An easy to use product, really intuitive and that will unburden your IT staff, encourage end-user adoption of your Unified Communications (UC) system and give control to end users over their communications environments.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not!
A UC end-user self-service portal can do this for you. It need not require any additional training for staff, and it can play a part in advancing decentralized administration with the benefits that can bring to your organization.
How does a UC self-service portal achieve this?
1. What you can do with a UC self-service portal
A UC self-service portal gives end users the power to manage their communications devices and UC services in real time from any device.
Users can reset their passwords and pins and change their user data without the aid of IT support staff.
Devices like telephones (mobile, desktop or softphones) can be added to the network and configured through the self-service portal. Thus, a user can create their own personalized UC environment with speed dials and busy lamp fields of their preference.
Corporate and personal directory services, like LDAP, can be integrated with the portal and managed and maintained by end users. They can add and update personal information and contacts.
End users can visualize and customize UC services according to their profile. A good self-service portal allows them to see in a simple graphical manner what services they can manipulate and provides a simple way of doing it.
Services such as voicemail, mobility, unified messaging and presence can be managed from a single portal as required by a user, avoiding IT support tickets and facilitating user mobility.
In addition, other services like phone lock and services store can be made available and be managed entirely by the user. These are the ways in which a self-service portal simplifies the life of an end user.
Furthermore, a self-service portal is not only useful to end-users. Administrators and managers can use it as a convenient ready to use window to provide users with the literature and tools they need.
For instance, administrators can make manuals available for download or provide software for installation via the self-service portal.
An audit trail of the UC transactions performed by the users is available to administration staff allowing them to monitor and ensure proper network functioning at all times. Also, managers can provide recommended corporate links for end users to access.
2.What you cannot do with a self-service portal
A UC self-service portal is essentially an end user tool and as such limited to performing activities relating directly and specifically to the end users.
You cannot manipulate the core UC infrastructure with it. That must be done by qualified IT staff using an administration tool like Kurmi Unified Provisioning.
More importantly, the network cannot be compromised by end users incorrectly provisioning UC devices and services through self-service.
The workflows that are initiated through the self-service portal are predefined and executed by the controlling UC platform.
Although end users are able to play a part in the provisioning of your UC they are not able to break it.
3. The necessity of self-service and self-administration
It may seem that a self-service portal is a nonessential element of your UC infrastructure, but this is not so.
IT and support staff can quickly become swamped with the end user tickets and service requests for tasks that are only relevant to a single user, low priory jobs that are better done by the users themselves.
Managerial approval is ‘written into’ the system. Firstly, by the self-service portal itself, and secondly, via user profiles. The end user is only able to do what the portal allows and is allowed to do whatever their profile specifies.
A self-service portal frees up essential staff allowing them to focus on more critical business issues.
Additionally, the time taken to process tasks via a support ticket is sometimes inappropriate for a user. For example, if they move to a different location and need a call forward set immediately.
For the end-user, it is often necessary to make changes quickly while on the go. It also allows the end-users to have more control over their work environment, customizing it to their liking.
This is in keeping with how the modern, mobile workforce of today operates.
Generally speaking, after the initial deployment of a UC system moves, adds, changes and deletes, the MACD processes, make up the bulk of the work needed to keep it functioning smoothly.
A self-service portal simplifies this workload by spreading it around and decreasing the time effort required from the helpdesk, technical and managerial staff.
It not only plays a significant role in streamlining your business processes but in many time-critical instances an essential part.