The Lync panel assured our partners it is a product that is ready for primetime. The problems occur when clients don’t properly prepare for a successful Skype for Business installation.
Skype for Business is About Outcome and Culture Shift
To ensure a positive quality of experience, you need to ask questions pre-deployment.
Engineers can design a perfect Skype for Business installation, but if the business hasn’t done their homework about how users will use it, it will fail. Questions need to be asked about current business processes to make sure the system benefits the business.
Here are some questions to ask during the pre-deployment stage:
- What are the users doing today?
- What are they using from your current solutions?
- What other technology (apps) are they using to make their jobs easier?
- What are they perceived to be doing in the future?
- How are they going to use it?
- What is their lifestyle today?
- Do users work in an office or do they work from home?
- How many users are mobile?
- What percent of the organization uses Apple computers? The interface is different and users should be trained separately so they don’t get frustrated.
Skype for Business Installation
Once these questions are answered, the deployment phase can begin. During the deployment phase, organizational change management is key.
Other keys to a successful implementation are:
- Get senior management buy-in from the start. There may be objections and user adoption issues. If top management are on-board, users will typically follow.
- Ask a lot of questions from different areas of the business. Users on a loading dock will have different needs from outside sales reps.
- Talk to the road warriors and those who spend a lot of time away from the office. Ask what needs they have to make their jobs easier.
- Identify early adopters in the organization. Who always has the latest gadgets before everyone else? Add them to the test group and create champions for the new system.
- Don’t ignore those wary of new technology. Adding these users to the test group can alleviate many of their concerns. Additional training for these users can make them much more comfortable when the system goes live. Win these users over and half the battle will be won.
- Keep the test window relatively short. We have seen test groups explode because users wanted to share the new technology with co-workers. In one case, a beta group of 50 video conference users became a group of 500 overnight.
- Have a “user-friendly” technical support person to answer questions. Usually this is not an engineer, but a super-user who can answer questions.
- Have a variety of training materials. Training should include pamphlets, cheat-sheets, videos, and some face-to-face training. Asking the beta users to train people in their organizational unit can be a good way to distribute the training load.
- Separate support for Mac and PC users. There is nothing more frustrating that being a version behind in the software and having a tech say, “click this button,” when you don’t have that feature yet.
With proper planning and training there is no reason not to have an easy Skype for Business installation. It is an amazing tool and can be a huge boost to user productivity and satisfaction.
Looking for tools to help the installation go smoothly? VXSuite helps partners prepare organizations for a great Skype for Business installation with our, “Three Steps to Skype for Business (Lync) Success” methodology.
Contact us to see how we can help you.