Unified Communications (UC) platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom continue to be tricky to deploy and manage at scale. IT teams have to keep track of technical UC elements like call quality; governance issues like guest-access; and higher-level issues like tracking usage and adoption, all while evaluating whether the platform is actually the right fit for the company. And that’s just on Monday!
Many people listen to music while they work, compiling playlists to suit different moods and tasks. So, to help simplify UC platform management, we’ve compiled a list of classic songs whose lyrics offer insight into a variety of potential problems – and resolutions – with your UC portfolio.
“Anytime At All” — The Beatles
“Anytime at all, all you gotta do is call, and I’ll be there”
One in-office experience that’s especially hard to replicate in a virtual work environment is walking over to someone’s desk to ask a question. For this type of ability, try using a UC Cloud Phone system. Many UC platforms have a “busy” or “available” icon next to users’ names. If someone is marked as “available,” give them a call. This is usually the quickest and easiest way to get a response.
Unlike desk phones, cloud phones are available to workers no matter their location. If your coworker is working remotely, they’re just as accessible as if they were in the office. Creating a phone system in the cloud means that someone doesn’t need to have a desk or work-specific physical phone, eliminating the hassle of needing to keep multiple devices ready to go at once. And, cloud phone calls are fully integrated with the rest of the digital workplace, making it easy to send someone a file or photo while speaking with them.
However, while cloud phone systems are extremely convenient, they can be difficult to implement. An organization that has a legacy PBX or on-premises system may find themselves delayed in their transformation because of desktop or room system hardware depreciation and/or integration. In this case, it’s often beneficial to partner with a third-party consultant to help your enterprise migrate to a cloud phone system, rather than adding it to the IT team’s ever-growing list of priorities.
“You Really Got Me” — The Kinks
“Yeah, you really got me now, you got me so I can’t sleep at night”
Is collaboration security keeping you up at night? Worried sensitive information is getting shared with the wrong people, or that your company’s data isn’t as secure as it could be?
Start by checking out your UC platform’s native security tools. Most platforms support simple global policies that ask team owners to review teams after a certain amount of time — is the team still needed, or can they delete it? If the team is still active, are there any members who no longer need to be included?
In many cases, however, the native tools don’t provide the level of sophisticated scoping, data access, or workflows to cover the needs of the enterprise. Creating policies focused on naming conventions, owner limits, or domain name access is a great way to prevent information from falling into the wrong hands.
Plus, encourage your employees to be careful about whom they share files with. Even if a file isn’t shared with a specific person, it could be shared with a team they’re on, allowing individual access. The more teams and people a file is shared with, the more opportunities for a security breach. Implement policies for workers to frequently review all team and channel participants (especially guests) to prevent this type of security oversight.
“I’ve Been Everywhere” — Johnny Cash
“I’ve been everywhere, man. I’ve been everywhere, man. Crossed the deserts bare, man. I’ve breathed the mountain air, man. Of travel I’ve had my share, man. I’ve been everywhere.”
Do you feel like you’re always on the road? With videoconferencing abilities through a UC platform at your fingertips, you won’t need to go on nearly as many business trips. Speak to coworkers, clients, or sales contacts around the world through your computer or other device. And with geo-located call capabilities, sending your call through the network closest to you, you’re guaranteed to get the best video and audio experience no matter your location.
In addition, even a virtual work environment enables morale-boosting activities like eating lunch “together”, attending a professional development workshop, or welcoming a new team member in another location with a virtual happy hour. You don’t always have to see each other face-to-face to maintain personal connections with your colleagues.
Another great feature of many UC platforms is that you can create a meeting and send a link to other participants, and they can join the meeting without ever having created an account or downloaded the application. This makes UC platforms effective for simulating business travel, which often supports meetings between members of multiple organizations.
“The Waiting” — Tom Petty
“Don’t let this go too far, don’t let it get to you, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, the waiting is the hardest part”
Does it take forever to join a meeting on your UC platform? Are you having trouble with freezing or lagging in audio and video? While the video and audio call capabilities of UC platforms are super convenient, the downside is that the quality of the call can sometimes suffer if the platform is not properly tuned.
All UC platforms offer some sort of an admin console; however, native tools never provide the level of detailed analytics, monitoring or management to get the job done and proactively ensure that poor calls don’t ruin the user experience.
If a lot of employees are frequently experiencing quality issues, maybe it’s time to either reevaluate your UC platform or look into more advanced tooling. Your organization has likely grown and changed since the original UC platform decision was made — maybe a priority at the time was chat and limited conferencing, but now Cloud Phone call quality is a bigger problem. Additionally, the number and location of employees at your organization means that some UC platforms will function better than others, depending on their server locations and capacities.
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” — The Rolling Stones
“I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction, ’cause I try and I try and I try and I try”
End-user satisfaction is a primary goal of IT teams monitoring and managing a UC environment, and they implement many policies and tools to that end.
Instead of waiting for end-user complaints to roll in, you can instead proactively monitor your UC system to catch issues in advance. Native admin consoles sometimes offer these abilities, but often third-party software will be your best bet.
Also, listen to user feedback! UC platform adoptions and migrations happen after a lot of research and with the best of intentions, but users sometimes wish they had certain features and capabilities that aren’t there yet. Often, new features are easy to add through third-party apps or add-ins, or native admin policy modifications. This is an easy way to up your user satisfaction numbers.
Looking for assistance?
Don’t go at it alone!
If your organization needs help in deploying workstream collaboration tools, Unify Square can help. Our expert consultants can work with you on platform selection and deployment plans to ensure a successful roll-out.
“Mamma Mia” — ABBA
“Mamma Mia, now I really know, my, my, I can never let you go”
When an organization migrates from one UC platform to another, it’s common for users to experience separation anxiety from their tried-and-true feature sets or UX. Are they, for example, reverting to the previous tool and their old ways of doing things? Does it seem like they’ll never want to move away from the old UC platform, even though there were good reasons for the transformation?
Try adoption techniques like implementing “champions,” SMEs or department leaders who can encourage the flock to follow them in the migration to the new UC platform. When users see someone else having success with and enjoying using the new system, they are more encouraged to use it themselves.
And, make sure to provide ongoing trainings as part of the transition and afterward to ensure users understand the new apps. Every UC platform’s UX is different, and using a new platform isn’t always intuitive. Once users see that their favorite capabilities of the old platform exist on the new, they’re more likely to fully migrate.
The Secret to UC Platform Management
So, if you ever have trouble figuring out where to go next with a certain UC platform issue or concern, try listening to some of your favorite songs: they might surprise you with a hidden piece of advice. But if you’re looking for support beyond a song lyric, a third-party solutions provider is a great way to get your UC ecosystem under control.
Check out Unify Square’s PowerSuite software, which monitors and analyzes your UC environment, catching potential issues before they become problems. Our Cloud Managed Services team manages your UC environment for you, taking a load off your IT team. And, if you need some assistance gearing up for a new UC venture, or analyzing an existing one, hit up our Cloud Consulting team for help on anything from governance best practices to platform migrations.