A blog post by Metrigy
It’s no secret that IT organizations are faced with the challenge of managing ever-increasingly complex operating environments with constrained resources. The last few years have seen an explosion of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) applications and services. Today, the majority of organizations studied by Metrigy operate a mix of platforms for calling, video conferencing, and customer engagement. And, many often support both cloud and on-premises services for a variety of reasons including cost containment, security, and the need for extensive customization. At the same time, hybrid work has increased management complexity.
IT administrators face a number of challenges including:
- Optimizing initial employee setup as well as ongoing management of moves, adds, changes, and deletions, ideally through automated integrations with HR management platforms
- Ensuring accurate license and device configuration management to minimize costs and maximize performance
- Enabling IT support to staff with access to real-time configuration information to allow them to quickly respond to trouble tickets
- Supporting the needs of hybrid workers, full-time in-office staff, and those who work exclusively from remote locations
- Ensuring consistency in administration management across all supported platforms and services
IT administrators often rely solely on administrative capabilities provided by their hardware and software vendors. For large organizations with multiple communications and collaboration platforms this approach is complex. It requires training on a variety of different administrative tools with no “single pane of glass” visibility across all apps and endpoints. It also means that end users must go to individual apps to manage their own information such as passwords, profile information, and location. And, often there is little to no opportunity to automate provisioning through integrations with HR management platforms.
For those not outsourcing their UC&C management, approximately 25% of companies
participating in our Workplace Collaboration: 2023-24 global study have addressed these needs by purchasing a dedicated UC&C administration tool. Among our success group, defined as those with above average ROI for their communications and collaboration spend, it’s even higher with more than 30% of that group using specialized administration tools.
The use of these tools provides the opportunity for real-world cost savings. The majority of participants who measured the effectiveness of administration management tools saw value, with an average reduction in UC&C operational costs of 25.8%. This is achieved by 24.8% average reduction in initial provisioning time and a 25.4% reduction in the time spent on ongoing administration management. These benefits are significant and can potentially result in investments in administration management tools paying for themselves in a relatively short period of time.
Investing in administration management tools has other benefits as well. Users can access a portal to manage their own information in one place and have it propagate across all supported apps. Administrators can delegate administration to lines of business or locations to further ease the burden on IT staff. And, through integrations with IT service management platforms, those responsible for front-line service and support can quickly and easily access user configuration information to shorten the time necessary to troubleshooting of end-user problems.
Those responsible for collaboration and communications management should evaluate the potential of specialized administration tools to reduce costs and simply ongoing management tasks.