Headsets Matter - ... Sennheiser understands that your UC solution is only as good as the headsets you

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  • Headsets Matter Get the most out of your Unified Communications deployment with the right headset

  • Introduction 3

    Chapter 1: Not Just an Accessory 4

    Chapter 2: Bring Headsets Into the UC Conversation 5

    Chapter 3: Choosing the Right Headset 6

    Chapter 4: Sennheiser: Driving Unified Communications 8

    Conclusion 9

    Contents

  • 3INTRODUCTION

    In business environments, few things are as important as communication. Organizations everywhere recognize the importance of communication in driving collaboration, productivity and overall business success.

    Unified communications (UC)—the integration of tools like video calling, instant messaging, desktop sharing, voice, and web conferencing—is more important than ever. The whole idea behind UC is that users can communicate more cohesively in real-time with clients and colleagues—allowing people across the globe to get in touch with anyone, at any time, using any device. The result is more productive employees and seamless interactions at a fraction of the cost.

    A successful UC platform gives users a plethora of communications options at their fingertips. But when it really comes down to it, the human voice is still

    Introduction

    at the heart of all communication. Reports suggest that 86% of the impact of communication over the phone comes from tone of voice.1 It’s no surprise then, that headsets are a vital part of any robust UC strategy.

    A recent Spiceworks survey asked IT professionals currently using or actively considering UC solutions about factors that influence and inform headset purchase decisions for their organization. The survey looked at the purchase process as well as factors that influence the adoption of headsets as part of a larger UC deployment. This eBook presents what they had to tell us.

  • Chapter 1:

    Not Just an Accessory

    In today’s global workplace, employees now rely on a mix of desk phones, mobile phones and VoIP “softphones” to get things done. According to a recent Software Advice survey, 74% of employees that work remotely use a softphone on a daily basis.2 As more and more business users opt for mobile phones and softphones, headsets have an even greater impact on overall end-user experience.

    In today’s workplace, headsets aren’t just periph- erals. They are important business tools that can redefine professional communication. Headsets play a critical role in enabling employees to multitask and participate effectively in virtual meetings. Whether employees are using conferencing tools from their desks, on the road, or in a cafe, head- sets can help users hear audio as it was meant to be heard. The best professional-grade headsets deliver high-fidelity audio, eliminate background noise and minimize disruption.

    In UC-driven environments, headsets can accelerate the success of a UC deployment—enabling users to hear the full, nuanced story in every conversation. Knowledge workers at every level of an organization can reap the benefits of headset use: better audio and voice quality, crisper communications, hands- free meeting participation and improved productivity.

    According to the Spiceworks survey, IT professionals most commonly use headsets for voice calls (93%), including IP telephony (77%) and softphone calls (54%). Many also use headsets for web and video calls (75%), including web conferencing (55%), multimedia (54%) and video conferencing (51%).

    HOW HEADSETS ARE USED IN THE MODERN WORKPLACE

    4NOT JUST AN ACCESSORY

    IP Telephony Web conferencing

    Multimedia Soft phones Video conferencing

    77%

    55% 54% 54% 51%

    VOICE CALL (NET) = 93%

    WEB/VIDEO CALL (NET) = 75%

    41%

    Smartphones

  • When researching solutions/

    vendors

    When narrowing down the list of potential

    solutions

    24% 28%

    During Evaluation (Net) = 52%

    When negotiating

    the sale

    When finalizing

    the contract

    5%

    During Sale (Net) = 11%

    5%

    After purchase/ before

    deployment

    After deployment

    7%

    After Purchase (Net) = 15%

    9%

    Providing the best tool for the job helps employees quickly adapt to new technologies and achieve sus- tained user adoption of your UC solution. Businesses purchasing and deploying UC solutions need to plan ahead and budget for endpoint devices like head- sets, which greatly impact the quality of experience for end users.

    Yet, very often, companies invest heavily in a new UC platform by upgrading their networks, deploying the latest and greatest software platform, and in- stalling conference room equipment. But they forget about one crucial element: headsets.

    To get everything you need out of a robust UC solution, companies need to factor in headsets during the early planning phases of their UC roll- outs, since it can impact the seamless adoption of the entire UC deployment. Making the right head- set choice can make or break a UC deployment.

    Among the Spiceworks survey respondents, just over half (52%) reported evaluating headsets in conjunction with planning their UC deployment.

    Chapter 2:

    Bring Headsets Into the UC Conversation

    HOW HEADSETS FIT INTO THE UC PURCHASE PROCESS

    5BRING HEADSETS INTO THE US CONVERSATION

  • Business users have varying expectations from their headsets. But for all professional users, a basic need is to communicate as effectively as possible. When speaking with coworkers and clients, employees expect to hear and be heard clearly, using tools that ensure that background noise is eliminated. Here are some of the key factors that IT professionals consider when purchasing professional-grade head- sets for their organizations:

    Comfort. Whether employees work at their desk, from home or on the road, in a UC environment, they probably wear their headset for several hours at a stretch, communicating and collaborating with co-workers and clients. Outfitting your users with a comfortable headset is key to ensuring the highest level of productivity. If a headset feels uncomfortable, chances are good that knowledge workers aren’t going to wear it for long periods. And if users start opting out of wearing their audio endpoint, that can hamper the success of your overall UC deployment.

    Reliability. Businesses want any device they invest in to last for a considerable amount of time, without having to worry about replacing it every few months. Besides longevity, while evaluating headsets, busi- ness users also prioritize reliability in terms of continuous clarity. Given that more and more employees today regularly work from “public” spaces such as open plan offices, kitchen tables, coffee shops and airport gate areas, they demand headsets that minimize disruption, heighten voice and audio quality, and improve overall efficiency.

    Service and Support. From an IT perspective, when businesses invest in headsets for their UC deployment, the ease of managing and getting support on a fleet of headsets is a key consideration. IT decision makers frequently seek headsets that are enabled for automatic firmware updates. It also helps to choose a headset that has been optimized for UC, so that the headsets will support all your UC needs. Many companies favor headset providers that offer strong warranty options, so that if problems do occur, it only takes a phone call to get their solutions quickly replaced. Value. In today’s workplace, as headsets are increasingly used by employees at all levels, companies need to pay attention to the cost of the device. Price matters, but so does performance. Many organizations have discovered that low-cost headsets aren’t sturdy enough to stand up to repeated use, easy enough to operate without an instruction manual, or comfortable enough for employees to wear all day long. When bargain headsets don’t deliver the quality that users demand, they often stop using the tools—and businesses are deprived of the benefits and ROI of the new technology.

    Brand reputation. When purchasing headsets for a large number of knowledge workers, IT decision makers frequently seek a vendor with a long track record in the headset market. They tend to turn to brands that have an established reputation for innovation, reliability and ease of use.

    Chapter 3:

    Choosing the Right Headset

    6CHOOSING THE RIGHT HEADSET

  • The Spiceworks survey revealed that IT professionals are the leading influencers when it comes to headset purchases, even though end-users and executives often contribute to the decision making process as well. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents (72%) identified reliability as their top consideration while selecting a headset provider. They also look for solutions that offer good value (52%) and come with robust service and support options (39%).

    For IT professionals, the process of identifying and deploying the right headsets is not without challenges. They say that the headset lifespan (47%), sound quality (42%) and cost (36%) pose key challenges when determining if a headset purchase can increase ROI for their organization.

    Equipment quality/ lifespan

    Sound quality

    Cost

    47% 42%

    TOP 3 CHALLENGES

    36%

    TOP 3 FACTORS OF CONSIDERATION

    Reliability Value Customer service/ support

    72% 52%

    39%

    7CHOOSING THE RIGHT HEADSET

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