Unified Communications Success: The Proof is in the Reporting

As I’ve discussed in my earlier blog posts, organizations invest in unified communications (UC) solution not only to improve communication and collaboration but to reduce costs and complexity. Unfortunately, however, more than half of those organizations don’t know whether their UC investments are meeting their cost-savings goals, and less than a third are charging back UC costs to their business units to ensure accountability and improve ROI.

The missing piece is comprehensive reporting. Organizations need to be able to:

  • Assess usage
  • Inventory the environment
  • Plan for future growth and migrations
  • Charge back usage costs to individual departments or business units
  • Identify training needs

Dell Unified Communications Command Suite (UCCS) delivers all these features and more, so you can accurately measure — and then maximize — the return on your UC investment.

First, UCCS gives you clear insight into the usage of your UC environment — both a broad view and the specifics. For example, you can report on UC activity across the organization, and you can also drill down to see, for instance, which departments and offices are using which specific Lync features and which are the heaviest users of IM. You can compare Lync usage against usage of legacy phone, conferencing and collaboration platforms, and you can also see which types of peer-to-peer sessions (IM, audio, file-sharing, application sharing, remote assistance and so on) are being used most and least. Department heads can track exactly which of their resources are able to use Lync at any given time, and how much they are using it. This in-depth insight into usage can help you improve adoption rates and therefore ROI.

UCCS also helps you inventory your environment, including both the physical environment and the user environment. For instance, you can easily determine what mobile devices are being used, and what operating systems are on those mobile devices. You can see which mailboxes are active and which are inactive, as well as the permissions on all mailboxes. You can also see what groups have been set up, who owns each group, when each group was last modified, and which groups have not had any recent activity. You can even see what rooms and equipment are located each office.

In addition to helping you understand your current environment and usage, UCCS helps you plan for future growth and migrations of Exchange and Lync. UCCS’s trend analysis will help you predict the growth of your UC environment, enabling you to plan accurately for additional resources and infrastructure as you decommission your traditional communications platforms. And UCCS will help make migrations faster and less stressful by enabling you analyze the current and new environments and plan for server capacity, reducing risk.

UCCS also enables you to charge back UC costs to individual departments or business units, ensuring transparency and driving ROI. You can set chargeback for a variety of UC components, including email messages, Lync activity, mailboxes and Lync Enterprise Voice calls. And you can track chargebacks over time and see how chargeback costs compare across departments.

All of this insight will bring to light where more training and communication is needed to improve adoption and therefore return on your UC investment. For example, as you identify specific departments and individuals that are not taking advantage of particular UC features, so you can explore providing additional information on benefits or offer tips or training on using the features.

Finally, UCCS makes all of this information readily available through dashboards that users can easily customize to meet their unique needs. Managers can build and pull their own reports on workforce activities without extensive technical expertise, and all users can subscribe to the reports they need on the schedule they specify — for instance, you can see Lync QoE user and device stats for your location every Monday morning. With UCCS, the insight you need into your UC ecosystem is at your fingertips.

For more information about to use UCCS reporting to improve UC adoption, reduce costs, ease migrations and more, view our on-demand webcast, “Practical demo: Taking Command of Your UC Systems.”