How cloud-based communication can power your remote collaboration in 2021
By Wynand Botes , Senior Product Manager – Voice and Collaboration at Virgin Media Business
Be honest. If you were asked to list the most important bits of technology on your desk – even before Covid-19 – how high would you have ranked your office phone?
For some, it would probably come somewhere between their laptop and the magic 8 ball they got in the secret Santa.
But the humble phone call is still one of the most effective and engaging ways to communicate with colleagues and customers from a distance.
When it comes to making those phone calls happen, however, there are many more options available today.
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is one of them.
With the help of an internet connection, you can move your voice communications online, enabling your employees to make and take calls from anywhere, on any device, through multiple applications.
And now it can do even more, transforming the once humble phone into a whole suite of cloud-based communications tools…
One secure platform. Limitless hybrid working
The world of work has changed forever. The Covid-19 pandemic has created a new generation of remote workers, forcing many organisations to dramatically rethink their everyday working practices.
Seamless remote collaboration is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a must. In a hybrid working world it could be the difference between thriving or falling behind.
That’s exactly where that humble office phone comes into play. By harnessing virtual telephone lines with a VoIP solution, you can make remote collaboration happen everywhere.
Add a tool like Cisco Webex or MS Teams to the mix and you won’t just be enabling voice calls over the internet. You’ll be empowering your people to work from anywhere, able to use instant messaging, crystal-clear video meetings and voice calls, integrated seamlessly and securely.
Unlock the power of VoIP with cloud technology
You’re probably well on the way to being able to dial up VoIP and create seamless collaboration. Cloud technology is driving the change, providing a secure, unified platform that streamlines any number of essential processes.
In fact, spending in this area increased by 2.2% in Q1 of 2020, despite the disruption brought about by Covid-19.
So what does this mean for voice?
With so much IT and communications infrastructure already based in the cloud, it seems clear that switching to a cloud-based voice solution is the right move.
By doing so, organisations are not only improving the security and efficiency of their voice architecture, they’re also unlocking a whole new world of additional potential benefits.
From the ability to create a tailored, cohesive customer experience across multiple channels, to having the agility to respond effectively to rapid changes in demand, the cloud has the potential to transform the way organisations use voice technology and collaborate.
Empower new ways of working
Even before 2020 accelerated digital transformation via the remote working shift, many organisations were already moving away from the 9-5 office routine – the shift is just happening faster now.
On the current trajectory, that shift could help contribute an extra £232 billion in GDP to the UK economy by 2040, as highlighted in our recent report with the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
And there are more immediate benefits too.
70% of office workers admit that flexible working made them more productive. It simply doesn’t make sense to have an office phone that can only be used when someone is sitting at their office desk, holding them back from working the way that suits them best.
By making the switch to virtual phone lines, you can make the whole world your office. Your colleagues can connect and collaborate with each other and your customers on any device, anywhere. If they need a document or piece of information, they can find it quickly and easily share it with others.
By integrating VoIP with collaboration tools like Cisco Webex, you can make everything available on their smartphones. So they can call, message, video chat, meet and access data wherever and whenever they need to, whether that’s from home, in the office, or on the go.
The solution is compatible with other collaboration apps too, like Microsoft Teams, Slack and more. So whichever way your teams want to work, they can do everything with just a couple of taps.
Make voice communication a priority in 2021
This isn’t about replacing the humble office phone. It’s about harnessing cloud-based communication and VoIP technology to enable collaboration everywhere – a necessity following the rapid changes brought by Covid-19.
So whether your organisation is managing an unprecedented shift to more permanent remote working, looking at options for a phased and safe return to the office, or considering a hybrid of the two, don’t forget to put cloud-based voice communications at the heart of your digital strategy in 2021.
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