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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Real Business ROI For Mobile UC Not From Knowledge Workers

April 28, 2008

Who Generates Real ROI From Mobile UC? “Action-takers!”

Art Rosenberg, The Unified-View

Now that the telecommunications industry has finally started focusing on business process efficiencies and people productivity, rather than just cost reductions, it’s also time to look at which kinds of people will generate the most “productivity ROI” from UC for the typical business organization.

I think the market has also moved past individual productivity as the most important UC metric for business organizations for a number of reasons:

· It will vary from user to user, depending on job responsibilities and work environments

· It is not really that significant to enterprise business processes

· No guarantee that personal time savings will ever be passed on to the enterprise

However, personal timesaving benefits are indeed important for end user adoption of new UC capabilities.

So, now the UC migration focus is on business process benefits, which, by definition, means “group productivity,” where everyone involved in a business process task has to communicate efficiently, either as a contact initiator or a contact recipient/respondent. Who ever is not communicating efficiently, becomes the weak link in the business process chain!

Everyone is a “Knowledge/Information’ worker, but not everyone is an “Action-taker”

There was a concerted effort by industry pundits to focus on end users who were involved in business process performance who could supply important information in a timely manner, i.e., they could be contacted and respond very quickly to information requests. While it is true that such capability is important, I believe everyone involved in a business process can contribute information to the business process flow, not just subject matter experts. Everyone is really an information worker/user.

If you think about it, particularly in the context of revenue-sensitive customer-initiated contacts, customer input is the prerequisite for all further actions. Taking it a step further, if there is indeed any significant actions to be taken, including both decision-making and service deliveries, we will find those kinds of “action-takers” to be more mobile and less available at a desktop. So, in order to successfully complete that type of customer-facing business process, desktop UC will not be adequate and Mobile UC flexibility comes into play.

That is one of the reasons that mobile communications have been increasing so rapidly for business users. It has also become a source of concern for IT management, since they cannot easily control what end users will carry with them nor the seamless interoperability between fixed (wired enterprise-controlled desktops and mobile devices and services. Those challenges are slowly being resolved through both technology interoperability and evolving more strategic business relationships between the enterprise and wireless carriers. (See Michael Finneran’s comments on FMC.)

In the meantime, it will become important to focus on the mobility needs of customer-facing “action-takers,” not just “knowledge workers,” who will be key to successful completion of revenue-generating or loss prevention business processes. For practical UC migration planning, find out who your “action-takers” are and what they are doing today for efficient communication access while mobile. That will help define your real UC implementation priorities.

P.S. Your "action-takers" will very often NOT be within your organization - think delivery services, local technology support channels, etc. So, make sure that they are "federated" with your organization's UC capabilities and presence management facilities!

What Do You Think?

You can contact me at: or (310) 395-2360.

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