Unified communications solutions such as Microsoft® Lync® are an increasingly integral part of collaboration for the enterprise. However, UC represents a complex system that requires careful thought, planning and education in order to maximize your organization’s UC investment.
In a recent post on LinkedIn, Modality Systems’ Justin Morris explores the cultural changes required to ensure a successful UC deployment, how the success of Lync rests on much more than simply DNS configurations. Rather, it’s just as important for companies to focus on educating and preparing their users for UC or risk ending up with an expensive tool that goes unused.
Read on for the rest of Justin’s UC insights:
This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.
The market adoption of Microsoft Lync is undisputedly massive. We’re seeing organisations across the globe grab it with both hands to provide a single unified way of working for their staff. But Lync isn’t like a lot of other software. It represents a massive cultural change for most organisations, and there are important business factors that need to be understood.
Don’t get bogged down in IT
It’s easy to get stuck in the weeds here and focus on whether this VM needs 8 GB or this one needs 16 GB. These are all really important details, but I’ve seen companies spin their wheels for months comparing how DNS will be setup rather than forging a path to actually getting Lync into the hands of users.
The most technically brilliant, well architected Lync deployment is ultimately useless if users don’t use the platform. Don’t throw all your resources into technical teams, make sure change management gets some love.
Get business engagement
The business should be bought into the value of UC early on. Demo Lync to your board, your management committee, whoever it is that can authoritatively stand up and say “Lync will deliver value for us, this is our strategy”. As you begin marketing Lync throughout the organisation, your people will look to senior leadership to validate what you’re talking about. Sometimes this happens by official means, other times in passing at the coffee shop.
Engage users early and often
Identify a Lync champion. Someone that will stand in your corner and fly the flag with you. A lot of the time these are tech-savvy users within business units that are happy to trial pre-release apps and provide useful feedback. They’ll help you develop a positive sentiment throughout other business users and generate excitement for Lync.
Prepare your users for the change. No one likes something thrust upon them at the last moment, so develop a rollout strategy that involves strong and repeat communication of what’s coming.
Like any new business tool or application, your staff are only going to make the most of it if they know how to effectively use it. Use approaches like classroom based training, webinars, quick reference guides and presence based training videos to give your users the best opportunity to learn how to use Lync.
It’s clear from Justin’s 15 years of IT experience that, as with any software deployment, it’s important to remember that there will be a human being on the other end of that tool. By starting with the culture and strategically planning for training and engagement in addition to just speeds and feeds, you can ensure a successful UC launch and drive adoption.
Want more of Justin’s insights? Register for his upcoming webinar, “Enhancing your investment in Microsoft Lync.”
For more on UC, visit The Collaboratory by PGi.