Unified communications and remote workers: Not always a match made in heaven

Unified communications are becoming increasingly critical for businesses, with 83 per cent of organisations expecting the number of remote workers they have to increase in the coming year.

But findings from a new survey by Dell of professionals responsible for managing UC platforms show that 95 per cent of respondents face challenges in delivering a quality UC service to their remote workers.

Equally concerning is that 79 per cent of IT respondents depend on users to alert them to UC quality of service issues that need to be addressed, meaning many issues never get reported to IT.

While 98 per cent of respondents see value in gaining insight into UC remote worker usage, 75 per cent say that their existing UC technology lacks the analytic or diagnostic capabilities to help deliver better remote worker experiences.

When UC fails employees are likely to turn to unsupported communications tools, 77 per cent of respondents have data security concerns over this and 55 per cent worry about maintaining compliance regulations.

"Organisations today are increasing their investments in unified communications platforms to support a growing remote workforce, yet they lack comprehensive UC analytic capabilities to get clear insights into how their remote workers are using the UC platforms, if at all," says Curtis Johnstone, senior UC Product Architect and Distinguished Engineer, Dell Systems and Information Management, and Microsoft Skype for Business MVP. "As investment in these capabilities grows, organisations need better visibility into their UC platforms, both to provide a quality experience that encourages adoption, and better manage costs and determine ROI. Dell is committed to delivering solutions that maximise the investment in UC by enabling IT organisations to more effectively bring the productivity benefits of UC to their workforce, including the remote worker, and to realise the cost benefits of consolidating their investments in multiple UC platforms".

Other findings include that 71 per cent of organisations say they've increased UC investments to better support remote workers. However, many still experience adoption challenges, with training difficulties, quality of service issues and unexpected costs the top barriers.

Nearly 50 per cent of survey respondents say they face issues when using their UC platform remotely, and use a variety of workaround techniques to fix the problems, exposing the business to risk and discouraging adoption. Also 69 per cent of organisations say they can't track usage rates which makes it hard for them to evaluate UC investment decisions.

You can find out more about Dell's unified communications solution on the company's website and there’s a summary of the report's findings in infographic form below.

UnifiedCommRemote Worker-Infographic-2016-EW-Final

Image Credit: Bevan Goldswain / Shutterstock