27 March 2012
Extending unified communications to the mobile workforce
Today's generation of younger — and not-so-young — workers increasingly expect to be able to work and do business anywhere, at any time, through whatever device they prefer. The growing volumes of mobile workers and the rapid development of smartphones and tablets are really changing the game. A well thought-out, technology-enabled communications strategy can really raise the bar in terms of an organisations ability to improve productivity, responsiveness, and ultimately, to make decisions faster.
People need access to the right information at the right time, to make faster, more efficient business decisions; and the flexibility to work with colleagues, customer and suppliers, regardless of who's where.
In our personal lives, this flexibility is rapidly becoming second nature. As more of us acquire smartphones and tablets, we're changing the way we relate to each other.
Social networks, instant messaging, apps and video are becoming the norm for sharing information and bringing us together. What's more, we're 'always on', available and accessible wherever we happen to be.
Is your organisation mobile ready?
Organisations can take advantage of this behavioural revolution by proactively enabling employees to connect anywhere, anytime, on any devise. After all, a mobile workforce should be an extension of a company's capabilities — the fact that they're remote from the office shouldn't mean they're out of the loop.
In fact, we're increasingly hearing from organisations that have chosen to give employees the freedom to talk, use applications, access the corporate network and collaborate more effectively when they need to — whether in the office, on the road or working from home. And yet, we're still seeing communication bottlenecks.
These can often be attributed to mobile phones — both corporate-, and/or own-, devices. Mobile phones may make employees more accessible, but they don't necessarily make them more available.
Take your sales team for example. They're often in meetings, visiting customers; ultimately, doing what they are paid to do. So what happens when another customer calls — trying their mobile — but can't reach them? Will the customer leave a message, try the office number, send an email, or do the unthinkable — call a competitor? When customers want to do business with your organisation, as a supplier you need to be accessible; otherwise you run the risk of them spending their money elsewhere. Sometimes all it takes is one missed call.
How many calls do your team miss? How many of those result in missed opportunities? Too many organisations lack the visibility to help monitor this human latency; or to assess the actual impact on the business.
The problem doesn't stop with mobile workers and their ability, or lack of, to serve customers better; it affects their office-based colleagues too. For desk-bound co-worker needing to make fast decisions — to be responsive in resolving a customer issue, or simply to improve their own productivity — it is just as important to be able to connect and collaborate with mobile employees.
Smarter, more agile ways of working
So, what's the solution? Integrating mobile phones into the organisation's telephony systems is certainly a good place to start to enable a more responsive and productive organisation.
By giving remote and mobile employees 'one number' — enabled by intelligent call routing — that can be dialled to reach their mobile, desk-phone and other devices simultaneously, you can derive greater value from your workforce. And most importantly ensure a better customer experience. It will be like they never left the office.
Combined with presence, human latency inefficiencies between co-workers can be reduced even further. Presence is a way of indicating to other people within your organisation what your relative availability is; so rather than loosing time trying to track down a colleague, a user can instantly assess if the person they're trying to contact is in a meeting, on the phone, or not available. For example, having visibility of the entire technical team's availability could help staff identify the best member to provide them with the support they need, fast.
Of course, no one is available all the time. With one voicemail, the frustrations, mix-ups and perceived 'poor service' when messages aren't pick-up — often because it's left on the 'other' phone, whether it's the mobile or office phone — are avoided. And enabling callers to choose to speak to another member of the team (by pressing '1', for example) can accelerate the responsiveness of your organisation — between employees and with customers, partners and co-workers.
Prepare your enterprise for the mobile revolution
As mobility becomes the rule rather than the exception, enterprise mobile communications strategies are evolving from providing convenient reachability to delivering tools that maximize individual and team performance.
Choosing a technology provider is the next step.
A wide range of technology options exists to help forward-looking companies to derive greater value from their workforce — a provider like ANT Telecom will take a consultative approach to ensure you harness technology suited to your business needs.
ANT Telecom provides system integrations solutions. Our expertise in connecting disparate systems allows users to share information (voice and data) more effectively, and make decisions faster — whether this is connecting CRM systems to contact centres or to fax and exchange servers; integrating a VoWiFi system to multivendor systems such as fire, building or process management; or incumbent WiFi infrastructures and PBX.
One of our key strengths is our well chosen technology partners:
Avaya delivers an open-system intelligent core platform that supports unified communications; and offers a choice of unified communication applications, such as One-X Mobile and one-X Communicator, which are compatible with most devices, from most PC- and mobile-manufacturers. Avaya's solutions provide users with anytime, anywhere access to unified communications capabilities — including intelligent presence and single number/single identity — empowering them to connect to the right people, at the right time, through a broad choice of mobile devices.
ANT Telecommunications Ltd
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