Leveraging Data Can Open Up New Revenue Opportunity

The new generation collaboration platforms that are app-based (Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Zoom, etc.) are opening up a new area of services for AV and IT integrators. That new service model taps into data analysis to determine how organizations are using UCC systems today, but more importantly, to enable power users to hone their systems for both greater cost efficiency and better productivity.

A key driver? The rise of conferencing platforms backed by data powerhouses like Microsoft and Cisco is setting the stage for better analytics. Cisco’s strengths, for example, include network infrastructure, contact center, IoT, data center, and telephony innovation. Microsoft excels in personal productivity software, business software, and Azure cloud computing. And don’t count out Zoom, with its synergies with consumer video users. While all those powerful companies appear, on the surface, to be simplifying conferencing and collaboration, they’re really adding more and more layers of data into the equation. And that data can open up new revenue opportunity for integrators.

Previous generation conferencing platforms (they were more “conferencing” than “collaboration”) did not generate the kind of deep user data that organizations could use to better schedule, manage, and refine the systems or improve business workflow. They really couldn’t gather granular data, and then, based on the lessons learned (i.e., the data gathered) offer a roadmap on improvement based on that previous usage.

What a difference today, as Microsoft Teams, for example, allows you to quickly view analytics data about teams in your domain. This info can provide insights into the activity patterns on their teams. Analytics data includes the number of active users, guests, and the total number of messages sent in each team for a given period. You can view analytics across all your teams, within individual teams, and in specific channels. Just a few of the many data points you can generate include:

  • Organizer, presenter, producer
    • Recording setting
    • Production type
  • 1:1 calls a user participated in
    • Messages a user posted in a team chat
    • Messages a user posted in a private chat
    • Last activity date of a user
  • Windows users vs. Mac users, iOS users, and Android phone users

While the platforms offer data analytics that give a snapshot of usage, very few end-user companies can interpret that data in relation to the AV and collaboration hardware/software needs of the organization. Do the meeting attendees need different/better peripherals to maximize the meeting’s productivity? How much time is being wasted starting the meeting? The experienced integrator can deduce the answers to those and more questions by looking deeper into the data, and then suggest efficiency upgrades on both the hardware and software sides. This gains the confidence of the customer and leads to more business down the road.

Key Takeaway: Leveraging data can open up new revenue opportunity. As the AV or IT integrator, you should be offering, in addition to collaboration bundles, UCC user data analysis reporting to your customers. Why? Because UC user data analysis reporting can be a valuable addition to your services. This could be the first step towards providing Collaboration-as-a-Service, and that could improve your profitability by increasing recurring revenue from key customers.