CREATING A POSITIVE UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS USER EXPERIENCE

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1 CREATING A POSITIVE UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS USER EXPERIENCE A study by Jabra reveals how a positive user experience affects employee adoption and return on Unified Communications investment. A Jabra report, in conjuction with

2 CREATING A POSITIVE UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS USER EXPERIENCE 2 SUMMARY Companies that implement Unified Communications are finding that a positive user experience is vital to employee adoption of new UC applications, according to seven out of 10 decision makers responsible for implementing UC in their organizations. In many cases that positive first impression comes from an on-time deployment, as companies report actual UC implementation times have varied little from expected ones. Decision makers cite many reasons for choosing to deploy UC; the most prevalent include increased productivity, streamlined business processes and a means to secure a positive return on investment. Furthermore a majority of the respondents are optimistic about achieving a rapid return on their UC investment. More than 80% of companies that have implemented or are currently implementing UC expect to achieve a positive ROI within two years. When choosing specific UC technologies, voice applications were by far the most popular; with PC-based softphones the most widely used voice-related applications. Most companies expect their voice applications to help them improve collaboration, reduce costs and boost customer service. As with most technology roll-outs, companies faced challenges in getting employees to adopt UC technologies, including inadequate training, employee resistance to giving up established tools and ways of working and lack of integration with existing tools. Companies employed several strategies to overcome these challenges, including establishing a dedicated IT helpdesk, producing self-help literature and providing one-to-one or classroom training. Most agreed that the dedicated IT helpdesk was the most successful at increasing UC adoption. These tactics to speed user adoption appear to be working, as 52% of companies that have rolled out UC have already removed deskphones as part of their implementation. Of the companies that have not yet done this, 70% plan to do so in the near future. Respondents also agreed that easy-to-use technology is critical to ensuring a positive user experience and rapid employee adoption of UC applications. Headsets are one of these technologies, and more than six out of 10 respondents agreed that headsets play a vital role in promoting employee adoption of UC technologies. Despite some initial challenges, respondents identified several benefits their employees have realized from using headsets, including the ability to have their hands free while on calls and improved audio quality. Companies also shared the lessons they learned during their UC implementations, including the importance of communicating and educating staff about the benefits of UC technology and the importance of getting staff and management buy-in to the process.

3 3 BACKGROUND The use of Unified Communications (UC) is becoming increasingly prevalent across companies today. UC is a strategic decision that integrates disparate communications platforms to change the corporate culture and the ways in which employees work and interact. As with most technology deployments, companies are discovering that a positive user experience is vital to rapid employee adoption of the new tools and a rapid return on their corporate UC investment. In June 2012 Jabra and analysis institute Frost & Sullivan conducted a study to evaluate companies strategic use of UC, including decision making, benefits, implementation challenges and expected return on UC technology investment. The study included interviews with 302 IT managers or equivalent; key IT decision makers with responsibility for implementing Unified Communications in their company. Organizations across Australia, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and United States participated in the survey. Specific industries included Finance and Insurance, IT and Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare, Public Sector (excluding Healthcare) and Technology. KEY FINDINGS Nearly seven out of 10 decision makers believe 1 that a positive user experience is vital to successful adoption of Unified Communication technologies. Responses to the question, To what extent do you agree with the following statements: A positive user experience is key to Unified Communications adoption, as it drives utilization to help achieve ROI (return on investment), responses included: 22%: Totally agree 47%: Agree 25%: Neither agree nor disagree 5%: Disagree 2%: Totally disagree As discussed in Jabra Business Brief: UNIFIED 2 COMMUNICATIONS - from the server room to the boardroom, companies actual UC implementation times varied little from their expected implementation times, thus providing users a positive first experience with the UC deployment.

4 4 17% of companies surveyed expected implementation times of less than 6 months (18% achieved that implementation timeframe.) 48% expected implementation times of between 6 months and one year (43% achieved that implementation timeframe.) 26% expected implementation times of between 1 and 2 years (32% achieved that implementation timeframe.) 9% expected implementation times of more than 2 years (8% achieved that implementation timeframe.) Organizations are highly optimistic about earning 3 a rapid return on their Unified Communications investment. Nearly 80% of companies that have implemented or are currently implementing UC expect to earn a positive return within two years. Responses to the question, Considering all expected savings and productivity benefits, after how much time to you expect to see a positive return on your Unified Communications investment? included: 15%: Less than 6 months. 32%: Between 6 months and 1 year. 31%: Between 1 and 2 years. 17%: Between 2 and 3 years. Companies optimism about generating a rapid return on their Unified Communications investments is highly encouraging, says Rob Arnold, Program Manager, Frost & Sullivan. A two-year payback is outstanding by IT standards. But what s most notable is that 15% of companies expect a payback of less than six months and almost a third expects payback between six months and a year. This shows that companies are confident that UC technologies have the power to make transformational changes to their businesses. Larger organizations were the most optimistic 4 about realizing a rapid return on their UC investment. 20% of organizations with more than 5,000 employees expected to see a positive return on their UC investment in less than 6 months. By contrast, just 10% of organizations with 250 to 1,000 employees expected to see a positive return on their UC investment in the same timeframe. Companies cited many specific benefits they expect to achieve from their overall UC deployment, with the most prominent being the desire to increase productivity and enhance business processes. Responses to the question, Which of the following were the two main drivers in the decision to implement UC? included: % 42% 33% 26% 25% Increase productivity. 13% Business process enhancement. Voice applications were by far the main reasons 6 companies decided to implement Unified Communications, making up 64% of top seven applications. PC-based softphones were the most popular voicerelated application implemented. Responses to the question, What application was the main reason behind your decision to implement Unified Communications? included: 8% Improve system operation and management. Return on investment. Improvement to customer service. Better support for mobile workers. Better support for distributed teams. 42%: IP telephony using PC-based softphones. 15%: Video conferencing. 14%: Telephony presence. 11%: Presence. 8%: Web collaboration. 5%: Audio conferencing. 4%: Chat. 5 Voice-related applications and UC tools which integrate into the existing technology portfolio remain critical to

5 5 the communications strategies of most organizations, says Rob Arnold, Program Manager, Frost & Sullivan. This shows that companies have confidence that technologies such as PC-based softphones and headsets can help them improve productivity, increase collaboration and provide a positive return on their UC investment. The most important benefits companies are 7 realizing from their UC voice applications include improved collaboration and reduced costs. Many organizations also mentioned improved customer service. Responses to the question, Which are the two most important benefits of the voice applications in your Unified Communications toolbox? included: 53%: Improve collaboration and productivity across geographically dispersed teams. 44%: Reduce costs. 39%: Improve customer service. 31%: Accelerate decision making. 24%: Enhance employee mobility. 9%: Reduce travel. Respondents encountered some challenges 8 that held back employee adoption of Unified Communication applications. The two most prevalent were inadequate training and resistance to giving up established tools. Responses to the question, What have been the two key challenges holding back your users adoption of the new Unified Communications tools? included: 58%: Inadequate training. 44%: Resistance to giving up established tools. 37%: Lack of integration with existing tools. 34%: Resistance to giving up existing ways of working. 23%: Incomplete roll-out of all features. Respondents believe that easy-to-use technology 9 is most critical to ensuring employee adoption of Unified Communication applications. Responses to the question, What has been the key driver behind user adoption of the new tools offered when rolling out Unified Communications? included: 46%: Technology was easy to use. 30%: Users were trained. 16%: New habits were formed quickly. 8%: A complete roll-out of all UC applications. Companies have undertaken several activities to 10 help increase UC adoption. The most popular was a dedicated IT helpdesk, followed by self-help literature and training.

6 6 Responses to the question, What activities did your company undertake to support the adoption of the Unified Communications applications? included: 50%: Dedicated IT helpdesk service. 35%: Self-help literature (i.e., flyers). 34%: Training sessions. 30%: Internal UC ambassadors (super users). 29%: Instructional videos. 18%: Town hall meetings. 5%: None. A dedicated IT helpdesk was by far the most 11 successful activity organizations used to increase UC adoption. Responses to the question, Which events or activities were the most successful? included: % 27% 21% 17% 16% 9% Responses to the question, Do you plan to remove the deskphones in the offices as a consequence of the Unified Communications roll-out? included: 28%: Yes, within the next year. 42%: Yes, more than one year from now. 30%: No. Respondents encountered some obstacles during 13 their Unified Communications deployment. Few, however, reported that they lost employees as a result of implementing the new UC tools. Responses to the question, What were the two main obstacles to implementing UC in your company? included: 45%: No single solution is suitable for all employees. 43%: Insufficient training for employees. 41%: The roll-out was not focused on the users and their needs. 37%: Poor timing with respect to other company priorities. 26%: The roll-out lost focus on the vision of why we decided on it in the first place. 8%: We lost some employees due to a bad first experience with some Unified Communications tools. More than six out of 10 respondents agreed that 14 Unified Communications headsets play a critical role in promoting employee adoption of UC technologies. 0 Dedicated IT helpdesk service. Training sessions. Internal UC ambassadors (super users). Self-help literature (i.e., flyers). Instructional videos. Town hall meetings. Responses to the question, To what extend do you agree with the following sentence: The headset (usage and availability) plays an important role on the adoption and acceptance of the Unified Communications, included: 16%: Totally agree. 45%: Agree. 27%: Neither agree nor disagree. 8%: Disagree. 3%: Totally disagree. Evidence of the rapid adoption of UC technologies 12 can be found in the fact that 52% of companies that have rolled out UC have also have removed deskphones as part of their implementation. Of the companies that have not yet removed their deskphones, 70% plan to do so in the near future. Organizations in the United Kingdom and United 15 States were most likely to agree that headset usage plays an important role in employee adoption of Unified Communications, while respondents in Australia and Germany were least likely to agree. 75% of respondents in the U.K. and 70% in the U.S. agreed that headsets play an important role in employee UC adoption.

7 7 By contrast, just 52% of respondents in Australia and 54% in Germany agreed that headsets play an important role in employee UC adoption. Ease of use was by far the biggest benefit respondents sought when selecting headsets as part of 16 their UC implementation. Responses to the question, What was your dominating headset selection criterion? included: 42%: Ease of headset use 17%: Innovative features of the products 15%: Easy to set up headset 9%: Product quality in terms of durability 9%: Compatibility with Unified Communications technology supplier 8%: Superior sound quality We believe that technology should be adapted to the needs of the people who use it, and not vice versa, says Holger Reisinger, Jabra Vice President of Marketing, Products and Alliances. Jabra hands-free communication solutions are the result of an ongoing dialogue with the people who use our products. Minimizing complexity by adding only relevant and necessary features results in improved comfort, better voice quality and a more intuitive user experience. In short, we create hands-free communication devices that people use. Respondents identified several benefits their 17 employees are realizing from using headsets. The most common are the ability to have their hands free while on calls and improved audio quality. Responses to the question, In your opinion, what are the two most positive aspects of the headset usage in terms of adoption of Unified Communications? included: 58%: Employees enjoy having their hands free when on calls. 42%: Improved audio quality leads to increased use of voice applications. 41%: There is less noise in the office when deskphones are used less. 26%: Improved engagement and collaboration with off-site workers. 24%: Employees are multi-tasking and are more productive. Respondents also identified several challenges 18 employees faced when adopting headsets as part of their Unified Communications deployment. The biggest involved removing the previous, familiar deskphones and reliability of softphones. Responses to the question, In your opinion, what are the two most negative aspects of the headset usage in terms of adoption of Unified Communications? included: 37%: Removing deskphones and forcing use of softphones was problematic for some staff. 37%: PC-based softphones are less reliable than deskphones. 35%: PC-based softphones are not always on; it is necessary to boot the PC first. 32%: Some employees had resistance to the Unified Communications applications because of the new headset. 30%: Some employees had comfort issues with the new headset. 12%: Some employees lost or damaged their headsets. 7%: None. Respondents identified several lessons learned 19 from their overall Unified Communications implementation. The biggest was the importance of communicating and educating staff about the benefits of UC technologies. Respondents also felt that buy in from employees is significantly more important than buy-in from management. Responses to the question, What lessons has the company learned from implementing Unified Communications? included: 52%: Communicating and educating staff about the benefits of the technology clearly is most important. 49%: Buy-in from staff is most important. 29%: Buy-in from management is most important. 17%: Phased implementation is most important.

8 8 FIND OUT MORE A critical factor in making UC work is by looking at it from the end-user s perspective. Minimizing end-user effort means quick adoption, thereby maximizing usage and return on investment. Now that mobility in UC moves from being a luxury to mainstream, Jabra aims to support decision makers by supplying the best headset /audio solutions for their end-users to support a successful rollout of Unified Communications. To find out more about which Jabra headset solutions are relevant for specific working environments, please contact Jabra at WP_UC_STUDY_BUSINESS_BRIEF_50052_V01_1207 ABOUT JABRA Jabra is the brand of GN Netcom, a subsidiary of GN Store Nord A/S (GN) - listed on NASDAQ OMX. Jabra employs approximately 850 people worldwide and in 2011 produced an annual revenue which amounted to DKK 2,106 million. Jabra is a world leader in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of a broad range of handsfree communications solutions. With a reputation for innovation, reliability, and ease of use that goes back more than two decades, Jabra s consumer and business divisions produce corded and wireless headsets, plus mobile and in-office speakerphones that empower individuals and businesses through increased freedom of movement, comfort, and functionality.

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