80% of Collaboration Projects Fail to Meet Business Objectives

The title is a startling fact announced by Gartner, and is based on knowledge that people researching and buying communication technology are focussing on the features of the technology and not how or what the user experience will be like.

In the unified collaboration battle between Cisco Spark and Microsoft Skype for Business, getting the choice right could boost the company’s profits, whereas getting it wrong could be disastrous.

We all love a features list; in the new technological world that we now live in, features are what sell technology, but they shouldn’t always be. Unified collaboration is one of those cases.

It should not be treated the same way as comparing the latest Sony 4k television to a Samsung or LG rival. Nor should it be like comparing the latest Apple iWatch to Garmin or Fitbit.  Even in business terms, it is not the same as trying to decide whether a Dell or Hewlett Packard laptop is the right choice. In all of these examples feature lists and functionality will be the top priority (perhaps looks and brand may also sway the decision depending on the individual) when purchase consideration is taking place. Value for money and previous purchase history (we are becoming very loyal and almost tribal to technology brands) will also play a big deciding factor, but usability is probably very low on the list.

It is possible even probable that the purchasing team of unified collaboration technology use the same thought process when they make their choices. After all, which company doesn’t want to feel like they are getting the best value for money when spending. Therefore, options with vast numbers of features must impact the thought process.

The same could be said of a company that has already invested heavily in Cisco or Microsoft. They must surely be influenced by the technology that they already have within their business, and potentially how easy Spark or Skype for Business will work with that technology.

You cannot argue that these are factors that must be taken into consideration, but Gartner have some words of caution:

Unlike traditional technology rollouts like ERP and CRP, which follow a ‘push’ paradigm, Gartner advises that organisations looking to deploy social business initiatives, including collaboration, need to shift their emphasis away from deciding which technology to implement and instead focus on understanding how people are currently working, who they work with, and what their needs are.

Confining your users to technology that changes workflows, is cumbersome and not easy to use will impact adoption rates and increase the time taken to achieve ROI. And, deploying a system that is not able to communicate with contacts in other offices, clients, customers or suppliers will mean that further investment in technology will have to be made, or users will look for their own ways to collaborate, deploying unauthorised programs and creating security risks.

When it comes to making a choice between collaborative conferencing tools like Skype for Business and Spark, a direct feature comparison of Spark vs Skype for Business isn’t necessarily the best way forward. Because while there are similarities and differences, these are not ‘like for like’ products.

In our last blog, we specifically looked at how companies must consider further than the four walls of their office when deploying a new communication tool. Simply click the link to read it.

Download our latest whitepaper on the subject to find out more – Microsoft Skype for Business vs Cisco Spark: The Enterprise Collaboration Battleground.

Alternatively contact us today so that we can help you understand your user’s needs. Call us on +44 (0)1276 706 706 or email information@videocall.co.uk