Working in the Unified Communications space is just awesome if you love technology. Unified communications is a rapidly changing technology which is deep with competition. With the level of competition involved, it’s important to differentiate yourself to ensure relevance in the market. Otherwise, products quickly become obsolete or worse, completely forgotten. In the UC device space, this is more true than ever and so proactively assisting customers in their evaluation of technologies can make you very relevant quickly.
Enter the Smarter Working UC Toolkit
Plantronics introduced the “Smarter Working UC Toolkit” sometime back in 2011. The Toolkit is described in detail in the Plantronics datasheet for the Smarter Working UC Toolkit. I made it a point of going to the website to try and get the kit, and for those who haven’t seen it, the page looks like the picture included below:
I started to download it to my PC, but found that the collections of documents were all separate and there were different downloads. Then, to complete the download I had to fill out a form so I could expect a phone call from a Plantronics Inside Sales person, so I decided to forgo the toolkit and figured it was a piece of marketing more than something that I could leverage with my customers. In essence, I dismissed it. I admit it, I’ll own it, as friendly as I am with folks at Plantronics, I said, “nah, not this time”.
Last night I saw a tweet from the Plantronics team about the Smarter Working UC Toolkit App for iOS. I was interested because I was wondering what would be different about the iOS version of this tool that I really couldn’t easily peruse on my PC. Since it wasn’t going to hurt me any, I downloaded it to my iPad and since I had a short commuter flight to Vegas from San Diego I thought I would take the time to go ahead and start looking through the application.
WOW. I am impressed with the content of the toolkit. I like the presentation of the application. The application has a similar look to the webpage, but obviously optimized for the iPAD.
As I sat and went through this app I found there were 2 things I really liked about this application:
- Its really easy to use and all of the necessary documents are included in the app download.
- While it’s a Plantronics app, the content isn’t Plantronics marketing material. Its genuine agnostic guidance for customers on evaluating devices for their users.
Yes, there is some material on the Plantronics device line. The setup guides are all about that, but as you look through the different phases of evaluation, it’s the kind of material that isn’t specific to Plantronics. Its general enough that you could use for any device evaluation. The different phases are covered with thoughtful material that would assist any IT Pro in conducting a UC device selection. Don’t misunderstand, there is material that is specific to Plantronics, but that is not the heart of this kit.
I wasn’t a big fan of the original website for the Plantronics UC Toolkit. The website had a good layout, but it was difficult to get the materials and documents that were included. The addition of the iOS application is outstanding and a productivity equalizer since all of the documents is downloaded with the package. Bottom line, if you are involved in a Unified Communications deployment, the materials that are passed to you as part of the Smarter Working UC Toolkit would absolutely be valuable.
Take a look, share your thoughts on the board.