Set your phasers to fun because we are about to show you how to get all of your enterprise users on board the starship! There are few industry secrets out there that can really help you drive enterprise video conferencing utilization, but the following best practices will prove to be invaluable. Utilization of video and unified communications is a BIG metric that senior management uses to determine ROI (return on investment) and allocate information technology resources (which you always need more of). Here are the tools you’ll need to make it so!
In order to identify the problem and respond with a solution (before you lose money) – you need accurate data to see what’s happening in your unified communications environment.
Maximizing utilization will require you to set a goal. How does your organization set goals for a metric like video utilization without data?
- Set up a process to gather data on a regular basis as efficiently as possible. This should not take more than one team member to complete the collection process.
- Establish a baseline metric (with historical data) for utilization. How did you do last month? Last year?
- Set your performance expectation goal relative to your historical data. (Ex: Video utilization will grow by 25% next month)
- Track that goal frequently and easily without taking up all of your time.
Who are your end users? It’s pretty rare to have users take to a new system immediately and without much support from IT, and this is true with unified communications technology as well. Identifying the habits of your users and how readily they accept changes in technology will help you introduce new platforms the right way, to ensure that utilization is up and stays up.
How Easy Is It To Use The New Platform?
Easy is a very subjective word. Although the IT/Infrastructure and collaboration admin might have no problem adapting to any platform out there, this may not be the case for your end users.
Maximizing utilization is going to depend very heavily on whether or not the system is something your end users can pick up and use out-of-the-box or if it’s going to take some training. In any case, identify your “power users” and distil their knowledge into training for everyone else.
How Easy Is It To Use The Troubleshoot?
There are a few things that you’ll need to keep an eye on with a large enterprise deployment; bandwidth, call failure rates and underutilized endpoints. Once again, before you can give an accurate report on utilization in a multi-vendor unified communications environment – you need this information to solve problems.
What Capacity Are You Using At Peak Times?
How does capacity contribute to call failures, underutilized video assets etc. Being able to pinpoint these things in real time is critical to IT departments managing massive video/unified communications environments. Once you have the data, you’re going to be able to report on growth utilization rather than increased trouble tickets, poor video quality, call failures and underutilized endpoints. Read a couple of case study examples of organizations who take advantage of real-time video network monitoring.
In most video environments there are very few reporting capabilities. Basic data reporting without in-depth analytics will often lead you to the following problems:
- Unified communications and video environments often have multiple technologies; complex video and unified communications ecosystems that are far from single-vendor. This presents a problem for IT departments and video admins who need to quickly generate one single report and present to senior management. They are forced to hunt in multiple places, try to find and eliminate duplicate call data, and match metrics that have different names across different vendors. This wastes the most precious resource in IT, time.
- Most reporting data that comes out of the box with technologies is just that: data. It is overwhelming in its raw state and requires tons of manual labor to produce actionable insights (see above). Analytics is different because it does all the hard work of cleaning, unifying, and presenting the data visually as well as figuring out insights from trends and outliers.
The best decisions are made when they are based on data and information. Maximizing utilization in your video environment will come down to the age-old technique of gathering data, establishing a baseline, setting a performance goal, training your users, and tracking that goal with ease and accuracy. If you can do all of this without all of the heavy lifting and wasting time – you’ll be on your way to driving growth in video utilization.