TECH EXCHANGE | A ZDNet Multiplexer Blog What's this?

Hey - where's my phone gone?

Organisations often encounter resistance when transitioning from hardphone to softphone technology. Why is this and how can we overcome it?

While visiting customers to discuss softphone deployment, I consistently observe how staff are highly attached to their desk-phones.

Sometimes they are rarely even used, but when you replace people's phones with software on their PCs or laptops, it can cause discomfort. Some view it as 'evil' and the subsequent resistance can be a blocker for an organisation in adopting new technology necessary to keep ahead of, or even up with, the competition.

So how do you address it?

If you can remove the feeling that something (their phone), is being 'taken away', then you'll have removed a significant psychological blockage.

Communication is the key. The anxiety won't be diminished by written communications, offering various business or technical reasons why this change is upon them. Talk with your team - open and frank dialogue will identify concerns and enable you to address these in order to move forward.

Will that open a can of worms?

The million dollar question is invariably "what's in it for me?" Your staff may not explicitly ask this, but be assured it's foremost in their minds. Addressing this early is a huge step in helping them accept the idea of change.

Not only that, but seeking their input and inviting them to contribute to the design will create a sense of ownership - this provides even more incentive to get on board.

Over the next two blogs I'll dig deeper into gathering requirements and stimulating adoption.