As part of our ongoing series on driving adoption, we have compiled some of the best stories and tips from our customers on activities that have helped them drive adoption of collaboration technologies.

Make it fun!

Regan Earl, the Collaboration Architect at Abbvie, helped his company drive adoption by making it fun. They produced several pieces of desktop swag – such as phone holders, mouse pads, and more with the collaboration landing page URL and some text to get people motivated. They also had fun videos and emails periodically sent out to the company to educate and train users on the new tech as it rolled out.

Watch our interview with Regan

Roll it out to EVERYONE!

One method to increase usage is just to make everyone a user.  We have seen mixed success on this (mainly because it is usually the most expensive way to get users), but people that have done it well have stated that it helped grow adoption because it removed confusion on which tool to use. It also made the rollout of training and messaging much simpler as well since it was one consistent message. As a bonuse, if you give everyone the same tool, they can also help each other figure out how to use it.

Make it available by request only

This is the exact opposite approach, and it allows you to “control the message.”  We have a large technology company who did this by leveraging the same system that users have to request any tool – like headsets, laptops, and even chairs – to allow users to self-select their collaboration tool.  They also pulled a neat trick of automating provisioning using scripts so that it minimized the involvement of IT resources to get a new desktop collaboration app spun up at thousands of users.  They then communicated about the new tool via several HR newsletters and executive broadcasts to help drive business impact.  Later, thanks to Vyopta, they were able to target specific departments that had a good use case and lower than average adoption via more detailed emails and incentive programs.  This allowed them to deploy with probably the lowest cost per user overall AND gather a lot of feedback about user experience as well.

Provide Great documentation

Everyone is familiar with laminated instructions on the conference table, but you can also play with the idea of built-in screensavers on projectors or monitors in rooms that include directions. Another great documentation trick is to edit the admin settings for whatever meeting service you use and add custom text for making calls (like dialing 9 before any number).

Have a “UC Day”

Have a UC day. I had a customer that had a whole afternoon dedicated for employees to come and try the video rooms and units. There was hands-on training and documentation handed out. In addition, there were food and prizes. It was a big success and really overcame most of the objections that people have in using new technologies for the first time.

Automate Heavily

There are many options to automate portions of the collaboration user experience. We had a customer that used a scheduling application to create an “auto-join” capability for calls to start in the room at the exact same time that the meeting started. This accomplished the goal of completely removing the meeting start time delays that seem to plague many new technology rollouts. It also focused employees on ending meetings on time as well.

Sample calendar invitation from Vyopta.

Another way to automate meetings is to automatically add the most appropriate joining instructions to the invite. There are many scheduling apps that do this. Also, this is where you can customize instructions to add best practices for your organization.  However, it is important to be concise because adding tons of text instructions or numbers for every region can make the instructions hard to use quickly, especially when people are joining from mobile devices.

Incentivize and Praise Power Users

One excellent tool is to use examples from peers of your target users.  Gather and share quotes about how adopting the new technology has improved productivity or quality of life. It shouldn’t take much digging to find this type of information. You can run a simple report in Vyopta to identify top users. People today really respect peer opinions and reviews more than any marketing or “educational” material, so it’s all about encouraging evangelism from power users. If you do it right, you can even “deputize” these power users to help overcome user experience problems and have them educate others.

That’s all for the advice today!  Let us know if you have any best practices by emailing marketing@vyopta.com. Also, feel free to ask any more details about the ideas mentioned above.

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