The World as the new office
How can companies from all industries continue to operate during these troubling times?
While the world is united to fight Covid-19, companies in various industries need to find ways to continue to deliver their products and services to ensure some form of continuity during these troubling times. To accomplish this, this requires them to deal with unprecedented working conditions whereby a significant portion of their workforce is mandated to work from home, with little to no access to their company premises. The world has now become a global virtual office and communications need to continue to be established, despite the varying distances between colleagues, customers and key stakeholders.
As a result, we are noticing considerable increases in working habits that were previously ignored, such as remote working. Fortunately, several solutions are already available to facilitate flexible working and the priority now is to make them more and more accessible to the global community. What’s more, these technologies need to be built in such a way that we minimize on-site maintenance requirements as these approaches are not only more time consuming and costly, but also not permitted in situations such as the one we find ourselves in today.
Depending on business imperatives, the need for communication-continuity spans from corporate telephony to fully-fledged collaboration platforms that enable engagement between internal and external stakeholders. As mentioned above, luckily there are solutions already in place for this that are very easy to deploy.
As far as telephony is concerned, teleworking solutions are available due to a combination of IP softphones that emulate desk phones, software which can be installed on a personal computer, and essential VPNs to secure remote connections. Combined with rich feature sets, these technologies make homes very efficient places to work. The above is also relevant in the context of customer service, as agents or customer service representative can continue to engage with their customers using such solutions, without the need of being present all together in the same location.
In times of crisis such as the one we are all facing with Covid-19, the most important thing for organizations is to maintain team spirit promote greater team work regardless of distance. To do so, efficient collaboration solutions are required to keep the link alive and enable conversations that ensure business continuity and longevity. Whereas first generations were limited to having to collaborate within the confines of the business premises, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) technologies are breaking all the boundaries by enabling teams to work directly from the cloud. As a result, this offsets the burden of a complex on-premises installation which would make things difficult during these troubled times.
Recently, ALE was challenged by a customer who hadn’t yet considered any cloud-based UCaaS solution to deliver ALE’s Rainbow to 100 employees in less than four hours. The result – all users were active and operational in less than two hours. From a total communication lock down, the company turned this into a situation where not only collaboration was made possible again, but also accelerated its transformation towards more digital services by seizing the opportunity to rethink the way people work and communicate in adverse conditions.
Within the three first weeks of March 2020, ALE has provided more IP Desktop Softphone licenses than they usually do in one year. Also, during the same period, nearly 300 companies of varying sizes have introduced borderless collaboration capabilities through Rainbow, for more than 50,000 employees. Even better, demand continues to grow day-by-day.
While we don’t know what the future has in store, what we do know is that the way we work is going to change moving forward. We expect a continued increase in the demand for these remote working and cloud-based collaboration solutions even after the crisis is over, (which is hopefully very soon). What the world is experiencing now is going to accelerate the transformation of corporate communications and force businesses to faster explore the digital world where the present (existing IP infrastructures) and the future (the cloud) will cohabit.
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