Last week we discussed surveying your users to see what communication channels they use already. I suggested surveying them to see which of the standards – email, phone, IM, conferencing and document storage – most people prefer to communicate with.

This week we'll take the next step and tackle the question of – “Which communication tools would they use if available?”

The point of this is twofold – you're getting direct feedback from your users on any holes in current communications. And you're also introducing Lync Server 2010 to them as a solution.

User Survey Part 2 – Would You Like the Group Chat or the Video Conference?

As I mentioned last week, this should be the second half of the user survey you do.

Get specific at this stage. Everybody's guessing here, since you're talking about communication channels you may not use now. But it should be educated guessing.

Here's one method I suggest. Present a series of Lync's communication options, and list a good use for each. Then ask employees how likely they would be to use the option – say on a 1-to-5 scale.

Two examples of what I mean would be:

  1. Video Conferencing with Shared Desktop — So a team can stay on topic with their project's current status
  2. Voice Calls with built-in Video — So people can share visual information if/when app sharing isn't available

As a reminder, these are some new/updated services included in Lync Server.

  • Enterprise Voice (PBX phone replacement)
  • Presence Status Updates
  • Public IM connectivity (IM with people on AIM, Yahoo, MSN, etc.)
  • Voice/Video/Web Conferencing
  • Group Chat (I really like this one. Think of it as a super-charged discussion board with internal and collaborative spaces.)
  • Desktop sharing
  • Application sharing
  • Communication on Mobile Phones
  • Voicemails in Outlook (with Exchange 2010)

Know What to Train Users For on Lync

If you get an idea of what people want the most, you can prioritize its setup in Lync Server 2010. And more importantly – you'll know what kinds of training they””ll need.

At this point,you should have a full survey return from your users. You know what they use to communicate now,and what they'll use in Lync Server when it's installed. So setting up training (which we'll cover in Step 8 ) is just a part of the plan later.

What do you think users will want the most from Lync Server 2010? Comment below and let's talk about it.

NOTE: I'll skip posting next week for the holiday. Check back the last week of December though – we'll have a post for “Step 3: Hammer Out Licensing” out on Wednesday!

Path to Lync Server – Step 2: Who Wants Which Service?
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