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Unified communications (UC) systems help companies improve productivity, collaboration, and knowledge transfer. With UC,
instead of working with a jumble of tools, your company can use a suite of integrated solutions that includes voice, web conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing. These integrated tools make conducting conversations and working on projects easier.

However, the investment in your UC system may be lost if your employees don’t use it. CustomerThink, an online forum for business leaders, reports that Web of Ropesome companies have seen adoption rates as low as 20%. UC systems are designed to empower employees to work with their favorite tools, so their rejection of the system is surprising. But, as the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

Employees tend to revert to their old processes once a UC system has been implemented. Employees may be reluctant to use a UC system because they want to stick with tools and routines with which they are familiar. Despite employee resistance, there are steps you can take to get them on board with UC so you can benefit from the system and see a return on investment (ROI).

Here is a closer look at 3 things you can do to sway your end users toward a UC system:

1) Understand Your Employees

The better you understand how your employees are already working, the more effectively you can explain how a UC system will improve their processes. Workers are already having conversations and collaborating on projects. You can show them how tools in the UC system fit into this process and streamline it. Understanding your employees’ needs will help you educate users on how the new system will fill gaps in the old way of doing things.

2) Test Your System 

If you roll out your new UC system and it doesn’t work as promised, your employees will become frustrated. Before you introduce the system to the whole company, test it with a core group of end users. This way you can troubleshoot the system ahead of time. When the system is fully up and running, you can use the test group members as UC evangelists to promote the system.

3) Create and Implement a Training Plan

In a study by Jabra, a developer of communications solutions, 58% of respondents named inadequate training as a top barrier to UC adoption. To train your employees properly, you need to understand how they learn. Some employees may be visual learners, while some may process information aurally. Your training plan should include different methods to accommodate diverse learning styles.

Training can include seminars supplemented by hands-on sessions and smaller break-out groups. You should design customized supporting materials that make the material in a user manual easier to digest. Ongoing training and incentives for using the system will improve your chances of making a successful transition to UC.

Joining the UC Team

Aligning UC with your business goals helps your employees see how the new system can be useful to them. Once everyone at your business starts using the UC system, you will see increased employee production and a higher level of innovation. Meetings can be quickly scheduled to take place through video chats. Documents can be shared while maintaining version control so that projects move forward faster. Working as a team means employees can bounce ideas off one another for more productive brainstorming.

A great UC system needs a fast and reliable network to connect your workforce. FirstLight offers the largest fiber optic network in New England so your remote workers and geographically distributed offices can get in touch with each other whenever inspiration hits.

We’re not just experts in unified communications, we can also help you leverage the cloud for your IBM Power/AIX/iSeries Applications. Join us on Wednesday, Aug 9, from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT to learn more. Click here to register for this free webinar.