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1 September 2020 | By Richard Holbrook
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Gartner reported that just 12% of organisations were ready for large-scale homeworking. So as lockdown arrived, the race to implement flexible working began, resulting in many IT teams adopting short-term solutions that didn’t necessarily meet long-term needs.
Yet it’s these very solutions that truly saved the day – with video conferencing, chat and file-sharing tools quickly becoming central to everyday working life. So, as we settle back into some kind of normality, it’s time to move forwards and translate these quick fixes into longer-term strategies.
And with many businesses choosing to continue with flexible working for the foreseeable future, a cloud-first approach that focuses on enhancing both user and customer experience is key.
A shift in priorities
Where voice was once at the forefront of UC, other tools are now taking centre stage. Starting meetings and video calls with one click, collaborating on files simultaneously and instant messaging instead of email is saving time and promoting productivity.
Many businesses are seeing client relationships flourish as a result. Time saved travelling to customer and partner sites means more meetings, albeit virtually, are taking place than before, building better relationships between customers and businesses. And whilst face-to-face meetings have their advantages, the tools in front of us provide a viable alternative when in-person meetings aren’t possible.
Establishing long-term agility
Whether or not your business is planning to permanently change its working practices, it’s essential to review the UC applications you have in place right now. As we’ve experienced, situations can change quickly, and if your business isn’t set up to handle this again, it could have a serious impact on both user and customer experience.
By having a flexible working strategy in place, your employees will have secure access to all the tools and resources they need from any location whilst remaining in contact with customers. Ultimately, the transition to homeworking should be seamless, so both user and customer experience stays consistent.
Understanding the options
It remains to be seen which of the UC technologies adopted during the pandemic will ‘stick’ in the long term, and which tools your business chooses moving forward will be down to your individual requirements.
Some businesses may require a joined-up voice, video and collaboration solution that incorporates productivity applications and a shared workspace. In this case, those with an existing Microsoft ecosystem in place or looking to start their Microsoft journey would benefit from a solution such as Teams. Others may prefer a standalone cloud-based conferencing platform, or have a specific Contact Centre requirement, in which case other solutions may be more suitable.
Whilst many businesses are successfully using a range of technologies, those standardising onto a single cloud-based platform will benefit from more streamlined operations, lower costs and potentially boosted productivity.
Understanding how your employees engage best with both customers and each other is key to establishing a successful, long-term unified communications strategy. As the modern workplace evolves, ensuring your business is optimised with the right tools will significantly enhance both customer and user experience.
At Bistech, our agile and scalable solutions enable you to drive user and customer experience, boost business efficiency and deliver measurable results. For more information on our productivity services, talk to our expert team on 03330 11 22 55.