Dell Survey Uncovers Challenges to Providing UC to Remote Workers

 
 
By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2016-03-11 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Dell Survey Uncovers Challenges to Providing UC to Remote Workers
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    Dell Survey Uncovers Challenges to Providing UC to Remote Workers

    More and more businesses are looking to provide a unified communications experience to remote workers, but there are hurdles to overcome.
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    2 - While More Workers Are on the Move …
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    While More Workers Are on the Move …

    More employees are working remotely than before, and the trend is only going up. Eighty-three percent of the more than 200 respondents to Dell's survey expect the number of remote workers in their organization to increase in the coming year, driving the need for UC capabilities in their businesses.
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    3 - … Getting UC Capabilities to Those Workers Isn't Easy
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    … Getting UC Capabilities to Those Workers Isn't Easy

    Ninety-five percent of respondents—all of whom are responsible for managing UC platforms—said that they face hurdles in delivering quality UC service to remote workers, and that the situation is aggravated by the fact that 79 percent of them rely on users to alert them to quality-of-service issues, which means IT staffs never know about many of the problems.
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    4 - A Lack of Insight Can Cause Problems
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    A Lack of Insight Can Cause Problems

    Ninety-eight percent of respondents said gaining insight into remote worker usage of UC would be valuable, but 75 percent added that their existing UC technologies don't have the analytic or diagnostic capabilities needed to improve the user experience.
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    5 - The Dangers of UC Problems
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    The Dangers of UC Problems

    If workers aren't getting the UC experience they need, they'll turn to unsupported communication tools, according to Dell. That's an issue for IT staffs—77 percent of survey respondents said they have data security concerns when it comes to unsupported technologies, and 55 percent are concerned about maintaining regulatory compliance.
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    6 - Investing in UC Continues, but Adoption Issues Persist
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    Investing in UC Continues, but Adoption Issues Persist

    In a nod to the importance of UC, 71 percent of respondents said their organizations have increased UC investments to better support remote works. However, issues like training difficulties, quality-of-service challenges and unexpected costs are the key barriers to adoption.
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    7 - It's Not Always Easy to See the Impact of UC
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    It's Not Always Easy to See the Impact of UC

    And that's because 69 percent of organizations surveyed can't track usage rates. That makes it difficult to evaluate decisions to invest in the technologies.
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    8 - Fixing the Problems
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    Fixing the Problems

    Fifty-five percent of respondents said they need to spend time troubleshooting quality-of-experience issues every week; 20 percent said they troubleshoot problems daily hourly.
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    9 - The Risky Side of UC
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    The Risky Side of UC

    Almost half of the respondents said they face problems when using their UC platforms remotely and need to employ an array of workaround techniques to fix the issues. This exposes the company to risk, and also discourages employees from adopting the technologies.
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    10 - Keep Track of How Remote Workers Use UC
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    Keep Track of How Remote Workers Use UC

    Among the steps businesses can take to improve the situation is to find ways to track and trend remote workers' use of the technologies. If an organization can get better insight into how workers are using the UC technology, they can improve the user experience and proactively monitor for any compliance and data loss concerns. They also can improve adoption by taking steps such as remotely deploying an updated UC client.
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    11 - Keeping an Eye on Quality of Experience
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    Keeping an Eye on Quality of Experience

    Remote workers are in a less managed environment, which means a greater chance of something reducing the quality of the experience. For example, having to use a VPN connection while running audio or video features can lead to latency issues. Getting a better view on a remote worker's experience—from the make and model of the device to the network connection type—helps IT staffs better find and address problems.
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    12 - Do the Same for Issues Facing Remote Workers
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    Do the Same for Issues Facing Remote Workers

    There are any number of challenges facing remote workers, from the endpoint device to the UC client software and type of external network connection they're using. Better insight into all aspects of remote workers' environments makes it easier to take corrective action when needed. For example, knowing what versions of Microsoft's Skype for Business software the worker is running will enable IT staffs to know whether an employee needs an upgrade or to proactively prevent particular outdated versions from connecting.
 

As the workforce becomes increasingly mobile and more employees work remotely or telecommute, the value of unified communications (UC) as a way of enabling collaboration and improving productivity will continue to grow. A study last year by Osterman Research found that while some businesses are hesitant to fully embrace UC—with reasons ranging from cost and return-on-investment (ROI) concerns to a lack of understanding of the impact of UC and prior investments in legacy telephony products—almost three-quarters of businesses said they saw benefits of the technologies. Osterman also expects that the percentage of businesses using UC will grow from 45 percent now to 68 percent next year, thanks in large part to a more remote workforce. However, a new survey by Dell outlines the challenges businesses are facing in providing a UC experience to remote workers that mirrors what they can find in the office. Among the hurdles is a lack of visibility into UC usage that is costing money and hindering productivity. Dell, which offers its Unified Communications Command Suite for on-premises and remote-worker environments, also outlined some steps businesses can take. This eWEEK slide show highlights some of the survey's findings.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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