, organizations often bring CDW in for adoption services engagements, where we work to make sure video solutions will add new value instead of collecting dust.
Here are some of the steps we walk companies through to help them get the most out of video collaboration tools.
1. Reiterating Goals for Video Collaboration Deployments
It’s important for managers to know what they want their organizations — and their employees — to get out of a video collaboration deployment. Sometimes, these goals are clear: reduce travel costs by 20 percent; allow employees to work from home one day per week; grow the company without adding to the physical footprint. But other times, most of the benefits come from intangible things such as providing a richer communication experience where employees can see each other’s nonverbal cues, or increasing engagement and participation during conference calls.
During this stage of the process, we often identify key line-of-business stakeholders who will serve as internal “champions” throughout a video rollout. For example, a human resources manager might find flexibility in her budget by sometimes using video as a replacement for flying candidates across the country for interviews. These high-value use cases help companies to set and refine their goals.
2. Providing User Training for Video Solutions
Employees already know how to use their phones, or drive across town to meet with a client. If video solutions are significantly more complicated than these processes, employees won’t use them. Part of the training process is walking employees through the basic steps of how a video solution works; but it’s also important to engage in “internal marketing” — both making the case about how video can help people to do their jobs, and also listening to their needs and concerns.
During this stage of the process, we frequently hear employees say something like, “Oh, I’d use that, if only XYZ.” (“XYZ” might be something simple, such as providing high-resolution video displays; or, it might be something more involved, like designing solutions so that calls start automatically when participants enter a conference room.) Once this objective is identified, we can find a way to make XYZ happen.
3. Measuring Key Performance Indicators and ROI
It doesn’t do an organization any good to set goals and train employees if managers aren’t going to track adoption and progress toward their business objectives. We help companies to monitor and measure key performance indicators and return on investment.
Often, we’ll measure different sets of goals for different stakeholders throughout an organization. An IT manager might want to be able to show that the technology investment is paying off financially, in which case we can track costs savings. A line-of-business manager, meanwhile, might be more interested in how employees are using video solutions to improve their job performance, meaning that our key metrics will be around collaboration and productivity.
While this step is about measuring — rather than directly driving — adoption of video tools, it’s one of the most important parts of an adoption services engagement. Without measurement, there’s no way for managers to really know whether employees are using and deriving value from a video collaboration deployment, or if they’re simply falling back on their old way of doing things.
4. Investing in Ongoing Management
Management services are provided separately from adoption services, but ongoing management is a critical part of ensuring that employees continue to use video solutions over time. If an organization invests in video endpoints and software — and then spends months deploying equipment, training employees and measuring progress toward internal goals — managers are going to want to make sure that the tools continue to work seamlessly, well into the future.
Management services help organizations to put their video environments on “autopilot,” ensuring that patching and updates happen as needed. This way, employees can be confident that video tools will work as expected, when needed — a key to driving adoption.
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