Unified Communications Featured Article

Deploying UC Now Enables a Mobile and Productive Workforce Equipped for Tomorrow

November 23, 2016

Understanding the essential communication needs of an organization allows business leaders and channel partners to select the right communications system. Organizations need to support their employees with optimal connectivity to be able to reach others in a second’s notice, and also be able to update information, access files and send and receive what they need in real-time to keep moving forward with a customer-centric viewpoint.

“Now, more than ever, businesses are realizing that standard business phone systems can no longer keep up with the mobile and flexible communication needs of the workforce today,” says Nick Iagovino, Vice President of Sales and Business Development of IT4 Group, Inc., a strategic IT consulting and advisory firm. “This presents an opportunity for channel partners to share with their clients how staying connected through cloud-based applications is easy, inexpensive and efficient, and support them in making the switch to cloud-based communication systems.”

Attracting 100,000 visitors each year, the Independence Seaport Museum is a 10,000-square-foot museum in Philadelphia that encompasses two floors of exhibit spaces documenting the maritime history of the Greater Delaware Valley, a working boat shop and concert and rental spaces. The museum’s employees spend a majority of their time with customers on tours, in classes or out on the water. Shortly after reviewing its communication strategy with Nick, the museum realized the limitations presented by their antiquated business phone system did not offer the true mobility and flexibility they needed.

Seeing first-hand how the museum staff struggled to stay connected and were too frequently unavailable as they traveled throughout the museum, a cloud-based communication system that transforms a mobile device into a mobile workstation was needed. They referred the museum to Broadview Networks, a provider of 100 percent cloud-based unified communications (UC) services, in order to foster an intelligent migration to the cloud. The new cloud-based phone system offered cost-effective capabilities, like company-wide chat from any device, audio, Web and video conferencing, file sharing and more, offering increased convenience, improved processes and easier internal collaborations.

A recent report from Global Market Insights shows that the UC market size was $34.8 billion in 2015, and revenue estimates will likely increase to more than $95 billion by 2023. This impressive projected growth presents an opportunity for channel partners to help organizations battling budget constraints, limited in-house IT staff and outdated communications systems realize the benefits in transitioning their telephony solutions to the cloud.

In order to help their clients stay ahead of the technology curve, channel partners should ask them the following questions to determine if their business phone system is in fact no longer supporting their business communication needs, and to help determine that it is time to make the switch to a cloud-based unified communication system.

Does your business phone system enable a mobile workforce?

The days of waiting for a call on a desk phone are long gone. To address mobile employee requirements, businesses are looking for the best UC systems that give employees access to a rapidly growing list of coveted features such as chat, audio, video and Web conferencing that facilitate greater collaboration from anywhere; presence features to see when co-workers are available in a meeting, with customers or out of the office; hot-desking to transfer desk calls to a mobile device and softphones for PC and smartphones, where calls can be made or received on any device using your business number. The ability to make business happen wherever you are and on whatever device is definitely important for ensuring everyone is on the same page, and allows projects to move forward, no matter the locations involved.  

Does your business phone system increase employee productivity?

Keeping employees connected keeps them productive. When remaining connected becomes a challenge, time is lost. When looking for a provider and solution, business leaders should seek providers that offer an intuitive solution that includes ongoing maintenance and upgrades, adding value to the investment. With a cloud-based UC solution, employee production gains an instant boost, but not all cloud systems can support flexible access. Choose a UC system that is housed 100 percent in the cloud and built so that each user is equipped with the UC features they need and that follow the user to whichever device they choose to use without the need for IT staff to make changes to the device itself. This level of flexible access to UC tools improves productivity, encourages collaboration and increases mobility.

Does your business phone system support future technologies?

Many legacy phone systems are not flexible enough to stay modern. From the Apple Watch and wearable technologies to the latest CRM applications such as Salesforce, companies need to adapt to an ever-changing landscape. Given the acceleration of product development cycles, it’s not a matter of simply adapting to new technology developments, but being prepared for the next technology changes.

“The technology that employees are experiencing outside of work will naturally influence them to desire the same technology at the office,” says Nick. “UC combines the functionality that we all like and take for granted in our personal lives, and places it in a business setting with the added benefit of businesses maintaining control, and gathering and analyzing data to ensure continual improved processes.”

Offering key advantages provided by the best cloud UC system allow the channel to completely and effectively support their clients. Change can be difficult, but ultimately it is worth it for businesses to embrace change when it leads to improved communication, enterprise mobility and an overall better experience for employees and customers alike. 

Edited by Alicia Young