Channel Partners

SEP-OCT 2013

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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IT teams that attempt a one-size strategy invariably find rogue solutions popping up as end users attempt to solve their own communications needs, often with unsanctioned and consumer-oriented solutions. Promote, deploy and train. Deploying a new service is often the easiest road map task for most IT teams. However, ensuring the end user adopts the solution successfully can be hit or miss. Therefore, the pre- and post-deployment activities must include successful and concerted promotion, deployment and training phases. f Promotion — The most important step in promoting a new solution is to engage the business as partners in the communication. The most successful rollouts include a heavy dose of executive engagement. Find the right executive sponsor and ensure that cross-functional leaders are involved in early pilot stages. An end user is much more likely to start using a tool when it's the best way to communicate with her boss than when the IT team sends her an email. 4 f Deployment — The actual deployment process will vary widely by organization. Many will start at core sites and move out to smaller sites over time, while others will focus on sites with aging or dying equipment. While the tactical rollout will vary, a key step is to communicate use-case and real-life examples as part of the deployment. f Training — The most important element in user adoption is a successful training program. A combination of on-demand and instructor-led sessions will provide an option for every employee. This is often a critical value-added service delivered by most hosted providers, as training is often a necessary core competency to ensure their solutions are adopted successfully. f Continuous Promotion — End-user communication on a new service should not end when the training program Editor's Note This article is an excerpt from the July 2013 report, "Channel Road Map for Success in Collaboration Services," by Wainhouse Research with underwriting support from ACT Conferencing and is published by Channel Partners with their permission. About Wainhouse Research: Wainhouse Research is an independent market research firm that focuses on critical issues in unified communications and collaboration (UC&C), including applications in distance education and e-learning. Wainhouse Research publishes a variety of studies that cover all aspects of UC&C and a free newsletter, The Wainhouse Research Bulletin. About ACT Conferencing: ACT Conferencing is a global provider of audio, Web and video collaboration solutions.

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