Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Plantronics UC Toolkit, Wireless Voice Office Assessment Tool

Plantronics, the leading makers of audio communication solutions such as corded and wireless Bluetooth and DECT  headsets was fielding many inquiries from customers who needed help configuring the best wireless headset solutions to support enterprise Unified Communication (UC) installations.

For UC users, their headset is often worn throughout the day, and as such, is a not a commodity, but a very personal device. Recommend the wrong audio headset, and user satisfaction and UC adoption would be subpar.

For IT, the UC audio solution had to be specified properly to support the unique office environment installations, and support these strong user preferences.

As these customers were planning and deploying their UC solutions, Plantronics realized that a little help could go a long way to help streamline the planning and deployment process, ease IT stress, improve user satisfaction and adoption.

“It sounds simple, right, just give everyone a UC audio device. But without the appropriate approach to meeting employees specific functional roles and user preferences, business adoption and therefore business communication, can be significantly impacted. Employees could find themselves severely impeded if they have the wrong devices. That’s why we developed the Smarter Working UC Toolkit, to guide IT professionals through the potential pitfalls of deploying UC audio devices to achieve the best adoption possible.” - Andrew (Andy) Taylor, Senior Director of Marketing, Plantronics

The UC Toolkit

To help, they created the Smarter Working UC Toolkit, an on-line resource center that has all the tools the IT professional needs to successfully plan, deploy and optimize audio solutions for UC.


For each phase of the project, Plantronics provides useful resources to take the pressure off of IT, with instructional videos, frequently asked questions (FAQ) guides, best practice white papers, step-by-step checklists, and user satisfaction surveys. The toolkit is solution agnostic, providing much needed best practices and thought leadership to UC audio solution planning, deployment and delivery.

“One area that is often overlooked during a UC audio device deployment is the impact of introducing wireless devices, such as headsets, in to the office environment. Everybody wants wireless, but do they need wireless to do their job? There are some limitations to the amount of wireless bandwidth available in an office and that has a direct impact on how wireless devices perform and therefore meeting user expectations and satisfaction. As part of the UC Toolkit we created a specific library of Wireless Voice Office resources and worked with Alinean to develop a tool that would proactively assist IT in evaluating their planned wireless device rollout before they embarked on that journey.” - Andrew (Andy) Taylor, Senior Director of Marketing, Plantronics
 

Plantronics Wireless Office Assessment Tool

One of the showcases of the UC Toolkit is the Alinean powered Wireless Voice Office Assessment Tool.  This interactive online tool profiles a customer’s unique UC audio requirements, asking a few simple questions about the users, solution and configuration, in order to recommend the best solution to meet the technical requirements and user preferences.

The tool only takes a few minutes to collect information from the customer in order to automatically generate a completely personalized recommendation and custom UC audio proposal and report.



Plantronics sales representatives are also using the tool interactively with customers, to obtain the best rules-based solution recommendation.

Over 100 assessments are performed by customers and sales each month, assuring that the right UC audio solution is being recommended every time.

The Value

Prior to the tool being available, sales engineers would often be called in post-deployment to rectify issues where the wireless devices were not performing as expected. As a result of using the tool, Plantronics has seen a reduction in product selection and configuration related issues, and post-deployment emergency support calls. The tool has had a positive impact on IT satisfaction, making it easier for them to get the planning and deployment right, and on users, who are more likely to have the right solution configured to meet their personal needs.

Most of all, the Wireless Voice Office Assessment Tool has had an impact on sales. In fact, one of the very first related orders, since the UC Toolkit was launched in 2011, came as a result of a prospect using  the tool.
“Not only has the Wireless Voice Office Assessment tool helped customers in their purchase of wireless UC audio devices, through a raised awareness of the attributes and scenarios to consider, it’s also streamlined how IT professionals can work with Plantronics wireless experts. Through the ‘collaboration’ feature, IT professionals can share their wireless assessment with Plantronics for further analysis and discussion, thus ensuring IT personnel get the support and ultimately, the results they desire.” - Andrew (Andy) Taylor, Senior Director of Marketing, Plantronics

The Bottom-Line

Having the right audio solution is critical for adoption of UC solutions. With the Smarter Working UC Toolkit, Plantronics recognizes the critical need to get audio “right” for UC, with an industry first on-line planning, deployment and optimization resource center.
The interactive assessment tools, instructional videos, guides, checklists and surveys make life easier for IT professionals, saving time and effort on planning and deployment, and assuring that the right UC audio solution is recommended, configured and delivered to demanding users.