By Irwin Lazar, VP and Service Director, Nemertes Research
Nemertes’ recently released our latest Workplace Collaboration: 2019-20 Research Study, capturing deployment trends and success correlations for technologies including calling, meetings, and team collaboration. The study gathered data from collaboration leaders from 645 end-user organizations in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.
To determine what makes for a successful strategy, we first had to define success. We established a success group by uncovering those who had measured quantifiable examples of business benefit such as revenue increases, cost savings, or productivity gains as a result of their collaboration investments. We then analyzed our data to determine what those within our success group do differently from those outside of it. Here are five key correlations:
1. Best of Breed Strategy:
While most participants (46%) rely on a single primary UCC vendor, those who adopt a best-of-breed strategy, enabling selection of collaboration apps that best meet identified need, are more likely to be successful. A best-of-breed strategy avoids vendor lock-in, and allows organizations the flexibility to deploy emerging applications that deliver demonstrable value.
2. Use a Hybrid Architecture:
The age of cloud is here with just 35.7% of participants now relying only on on-premises UC platforms. More than a third of on-premises users are moving to, or evaluating a move to cloud. Successful organizations are more likely to use a hybrid approach enabling them to move to cloud only where and when it makes sense. They may continue to leverage on-premises platforms until there is a clearly identifiable business benefit to moving to the cloud
3. Leverage SD-WAN:
SD-WAN allows organizations to reduce WAN costs, while adding additional flexibility to take advantage of options like public Internet connectivity while still meeting application requirements for latency and jitter. Almost 30% of all participants now use SD-WAN, while more than 63% of SD-WAN users say their cloud implementations have been successful
4. Use Third-Party Management Platforms as Needed:
The use of specialty tools for performance and administration management of UC platforms enables IT groups to reduce costs and staff time associated with troubleshooting, repairing, and provisioning UC platforms. Even as companies move to the cloud, specialty tools can continue to support deployments by giving IT insight into the performance of the cloud service, and by interconnecting internal systems, like HR platforms, with the cloud provider for provisioning and for managing moves/adds and changes. Successful organizations leverage specialty tools as necessary more often than non-successful ones
5. Deploy Team Collaboration Enterprise-Wide:
Team collaboration enables workgroups to chat, meet, and share files and data within the context of a space associated with a team, project, or other activity. Apps like Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and more are rapidly transforming collaboration and converging formerly separate UC apps. Half of successful organizations have deployed team collaboration apps on an enterprise-wide basis, versus just 20.3% of the non-success group
Collaboration success is more than just ensuring that apps work. Rather, true success requires that apps provide demonstrable business benefit. Address strategy, architecture, network and management considerations as part of your strategy, and plan to converge your separate calling, meeting, and chat apps into a team collaboration workspace to affect positive impact on your organization.