Unified Communications (UC) has brought a slew of new capabilities to the modern contact center, increasing the flexibility, mobility and functionality of workers through devices such as advanced UC headsets and audio conferencing solutions. These tools allow office workers to collaborate and communicate more seamlessly while they move through their spaces more freely, with fewer distractions. Yet these productivity-boosting capabilities come with the challenge of managing these devices, a task that often falls on the shoulders of busy IT teams. Savvy resellers can leverage this as a sales advantage with their business clientele, appealing to the needs of IT managers.
The ability to track, configure and continually update a multitude of devices, as well as address the associated security compliance issues, is laborious and time-consuming for highly specialized IT managers, especially when configurations and updates must be deployed on each individual device throughout an organization. IT professionals traditionally focus on maintaining back-office systems, servers and data networks, yet many now have the added responsibility of managing and monitoring an array of solutions dedicated to the company’s UC infrastructure.
Device management was rated as a major concern of IT departments, according to an international survey report from services vendor Ipswitch on controlling IT complexity (“The Challenges of Controlling IT Complexity,” 2016). Sixty-six percent of the survey respondents felt that the growing complexity of IT environments has made their jobs more difficult. Such complexity diverts valuable IT resources away from core responsibilities, and toward administering an ever-expanding suite of UC devices which are sometimes distributed across multiple departments or branch locations. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they would welcome IT management software that offers more monitoring flexibility.
Advanced UC solutions can be outstanding productivity tools. Yet as these devices proliferate, IT departments must devote considerable time to trivial but necessary maintenance and support functions. Device management software helps maintain operational cost-effectiveness for business clients.
An office full of UC devices, such as headsets and conferencing solutions, potentially requires IT professionals to travel from workstation to workstation, configuring devices, conducting software updates, tracking usage or implementing security policies for each individual unit. Such exploits detract from the benefit of an advanced Unified Communications environment, lessening the gains these productivity-enhancing solutions were designed to promote.
A device management platform consolidates management of these many devices via a single interface. Updates can be strategically scheduled to occur whenever it’s most convenient for the organization, affecting the least amount of disruption and downtime. Sophisticated device management platforms can also provide detailed visibility of both active and inactive devices, and produce reporting on device usage, allowing businesses to better manage personnel and gather insights on performance based on headset usage.
Business should seek out a device management system that is intuitive, accessible and easy to administer, freeing IT personnel to maintain critical business technology functions. Cloud-based device management tools allow managers to access the platform from anywhere with an Internet connection, so IT personnel can gain visibility into their device suites and perform management tasks at any time, onsite or off.
The user of the headset benefits as well. Device management software can potentially turn a headset and speakerphone into a simple plug-and-play solution, since the headset will be preconfigured and up-to-date the moment it’s connected to a workstation. Efficient device management software runs in the background, transparent to the worker throughout their day, except for notifications or periodic update information as dictated by the IT administrator.
It’s the intrinsic goal of technology to enhance workplace environments, and Unified Communications technologies certainly accomplish that. Effective device management supports that objective, delivering streamlined, easy-to-administer visibility and secure management in a single interface. This helps unencumber IT professionals, while preserving the business owner’s ROI, better fulfilling the promises of Unified Communications technology.