Deliver true Mobility and give your staff the freedom they crave through Unified Communications....
With recent changes to employee law and a clear driver towards providing people with flexible working, there is a real sense that business is going through major change, and Mobility is right at the heart of it...
We have an increasingly mobile workforce, as we employee new field based sales agents and engineers. It is more important than ever for us that we can get in touch with them and know they are working.
We have a couple of engineers stuck out in the sticks, miles from HQ, so it is crucial we have the technology and the communications in place to (stop them from feeling lonely and) make sure they are working hard for our customers.
The truth is that mobility is now a standard part of any company Unified Communications strategy. But Unified Communications and Mobility is much more than just letting staff use their mobile devices.
Cultural Shift to Mobility
True Mobility is providing your staff with choice. It is about allowing your staff the chance to go to their grandson’s Christening one morning, or to break from work early one afternoon to go to the doctors because you know that they are putting the work in at other times.
It really is a big step for many businesses though.
Sales teams often work on their own initiative out in the field and with easily quantifiable results regarding their work, but other departments are slightly harder to report on.
Mobility for these people and departments is daunting isn’t it? How do you know what is happening? Are they working or not?
The truth is you probably won’t, it relies on you trusting them and shifting your culture to more of a results based performance measurement than purely hours worked. If you think about it, it makes more sense anyway.
Using Unified Communications to Power Mobility
Unified Communications tools provide an excellent basis to power mobility. Presence and availability allows you to see when your staff are available and working, and instant messaging capabilities make them ever more contactable.
You can also deploy Unified Communications tools and applications on to the mobile devices themselves, meaning that employees become ever more connected.
These applications have the capabilities to track and monitor location and then you can apply dynamic status rules. Imagine a salesman is working from home in the morning on their tablet. The tablet relays information saying they are at home, which sets his status to “at home” and their home and mobile phone to active to receive calls and messages.
When they leave to see a client, the tablet recognises that it is no longer at home and switches the status to “on the road”, meaning that he only becomes contactable through his mobile.
When he returns home however his status changes back to “at home” and again, making him reachable on multiple devices.
This kind of development in Unified Communications is a fantastic enabler of Mobility. A recent seminar we held in conjunction with Mitel, saw Ian Bevington present on using the cloud and Unified Communications to power the mobile workforce – well worth a watch as it explains the power and flexibility of UC.
Deploying new Unified Communications technologies though must be considered carefully. Below details some key considerations.
Considerations before Implementing Unified Communications for Mobility
Before you go rushing into it though, you have to answer these key questions:
- Where are we on the technology curve?
Every organisation is different. You have to consider whether you are early adopters of the latest and greatest technologies or prefer to stick to tried and true technologies?
- Cloud or on premise?
Where should the management of your UC live? Apps? Who will manage them and to what extent? This is a complicated issue and many of our customers split things up and manage some elements themselves while we manage the rest. This decision will come down to your understanding and competency as well as finding the right Managed Service Provider. I recently put together a series of 7 Key Questions to ask of a Managed Service Provider to help you find the right one.
- What is the cost and benefit?
Are there clear benefits to the technology? The majority of cases there will be, but there could be instances where it won’t and you have to consider it. For instance do you have many mobile workers? Are you likely to?
- How to get there from here?
Is it a big change of direction for you? How are current technologies likely to interact with new ones? You need to have a clear technology roadmap and manage that change process effectively. You need to understand whether the change involves a rip-and-replace mentality or a gradual migration – what works best for adoption and your business?
Unified Communications and Mobility technologies are widely available now, but getting the right balance and deployment is crucial to success. To find out how you can help drive mobility and flexible working initiatives across your business then get in touch with us today to find out more.