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Customer-driven development for Skype for Business Operations

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The award winning and market leading Skype for Business operations software, PowerSuite™, is often lauded for the way that it helps large enterprises improve call quality, reduce their poor call percentages and increase their end user satisfaction. The breadth of functionality of the suite is heralded, as is the way that the software smoothly guides IT towards the core areas that require troubleshooting and fixing. What is most often overlooked, however, is the core of the design process that allows PowerSuite to seamlessly incorporate the voice of the customer and embrace the unmet needs and requirements of the IT team tasked with making Skype for Business sing. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the 12 key Skype for Business personas which allow the Unify Square development team to take their depth of technological expertise and align those aspects most relevant to our current and future customers.

Embracing the concept of personas here at Unify Square, however, goes beyond just nurturing design, simplicity, and targeting. By focusing in on the 12 personas, and pragmatically only currently focusing in on 5 (which we find drive the most frequent usage and requirements) of the 12, we are able to also offer solutions that are more secure and more visually targeted. The PowerSuite ACLs determine which user names (assigned by IT) align with which personas/user roles. These user roles are then what PowerSuite uses to allow access to the different solutions. The result is that certain portions of the extended IT staff are kept from accessing what may be sensitive call data and information — often another core requirement for many larger global enterprises.

In terms of visualization, understanding the persona allows us to create a great solution that visualizes the data in such a way to best illuminate it for the needs of a particular role. In the case of our Help Desk solution, the tier 1 help desk professional who most frequently uses the solution needs to be able to quickly visualize scenarios that show when different individuals join and leave a conference call. The timeline slider enables this functionality and allows the user to quickly isolate caller issues.

Let’s start by revealing the 7 personas which help to drive development, but which don’t actively factor in quite as often to the current PowerSuite solution set:  Network Service Manager, Site Manager, Client Support Manager, Deployment Manager, Capacity Manager, End User and Executive Support Manager.  Some of the future solutions, already in development in the PowerSuite roadmap, will more actively focus on many of these personas.

Next, let’s examine a handful of the key personas which are very active in the solutions available in PowerSuite today. We’ll talk about the key persona characteristics AND relate which of the PowerSuite solutions map directly to the personas:

  • Service Owner:  This person is the key owner/manager of PowerSuite itself. He/she is usually not the key CXO executive, but may be the most senior level manager who is directly sponsoring the buying decision. Unlike business specific applications for Sales/HR/Finance/Operations/etc. this person is usually accountable for services that are provided to all employees within the company. PowerSuite solution ACL access: Service Health, Usage & Adoption Dashboard, Billing Records.
  • Service Manager: This role is assigned to the person who owns key aspects of the Skype for Business Service offerings. This is an ongoing role and is likely several people for a large organization. The SM will be accountable to the business for top line KPIs, Service Improvement Plans, incident trending, and end user satisfaction. This person(s) act as the most direct escalation point for leadership. PowerSuite solution ACL access: Service Health, User Permissions.
  • Helpdesk (Level 1 Support) Technician: This role is the most visible to the general population of Skype for Business users. Skype for Business brings together what previously may have been a split role between a specialized telephony person and a PC application person and to succeed this role requires access to call use and performance information that enables direct assistance for users experiencing difficulties with the use of the Skype for Business service.  PowerSuite solution ACL access:  Helpdesk
  • Skype for Business Engineer: This role performs the core technical and operational functions (such as provisioning, incident management, performance management, etc.) necessary to deliver the Skype for Business services. This role ensures the highest level of service functionality, availability and service quality (especially for voice and video services), and requires a diverse set of data and analytics. PowerSuite solution ACL access:  All solutions.

Here at Unify Square, the process of perfecting our PowerSuite software continues to evolve from our innate understanding of, and focus on, the customer. This laser focus helps to continue to widen the gap between PowerSuite and the competition and ensures that the right person has secure access to the most relevant Skype for Business information when they need it.

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