It’s quite likely that everyone reading this blog has logged into a video meeting platform only to be greeted by a sea of anonymous avatar images with very few “brave souls” willing to turn on their webcam. Often times, video participants will use one of the following excuses to justify not turning on their video: I’m not camera ready, I’m the only one with my camera on, being on video makes me uncomfortable, my office isn’t video-ready, and the list goes on.
What people don’t realize is, that by keeping the webcam off, they aren’t allowing their company to get the highest possible return out of its UC&C solutions. Essentially, what video conference solutions set out to do is get people that are geographically far apart “in the same room.” You don’t have the option to “hide yourself” at an in-person meeting, why should a virtual meeting be any different?
In a recent interview, Mary McDowell, CEO of Polycom (long-time Pinnaca partner) made this observation, “Polycom is all-in on video; and by that, I mean we use video for everything. I'd never seen anything like it. Any casual conversation or 1:1 that in other places you'd do via a cell call is done with video here. I like it because it makes the interaction more human, but you definitely can't do meetings in your bathrobe. Unlike companies where video is reserved for executives or a few conference rooms, we make it available to everyone. When video is always available and employees have more than one way to access it from wherever they are, it becomes the ubiquitous communications channel."
At Pinnaca, we’ve seen both ends of the spectrum – those that fully embrace video across the board, like Polycom, and companies that have a less than 5% user adoption rate.
User Adoption – The Key to Success!
So how do you get people on-board with video? As Mary mentioned above, the executive teams of many companies are on-board with video meetings, but that alone isn’t making the cut! The human resources and facilities departments play a HUGE factor in driving the best possible user adoption rates. If HR and facilities work with I.T. and gets behind user adoption in these ways, you’ll be on your way to the video communications culture you seek:
Availability: If video is readily available through multiple easy-to-access platforms or applications, your employees will be far more likely to embrace video than if your platform is only available in the boardroom or via their desktop computer and is complicated to get to/use.
Benefits Education: Make sure your employees understand why using video benefits them and the company. Nonverbal cues are key during prospecting and customer relations situations. Having access to all forms of communication (audio and visual) gives you an advantage over a competitor that is only relying on audio cues. There’s also something to be said for the relationship enhancements that video allows for. When you see someone face-to-face, psychologically you’re able to connect with them beyond just the spoken word of a phone call.
Training: Teach your employees how to use your collaboration software! Make it easy for them and they will be happy to use it. Far too many companies invest large amounts of money in a software solution and then forget the most important part: employee training! Using UC&C solutions becomes second nature to employees that have been empowered as comfortable, confident and competent users of your collaboration tools.
Capturing ROI Through Visual Communications
The first step is determining the key performance indicators (KPIs) that your company wants to utilize to measure the success of your UC&C solutions. After all, you’re investing in user software tools for the entire company to utilize, you need to understand if you’re getting the appropriate value out of the service. Once the KPIs are in place, it’s important to fully execute your UC&C strategy within the specified time period that your team has determined. Here are some common pitfalls you’ll need to steer clear of:
Waiting Too Long – Many companies invest in UC&C solutions and then “sit” on the solutions for long periods of time before properly preparing, onboarding and educating users on the technology, which causes high levels of frustration and failure.
Failure to Execute – Some organizations are very concerned with building a robust UC&C strategy (which is great!) but then fail to execute their plan completely. Many times, organizations start out strong with their first phase of execution and then experience a slow but steady drop-off in the execution of the later phases, which are crucial to program success.
Inadequate Planning – If your organization fails to plan for user adoption, there will be issues! In this scenario, an organization deploys its UC&C solution, but makes no effort to train users on the platform, dooming their collaboration efforts, before they ever get off the ground.
Ultimately, adoption and usage are at the core of a successful, holistic ROI story. In order to reap the ROI your company seeks; user satisfaction and adoption are paramount!
Assessing the Status of Your Current Visual Communications
Every organization that has deployed a UC&C solution, MUST start by assessing their current UC&C strategy, execution and training efforts. Pinnaca has an 8-week program designed to walk your company through its four-step approach to UC&C called “Video Program Assessment.” Here’s a summary of what we do for our Video Program clients:
Contact Pinnaca today to ensure that your UC&C planning and execution lead to optimal user adoption and ultimately, the desired ROI!