UC Headset Analysis
Posted on 08/08/2012
Without a quality headset a UC solution is incomplete. That’s the blunt message from distributor Nimans who say some resellers have been ‘getting their fingers burnt’ by cutting corners and deploying cheaper options.
“When companies are first adopting a UC solution, the end point needs to be thought about straight away,” says Dealer Sales Director, Tom Maxwell.
“It boils down to quality; all components are crucial because ultimately an expensive UC comms system is only as strong as the weakest link. It can easily be undermined by poor quality headsets. More and more successful resellers and system integrators are embracing and understanding the importance of UC headsets / end points.
“We are working hard to educate resellers so that when they are quoting for new business they are able to explain to their customers the importance of a quality end point at the start of the process.”
Tom says a stronger relationship between manufacturers, distributors, resellers and end users is also helping reinforce general principles – with manufacturers more pro active about trialling headsets. This makes it a lot easier for resellers to get their message across.
Tom observed: “Obviously resellers do find themselves coming under increased pressure to keep sales quotes as attractive as possible especially in today’s increasingly competitive market place. There’s the temptation to go for a cheaper end point option but we strongly advise against this.
“We’ve heard about situations where resellers have introduced low quality cheap headsets. The end user has then had such a bad experience with voice performance they complained about the UC platform itself, labelling it as poor. In reality this bad user experience is simply down to a poor quality headset.
“Resellers need to be deploying headsets that complement and enhance overall system performance. This is particularly apparent at sites such as contact centres and offices where staff have previously been using headsets, and expectations have already been set.
“The importance of delivering professional grade performance is crucial. If you fall below these standards end users are going to ask: What’s the point of UC? We’ve invested lots of money in technology that’s meant to bring workers together and we’ve ended up with an inferior service.
“I know of occasions where resellers have deployed headsets for as little as £2-£3 each at a 1,000 user site and within two or three months they have been rejected and replaced by UC optimised solutions.”
Tom says the growing influence of UC headsets is resulting in traditional deskphones being replaced, in certain instances. “Some people never use a deskphone but where they do, companies are trying to make deployment easier by leaving a deskphone and giving them a headset as well. They let them get used to the headset before moving the deskphone away. That’s a growing trend.”
Tom says, as well as high audio quality and increased functionality, there are many other benefits of using headsets. “I think it depends on what environment headsets are going into. But anyone on the telephone for more than two hours a day or has a bad back should be using a headset. Anyone that wants to be pro-active and productive when taking calls, even if its only 10 minutes a day would benefit from a headset. You’ve got your hands free to make notes for example. These general messages are the same for UC or traditional headset deployment, but of course UC offers so much more.”
To assist and help resellers capture more sales, Nimans offers a comprehensive support structure. “We are currently working with resellers that have never sold headsets before and putting together, good, better and best options to make them as simple as possible to sell. We have headset training days and collaborative reseller marketing along with general awareness campaigns, giving resellers the confidence and knowledge to capture more business.”
Turning to the future, Tom concluded: “UC momentum is bubbling away; it’s steady rather than spectacular. Over the last 12 months trends have started to accelerate. We are finding SME companies embracing UC quicker. Over the next two years we expect demand to significantly rise as part of an evolving situation. The UC message is destined to spread based on convenience, quality and the ability to use one headset device, for the office, road or home. Communication wherever you are as part of a fully integrated workplace.”