Personas for Intuitive Communication Experiences

Communication has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds lately, and we’re not just talking about the aftermath of the recent pandemic. Even before Covid-19, we were seeing more and more clients asking for communications solutions that were intelligent, intuitive, and that everyone – employees, suppliers, clients and all stakeholders – could get behind.

As a leading global managed services provider, Aura provides clients with multi-platform communications support with the aim of simplifying engagement and interaction. ‘Personas’ are an integral part of how we do it, as this post explores.

What are personas?

At Aura, we use personas to develop communications solutions that are more intuitively designed to meet the needs of individuals.

To us, a persona is essentially an experience profile. These profiles are like configuration buckets that can be used to approach a UC deployment in a consistent manner. They ensure that all users receive a predictable and relevant experience based on their usage requirements.

Some of the communications and collaboration tools we use regularly – such as Microsoft Teams – offer users far greater configuration options than some other platforms. And, whilst this is great from a personalization point of view, it can cause some serious problems when it comes to large-scale implementations. A greater degree of fluidity is needed – for instance, applying a persona to a whole team, or indeed several teams.

The world has moved on. Users want communications solutions that are intelligent, intuitive, and that everyone can get behind.

Putting personas into practice

A recent client project tackled exactly this issue. Deploying a ‘standard’ MS Teams package into the business would bring about all of the expected benefits – one centralized working hub, including Office 365 integration, shared editing on documents, call / email / messaging, and much more. The enterprise-grade security was another huge advantage. However, upon deep-dive investigation, it became clear that a one-size-fits-all implementation was not going to work.

We worked with the client to develop unique personas for a range of role-holders, including people leaders, executive teams, knowledge workers, lone workers, manufacturing personnel, and administrative staff. Some functionality was common to all personas, but other aspects were configured differently, in alignment with user requirements.

What vs. how

Working on our client’s various personas, the biggest area that was examined was not what these role-holders might typically work on, but how they tend to prefer working.

For instance, knowledge-holders might need a range of devices to share information with key personnel – tablet, smartphone, laptop, desktop, or a combination, depending on their whereabouts at any given time. This group of people were not all based in the same country, either – so an even greater degree of flexibility was required.

The same arrangement was true of workers who travel frequently (executive teams, for instance). Administrative staff, meanwhile, might have greater certainty over their location – but they still needed to be able to communicate freely and easily with the teams they support.

Configuring collaboration tools in alignment with user experiences might seem expensive, but it actually works out cheaper in the long run.

The cost of personas

Whilst configuring collaboration tools in alignment with user experiences might sound an expensive exercise, it actually works out cheaper in the long run. When collaboration is made easier, productivity increases, knowledge transfer is enhanced, and projects tend to run more smoothly:

  • Employees feel valued and respected.
  • Systems and ways of working have been developed to make the working day more effective and more enjoyable.
  • Employee retention becomes easier, and attrition drops.
  • The employer brand is enhanced, and recruitment becomes easier.

There is another great advantage too. In an age where flexibility is key (along with resilience), a communications platform that caters for multiple user requirements is highly scalable. It can grow with the business. Personas can be adapted to accommodate new user types. The potential is highly adaptable.

Let’s talk about personas

As a new kind of managed services provider, we’re focused on pioneering the deployment of communications and collaboration platforms using personas.

If you would like to talk more about developing personas and how they can improve productivity for your organization, please don’t hesitate to contact our team today.

 

This article was originally published as part of smart/tasking’s Big Read Autumn Edition.

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