The work/life balance concept has triggered a surge of interest
in ‘flexible’ or ‘mobile’ working. Yet the advantages of this
practice go far beyond employee wellbeing.
Organisations that have introduced flexible working policies are
already reaping a range of benefits. These include cost savings
through better use of office space, improved productivity, better
staff motivation and retention rates - a key factor for
organisations looking to relocate as a result of the Lyons
Access all areas
To enable employees to work remotely, the initial focus for any
organisation must be its basic communications infrastructure. Staff
should be able to access the LAN (Local Area Network) and all its
applications, wherever they are, whenever they want.
Deployment of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is proving a
popular solution, offering all the benefits of a private network -
secure, cost effective connectivity between offices and computers,
but without the cost of installing and managing private network
Today’s IP-based VPNs offer the added benefit of carrying both
voice and data over a single, converged network infrastructure and,
through ‘plug-and-play’ IP handsets, to deliver increased
flexibility in managing moves and changes.
Thanks to companies like ours, Virtual Private Networking
technology has now matured into a business class service and IPVPNs
are being adopted across the public sector with spectacular
results. For example, greater data sharing across secure VPNs
enables health trusts and hospitals to exchange patient information
to improve the speed and quality of treatment; schools and
universities can share expertise via videoconferencing and the
technology allows social workers and police to work together
A great range of solutions
Our comprehensive suite of communications products is designed
to suit the requirements of any organisation, as well as the needs
of individual employees. Solutions range from dial-up and broadband
connections for home workers, through to advanced communications
networks linking multiple organisations.
The wonder of wireless is also driving mobility into existing
LAN infrastructure. For example, in schools, mobile technology can
extend communications beyond the IT suite into additional buildings
and even temporary classrooms.
Many of our customers are benefiting from high-speed, cost
effective and scalable Ethernet technology, through our Metro
Ethernet VPN solution. This allows creation of multiple online
communities within a single integrated infrastructure. For
instance, a local authority could have one private community
linking all government bodies, another for its libraries and one
for schools. In this respect, Metro Ethernet VPN opens the door to
multi-layered collaborative working and information sharing in the
Today’s high-speed communications can also transform delivery of
public services. For example, as local government strives to meet
citizen expectations for a 24/7 seamless service, extending
existing call centre facilities has become vital. An IP-based
contact centre can do just this, offering advanced call handling
facilities to link agents in a variety of offices or even at home,
so presenting the appearance of a single centre that can be reached
day or night.
Selecting a supplier
Choosing a supplier shouldn’t just be about technical expertise.
Successful transition to a more flexible working environment is
reliant on best-of-breed technology, but it also requires a
significant culture shift.
As such, choosing a service provider that will provide
consultative support throughout the period of implementation, as
well as offering a fully managed service beyond it, will have a
dramatic impact on ROI and ultimately impact on how successful
flexible working will be throughout the organisation.