Why is Unified Communications (UC) Analytics, Assurance and Automation Key Now?
Shaun Wormald, VP Asia Pac, VOSS Solutions
As a relatively new member of the VOSS team, I look after business in the Asia Pacific territory. Though I’ve been at VOSS for a short amount of time, I have worked alongside VOSS for many years, in my previous roles across my 20+ years in technology and UC.
I’m a long-time admirer of the VOSS ethos and how we as a company focus on simplifying and abstracting UC complexity via automation while also delivering a single pane of glass management solution to support, improve and streamline business processes. Our technology is a key enabler for digitally transforming IT business processes, digital experiences and truly making the lives of our customers better. I’ve experienced first hand the way we enable organisations to save time, save money, improve collaboration and innovation to fuel growth. Never has this been more apparent than during the recent health pandemic.
The Pandemic has arguably delivered 10 years of UC digital transformation and adoption in 4 months, so things are very fluid and moving very fast right now, with those who are ill-equipped struggling to keep up. In an article on Computerweekly.com which highlighted this point perfectly, it stated and I quote “That’s according to data accrued by IT asset management firm, Snow Software, which polled 250 IT leaders from around the world about how the onset of the pandemic had affected their cloud adoption plans. Out of those surveyed, 82% said they had ramped up their use of cloud in direct response to the pandemic and the shift to remote working patterns this had ushered in, with 60% saying their use of off-premise technologies had continued to grow since then.”
UC is critical to support business collaboration, co-creation and innovation, and the businesses that innovate win. Booz & Co. (now Strategy&) 2011 Global Innovation 1000 report found a clear difference in both revenue (11%) and EBITDA (22%) growth in favor of the more innovative organizations.
What is interesting, is that the COVID crisis has exposed a number of weaknesses in the way that organisations strategise, design, build, manage and receive insights from their UC tools and platforms. These platforms and tools are so critical for co-creation and innovation activities that underpin most aspects of organisation change and digital transformation programs happening in modern business today. Only those well on this journey are likely to survive and thrive in the new digital economy.
Take, for example, business agility. VOSS customers can quickly (within hours) enable an entire workforce with enhanced UC tools and capabilities. As an example, VOSS working with its customer BT and its customer the NHS deliver UC for new temporary hospitals in 24 hrs. Can your organisation do that today easily? Does your IT staff have the automation tools they need to provision and activate new services and applications, quickly and at scale?
In recent weeks, we have heard a lot of horror stories from organisations who have come to us without the UC management infrastructure in place to quickly respond to the business needs to work from home.
What about disaster recovery (DR) ? Before COVID, most organisations had DR in place but from what I have seen, few saw UC as a critical business system and the planning in this area has traditionally been weak. How did your organisation's disaster recovery plan work out as the Pandemic unfolded, and did it encompass all of your UC infrastructure?
In my experience, UC has been covered at a basic level and few prioritise it as a critical business system aside from some voice, often aspects overlooking key UC elements like chat and video, which as we have seen have been the backbone of pandemic communications that have allowed businesses to continue operating.
The next issue we see, arises from organisations' lack of insights on performance, utilisation, capacity and the ability to manage, troubleshoot, and operate the UC environment as it is forced to scale at alarming speed. Many organisations scaled and then ran into significant issues as they lacked the visibility and data to make decisions fast and resolve issues quickly based on these new business needs. Some of these needs, like quickly enabling a remote workforce or distributing and creating a virtual contact centre, have challenged many organisations over the past few months.
How has your infrastructure coped with these changes and the increased demand on UC capacity? Is your UC environment performing to expected SLAs, and has employee or customer experience been impacted? Are your UC platform and tools robust enough to stand up to the new pressure and demands being placed on them? I would love to hear your comments.
What about visibility? Having access to reporting and analytics that give you the actionable intelligence you need to monitor trends and usage patterns, to track adoption rates, licencing and to quickly respond to this change with training or other services, and the needs of staff, are all important to a successful UC environment. Don’t forget the crucial role that assurance and analytics tools play every day in decision making and collaboration at speed, let alone at the time of a global pandemic.
Finally, let’s shine a light on customer and employee experience. Have you got a handle on issues that are affecting customer or employee satisfaction? For example, during the COVID crisis, the working environment for contact centre employees and for your staff has changed immeasurably. Does everyone have the UC tools that they need to be successful in their role? Is it affecting their productivity or performance or ability to collaborate and innovate? What impact is this having on your business?
Let’s not underestimate the importance of UC management, UC assurance, UC reporting, and the need for agility in these unprecedented times. There is an opportunity for you to take Minority Report type single pane of glass control of your multi vendor UC environment, by introducing VOSS automation and assurance to get ahead of organisations' UC needs, to support critical digital transformations, and to put the tools and infrastructure in place to thrive in this uncertain digital future.
To find out more about VOSS Solutions and to learn more on the problems we solve for organisations, or to speak to us about introducing automation and assurance into your UC environment, please reach out to see how we can help you get the control back in your environment. Contact us for a discussion on how we can help you.