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Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce
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Unified Communications: An Essential Tool for a Mobile Workforce

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Of all the trends impacting the modern workplace, the most transformative may be mobility. Spawned by a desire for flexibility and fueled by the proliferation of smartphones and tablet computers, the …

Of all the trends impacting the modern workplace, the most transformative may be mobility. Spawned by a desire for flexibility and fueled by the proliferation of smartphones and tablet computers, the growth of the mobile workforce continues to gain momentum. The challenge for businesses is to provide the right tools to take full advantage of the more mobile workforce – tools that increase productivity and maximize collaboration while containing costs.

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  • 1. 1www.fonality.comUnified Communications:An Essential Tool for aMobile WorkforceApublication by:www.fonality.com
  • 2. Of all the trends impacting the modern workplace, the most transformative maybe mobility. Spawned by a desire for flexibility and fueled by the proliferation ofsmartphones and tablet computers, the growth of the mobile workforce continues to gainmomentum.With this growth have come greater expectations. Customers expect companies to bemore accessible and more responsive than ever. Employees are using increasedmobility to give themselves more flexibility in their jobs and in their lives. Fortunately, themobile worker can be more efficient, as he or she can perform many job-related tasksfrom the office, home or the road.The challenge for businesses is to provide the right tools to take full advantage ofthe more mobile workforce – tools that increase productivity and maximizecollaboration while containing costs.2www.fonality.com
  • 3. The State of the Mobile Workforce‘Just Getting Started’It wasn’t all that long ago that we first heard the term telecommuters. These were thepeople who, with the right technology and the right boss, were permitted to do theirjobs at least some of the time from their homes.How times have changed. These days employees work from wherever they are: in thefield, at a satellite office, from home when a child is sick. New office concepts likehot-desking mean that employees can sit anywhere in the office and have everythingthey need. What employees are finding on their desks is changing too. Desk phonesand personal computers increasingly are giving way to laptops, tablets and smartphones.Forrester Research has said “we may be reaching the crossover point where yourcompany pays for more smartphones than employees do.” The number of tablets usedfor work, the research firm says, is expected to triple to 905 million by 2017.Forrester said, “the anytime, anywhere work trend is just getting started.”3www.fonality.com
  • 4. The State of the Mobile WorkforceMobility Benefits Companies, EmployeesBoth employers and employees win with improved mobility:Companies get:• Increased productivity — Many employees report working more hours when they are constantly connected.• Better recruitment and retention — Offering flexible hours and telecommuting arrangements is important tocompanies worried about retaining their top talent.• Lower costs – Mobility reduces real estate and related costs. Boosted productivity also lowers costs.Employees get:• Improved work/life balance — Employees who eliminate their commute even part of the time are able to devotemore time to themselves and their families.• Enhanced job satisfaction and engagement — One survey found that 72 percent of employees sayflexible work arrangements would cause them to choose one job over another.• Lower costs — More frequent telecommuting is a primary way employees deal with high fuel costs.The Mobile Workforce• Full- and part-time telecommuters• Workers who travel regularly• Those who work in satellite offices• Anyone who performs his or her work outside a primary office at least someof the time4www.fonality.com
  • 5. Challenges for BusinessesProductivity“… People who work virtually have been proven to be more effective than those who do not,”says Kevin Sheridan, author of The Virtual Manager: Cutting-Edge Solutions to Hiring,Managing, Motivating and Engaging Mobile Employees. But how can a company be sure?According to Sheridan, managers of virtual or remote workers have to pay attention to criticaldrivers of engagement, which can be challenging in remote environments. Recognizing andproviding feedback to mobile workers is one key to encouraging greater productivity andincreasing retention of top talent.Visibility“It doesn’t matter how big you are or where you’re located, being able to see what’s goingon from your office, in real time, all the time, has just made a huge change in the way that I dobusiness.” That’s Jay Adkins, owner of ProVest Insurance Group, an Allstate InsuranceCompany affiliate in North Carolina.Adkins credits an innovative communications system with helping him expand his business.“The system can scale seamlessly as the business expands,” he said, “and the features haveallowed my staff and me to be completely mobile.”PRODUCTIVITY AND VISIBILITY 5www.fonality.com
  • 6. Challenges for BusinessesCollaborationKeeping employees connected and collaborating is critical, especially for companiesexperiencing rapid growth. Salespeople in the field, customer service representativesin call centers, and distribution personnel need centralized systems in which to addinformation to customer files and share order and scheduling information.Allowing mobile employees to connect using a variety of devices into a centralizedsystem increases their effectiveness and productivity while making it easier for them toupdate data and customer feedback easily.TechnologyRemote employees require resources, tools and technology to support their work, driveproductivity, and facilitate real-time collaboration, says Sheridan. He calls technology “theglue that solidifies an organization’s virtual workforce.”“It is in a virtual manager’s best interests to ensure all employees have the resources theyneed to complete their job duties to the best of their ability,” he says.6www.fonality.com
  • 7. Promoting Mobility with Unified CommunicationsNew Demands Bring New ApproachesAmong the resources most essential to the mobile workforce are communicationstechnologies that foster collaboration and ensure employees remain accessible andproductive. A growing number of businesses are choosing to unify their communicationapplications and services with a single vendor and a single, easy-to-use web- basedinterface.Unified communications, or UC, is built on an integrated platform to support andenhance the wide range of communications functions necessary in today’s increasinglymobile work environments.Voice, data, and video communications are all managed on a single IT infrastructure that isaccessible via in-office equipment, laptops, and a range of mobile devices. Employees,clients, and other authorized parties can transfer calls, share screens, send emailand instant messages, and access applications and data seamlessly, regardless ofwhere they are located.Unified communication systems provide customer-facing employees with all the toolsand access to information they need, when they need it, no matter where they are.7www.fonality.com
  • 8. Promoting Mobility with Unified CommunicationsUC Applications: The Phone is Just the BeginningSome of the more popular and useful UC applications for small and midsize businessesinclude:PhoneUC offers the functionality of the most sophisticated phone system. A business can receiveunlimited inbound and make unlimited outbound phone calls and maintain standardfunctions such as call forwarding, hold, paging, intercom, and voicemail, among others.UC systems also offer transfer between stations, even when those “stations” aresomeone’s home office or mobile phone. This reduces the productivity drag of havingto track down employees to get important information. Such systems support audioconferencing and also allow employees to have a single extension that rings both deskand mobile phones, allowing them to receive calls efficiently, even when they are out ofthe office.DataUC systems provide traditional email, chat, Internet access, and application support-- just like any other computer system. However, because UC integrates traditionalphones and other devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers, phone callsmay trigger a voicemail prompt and allow the employee to return a call by simplyclicking on the message.8www.fonality.com
  • 9. Promoting Mobility with Unified CommunicationsCollaborationA good UC system keeps employees informed of co-workers’ presence and preferredmethod of communication. By checking the system’s dashboard, employees canusually see whether the colleagues they need are available and whether it’s best tocommunicate by phone, chat, email, or another method.If you need someone and that person is in a meeting, you might be able to get theinformation you need with a text or instant message rather than trying to call andinterrupt the meeting or waiting for a voicemail message.TAKING UC MOBILEAt the heart of a unified communications system is the Heads Up Display, orHUD, a powerful business tool that connects phones, desktops and importantbusiness applications into a single unified, easy-to-use interface.Fonality’s HUD Mobile extends all of the features of desktop HUD productivitysoftware to Apple and Android devices:••Instant MessagingVisual Voicemail••Company Directory VoiceOver WiFi Calling9www.fonality.com
  • 10. Promoting Mobility with Unified CommunicationsCase Studies in UC Veteran Corps ofAmericaThe information technology products and services firm in Illinois givesdisabled veterans a vehicle to find meaningful work. It found it needed an anytime,anywhere communications platform.Co-founder William Wheeler said, “With [UC], as long as someone can operate acomputer, we can put the equipment in their home, and they’re fully linked with oursystem, no matter where they are. That lets us create job opportunities and grow ourbusiness.”VariQAn IT firm based in Washington, D.C., VariQ turned to UC when it needed the abilityto transfer calls between a small network of employees and contractors working invarious locations.President and CEO Ben Edson said, “UC makes us look, to the outside world, like acohesive organization, and allows us to work anywhere at any time. That’s a hugeadvantage for small companies.”10www.fonality.com
  • 11. Promoting Mobility with Unified CommunicationsCase Studies in UC Amtec HumanCapitalCalifornia-based Amtec Human Capital found that as its businessexpanded, so did its need to find solutions for mobile workers and various offices.CEO Scott Kuethen said a new communications system from Fonality cut costs and madeemployees more productive. “People feel trusted. They’re diligent and hard-working whenthey’re working from home. When I consider the system, it’s more than just a set offeatures. The communication allows us to coach people more effectively, wherever theyare.”Fort Lauderdale Insurance ServicesFlorida property and casualty insurance agent Mike Burke went looking for a replacementphone system after a hurricane. He was introduced to Fonality by a colleague who hadhad experienced tremendous success in increasing his business.“I travel extensively, and being out of the office makes it difficult to keep an eye on theproductivity of my employees -- before I had Fonality,” said Burke. “The call reportingfeatures allow me to review the number of inbound and outbound phone calls, lengthof calls, dropped or abandoned calls, how quickly calls were answered – all critical tounderstanding the productivity of my office.”11www.fonality.com
  • 12. Considering OptionsUC Features Foster MobilityWith unified communications, users get a number of features that benefit mobileworkers:Unified Messaging (UM) — Merges voicemail, email, and fax into one simple solution.Voicemail is converted to email and can be “read” through the audio on a computer andthe user can call back selected parties in any order. Users can also have the voicemailtranslated into text and sent as an email or even a text message to their smartphones.Device/phone number mobility — Users can take their office number to another office orlocation using a softphone (voice application that runs on a computer) or handset. Thisallows them to not only take all of their preferences with them, it also helps thebusiness save cell phone minutes.Find me/Follow me — Extensions can be set to ring a desk phone two times then attemptto reach them on their cell phone, home phone, or ring all phones at once.12www.fonality.com
  • 13. Considering OptionsDeployment modelsBusinesses can take advantage of unified communications by implementing acloud-based solution or through a traditional on- premise model:Cloud-Hosted — A phone system without technology and equipment to manage: that’swhat a public cloud deployment provides. It goes by several names – Voice over InternetProtocol, hosted, virtual PBX – but it’s the full-featured, no-hardware-required option.On Premise Hybrid-Hosted — This deployment model — unique to Fonality —delivers a best-of-both-worlds scenario, allowing businesses to manage voice on-siteand communications applications in the cloud. This model works with existing carriercontracts, so there is no need to cancel agreements with T1 or SIP providers.13www.fonality.com
  • 14. Considering OptionsWhat Mobile Users Should ExpectMobile and home-based employees deserve the same communication features andfunctionality as their counterparts in the office. Fonality’s Heads Up Display Mobile, orHUD Mobile, has taken mobility to a whole new level.Mobile workers can:• Log in and out of queues as needed• Never miss another prospect call• Instant message with colleagues• Conference in sales support staff• Record calls on the fly.Business owners get:• Single-touch call routing• Quick access to audio voicemails• Access to entire company directory• Views of employee productivity• Ability to call out from the office number.MOBILEBUSINESS14www.fonality.com
  • 15. Considering OptionsChoosing a ProviderCompanies looking to leverage unified communications to support our increasinglymobile workforce should consider three key areas:Ability to meet current needs. The UC platform needs to support the tech- nological functionsyour employees need and use each day. Your provider should have excellent customer supportand give you a reliable roadmap for rolling out your UC platform with minimal downtime.Flexibility and scalability. Your UC provider should work with you to devel- op solutions that meetthe needs of your business, based on its current size and communications practices, but that don’tinclude expensive add-ons that your employees won’t use. Look for a provider that has tiers ofservice and can easily upgrade your company to the next level when growth demands.Features to better support mobile workers. Plenty of companies promise a mobile communicationexperience that’s the same as it is in the office. HUD Mobile is the only solution that delivers on thatpromise, and none of the oth- ers come close. They can make and receive calls, but none has thepresence, chat, and contact center visibility via mobile offered by Fonality.Fonality provides business phone systems and contact center solutions designed exclusively for small andmidsize businesses. Fonality is the only provider that can deliver the same user experience in the cloud and on-premise, with innovative features that help small businesses save time, communicate more efficiently and reducecosts. For more information, visit www.Fonality.com or call 877-FONALITY.15www.fonality.com
  • 16. Visit our website atwww.fonality.comOr give us a call at1-877-FONALITYFor more information about Fonality

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