Workers today are on the move. No longer chained to a desk, employees conduct business almost anytime day or night. Whether collaborating with co-workers across the globe or sharing critical documents, the corporate world is 24×7 – and organizations demand infrastructures capable of backing it up.
It’s predicted remote and mobile employees will comprise nearly three-fourths of the US workforce by 2020. This translates into more than 100 million people leveraging such tools as web conferencing and instant messaging – effectively putting business plans into action. For many organizations, the remote model has proven to increase productivity, reduce stress and drive cost savings. In fact, case studies indicate telecommuting can make employees up to 40 percent more effective. And workers are fully on board, with nearly 40 percent of survey respondents willing to work-from-home rather than receive a pay raise.
Mobile Productivity Demands Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) Tools
But productive personnel demand far more than a mobile phone and laptop. Successful remote initiatives revolve around implementing unified communication and collaboration technologies supported by comprehensive and flexible infrastructures that enable delivery of such services as real-time data sharing, on-demand video conferencing and rapid call forwarding/management. Unfortunately, most companies have yet to adopt the technologies to support such demands.
Across industries, there exists a significant mismatch between employee requirements and the technology foundation. A recent study by Forrester Research notes more than 40 percent of respondents lack the tools necessary to access work applications on mobile devices. The leading tools to drive better productivity include more effective collaboration tools, stronger remote access, and seamless file synchronization or sharing of business data. And while some elect to build infrastructures in-house, many team with reliable partners to capitalize on the power of Voice Over IP (VoIP) and other managed services.
Infrastructure Solutions Adapt to Modern Business Needs
According to a survey from IDG research, the number one obstacle preventing businesses from implementing UC&C technologies is the legacy infrastructure and associated integration challenges. By integrating voice and data together with VoIP, organizations avoid overloading data networks. This streamlines costs by consolidating traffic, thus reducing staffing required to manage two networks.
While VoIP implementations are possible utilizing internal resources and DIY solutions, Hosted VoIP speeds the process by removing traditional barriers like equipment purchases and augmenting staffing models. Backed by a cloud-based infrastructure, Hosted VoIP includes IP phones and communication systems – minus the expense of onsite PBX. Managed Office services take these capabilities one step further – streamlining data network, voice and business applications into one fully managed, end-to-end system.
These VoIP solutions make it possible to tackle infrastructure challenges and exploit the benefits of UC&C more quickly. Additionally, the move sets a foundation to easily scale as business changes and add employees and new locations as needed. Core business services will also be more resilient to both disaster scenarios and security breaches via a managed network – while service orchestration is streamlined via use of online portals.
The workforce is changing – and your business must evolve with it. The next-generation infrastructure is here – are you ready to answer the call?