Robin Gareiss is president and founder of Nemertes Research, overseeing research product development, conducting primary research, and advising leading enterprises, vendors, and carriers.
After years of researching the unified communications and collaboration costs and benefits, I have found repeatedly that the use of performance management tools reduces associated UCC operational costs.
What's more, because it improves overall UCC performance, it also results in better user adoption.
When managing any application, knowledge is power. If you're able to predict and prevent a pending problem, you've protected users from an unpleasant experience that likely would have reduced their productivity. If you can quickly drill down to information that helps you isolate the root cause of a problem, you can resolve it quickly and reduce the amount of time employees experience productivity decreases.
Naturally, if you can make the experience better for users, they will embrace the technology more. Such is the case with UCC.
Performance management tools deliver the aforementioned knowledge that gives IT managers the power to improve user experience. In Nemertes' 2017-18 UCC Total Cost of Operations research, we found a 30% increase in user adoption among companies using performance management tools, vs. those who did not. When user adoption and demand is high, that also gives IT staffs job security, along with credibility to launch new apps that bolster employee productivity.
IT staffs also gain credibility by optimizing their costs. Performance management tools play a huge role in that department. Because they deliver real-time (and historic) performance data and automate previously manual functions, they help IT managers prevent problems, find the cause of outages, and pinpoint the steps they need to take to resolve issues.
In our research, we gathered operational cost data on internal staff time, third-party managed services, equipment maintenance, and training for both IT and users. Those using third-party tools decreased their ongoing operational costs by more than half (58%). They simply didn't need the number of people managing UCC because the performance management tools cut to the chase in problem resolution. Additionally, the reporting and analytics helped IT leaders to evaluate when and where to make changes, based on a variety of factors. For example, say certain locations were experiencing slow performance. that may be an indicator for a bandwidth upgrade.
Ongoing operational costs become an even more significant issue among those running multi-vendor environments. Integration between vendors, potential coordination between multiple management tools, and cross training among IT staffs result in higher operational costs. Selecting a single performance management provider that can manage multiple vendors, as well as functions (say, contact center and SBCs), helps streamline the information about the systems to again reduce that operational cost.
Among the performance management providers with enough response for large deployments, IR customers had the lowest UCC operational cost, according to our research. At $242 annual median cost per endpoint, those using IR spend 25% less to operate UCC than their nearest competitor.
Bottom line: Use speciality tools for performance management. You'll see an operational cost reduction for UCC, along with happier employees who are energized to use the good-performing technology you're delivering.