Microsoft Launches Deskless Unified Communications Service
Microsoft recently announced a new addition to its Office 365 services, called Staffhub. Similar to other popular office platforms such as Slack and Skype, Staffhub is also focused on communication. However, unlike these platforms, Staffhub is designed specifically for workers who do not spend any time at their desks.
Staffhub was created with the goal of streamlining communication between managers (who are generally confined to an office) and employees who are constantly on the move, such as retail associates or service technicians. The interface will allow these managers to set schedules and send other messages through a desktop platform, and employees can easily receive it through a mobile app. Employees can also communicate with each other directly through the app, and can even use it to alter their schedules or trade shifts.
Like the rest of Microsoft’s Office 365 services, Staffhub will be subscription-based. Businesses can either purchase the entire Office 365 suite or pay a separate fee of five dollars per employee per month to use Staffhub on its own.
The integration of Staffhub into its suite of services is an attempt by Microsoft to appeal to an increasingly mobile workforce. People who are constantly on the go for their jobs do not need all of the capabilities of Outlook, Microsoft’s email and calendar program, nor the creative abilities of Word or PowerPoint. This represents a fairly large sect of the market that, in the past, had no use for Microsoft. With the introduction of Staffhub, Microsoft is attempting to tap into this section of the business market.
Microsoft’s development of Staffhub epitomizes the recent trend of unified communications in the business world. People want the flexibility to be on the move throughout their work day, and oftentimes need to work remotely due to the nature of their jobs. A workforce can only be that mobile if there is a mechanism for employees to communicate quickly and easily with their peers and superiors. Unified communication services such as Staffhub are moving in the right direction to enhance the mobility of the workforce.