As any IT and line-of-business manager can attest, the purchase of enterprise software can be an exciting and terrifying time. There are many hurdles in the process — vendor and software selection, implementation and integration and then, user adoption. Throughout the implementation process progress is tracked very carefully; but once deployed, the monitoring of user adoption all but falls off or is left to the help desk to monitor and manage. But if users aren’t calling, the issues can’t be addressed.
It has been noted that end users will only contact the help desk for one in every eight issues they experience. In part, this is because the process is often onerous and difficult and those calling in often feel under attack — “What’s the problem? I don’t see the issue; can you send me a screen shot? Did you reboot the system?” — Multiply that by the sometimes hundreds of software seats one organization may have and you’ll quickly see that the information captured by those who actually call in is miniscule compared to what is actually happening.
This is very serious when considering the sizable investment made in enterprise IT. If a technology is not being used or is being used inappropriately, money, time and vital resources are being wasted. With that in mind, it is very important to think about the following questions throughout the user-adoption process:
- How can you tell if users are helping you optimize the business benefits you expect from your enterprise applications?
- How can you identify which people are having difficulty executing transactions?
- Which transactions seem to be most problematic?
- What does it mean when employees say the system is slow?
- How can you acquire the concrete facts you need to separate real problems from subjective opinions and take corrective action?
Enter User Experience Management (UEM)
UEM helps IT administrators collect the facts needed to understand how people work and help them reach the next level of business excellence. While consuming almost no local computing resources, IT can investigate which screens or transactions are used, how long a user spends on each, the errors they encounter and how they sequence their tasks. UEM thus captures the real user experience directly from the end-user’s environment without needing a report from the end user.
More importantly, IT captures key data that would otherwise go unnoticed if not reported to the help desk. This is a huge step forward in identifying whether issues are human error or technology driven as well as how many actual errors are experienced each day. All in all, UEM helps organizations gain insights at the highest level, and provides problem-solving detail at the lowest level.
Human capital can raise new value, when user adoption is done right. UEM can monitor technology usage and identify trends both positive and negative. For example, a small group of users keeps experiencing the same error. Is training needed? If so, what kind: classroom, computer-based? Which training and development initiatives have been most effective over time? UEM can help in answering these questions.
On the flip side, UEM can identify technology usage that can help improve the business. For example, a contact center found a more productive workaround that lowered overall call resolution times. Identifying the technology usage pattern and implementing a process throughout an organization can have an almost immediate, positive impact.
In summary, the benefits of UEM are plenty:
- Decreased cost of ownership with increased user productivity
- Identification of user or application errors prior to service call requests
- Reduced support costs through decreases in the number of application and user issues
- Shorter resolution times in help desk and functional support
- Clearer picture of employee adoption and usage
- Compliance to critical business processes with fully automated audit trail
Today’s global marketplace demands that companies derive the business benefits from the implementation of enterprise applications quickly, effectively and affordably. One important way to streamline operations and drive savings is through the efficient and effective use of software by end users. Proficient users require minimal support services and help organizations realize ROI quickly. And to improve the performance of users who are not proficient, UEM helps IT understand what the issues are.
Michael Zuckerman is chief marketing officer of Knoa Software. Mike brings more than 20 years of senior-level marketing, sales and operations management experience in software Internet and related technologies. Before joining Knoa, Mike was chief marketing officer for Queplix Corp. Prior to that, he held positions as senior vice president, marketing, at I-Many, Inc. senior vice president, marketing and senior vice president, general manager for Immersion, and vice president of worldwide marketing at Verity, Inc.