Unified Communications for the Digital Future
The first few months of the COVID-19 breakout saw a sudden change in working patterns, and most organisations that were capable of doing so shifted to working-from-home as the only way to keep the business working. There was, naturally enough, no planning for this situation, but available technologies were quickly deployed to keep communications and collaboration between workers flowing. The ensuing situation wasn’t perhaps ideal, but most organisations did manage to keep their activities moving successfully thanks to cloud technologies.
Eighteen months on and the working situation has settled down to some extent — depending on where in the world you are reading this — and companies have adapted to somewhere between the two extremes of all-workplace or all-home-based. There is an undeniable trend to adopt a more flexible approach where possible, with employees mixing remote and centralised working according to individual circumstances and/or centrally determined policy.
Companies’ use of technology has been central throughout this transition and has been (at best) a real catalyst for digital transformation. While many managers may feel that digitisation has been thrust upon them, technology has certainly proved its worth during 2020 and the start of 2021.
At the core of what many are now terming “the new normal” is communication and collaboration: between colleagues and teams, in ad hoc working groups, and between organisations and their customers or service-users. While getting by on hastily patched-together solutions was acceptable for a few months, many organisations are now reconsidering their positions regarding communications and looking to emplace a more permanent solution.
The ability to function optimally wherever it is deployed is a critical element of cloud services. Being hosted remotely on professionally maintained data centres, unified communications platforms offer that always-on capability that reflects the service’s central role in many businesses. Furthermore, being hosted in the cloud, UCaaS (unified communications as a service) is available wherever your employees might be at any moment — and that includes on a tablet, a phone during a commute, or at home on a laptop or workstation in the home office-come-kitchen.
Cloud services, such as Enreach Contact, also offer huge CAPEX cost savings, and in the case of UCaaS, the centralised technology can easily pass messages or live calls from operator to operator as if they were sat next to one another in an office, but although they might be thousands of miles apart on quite different hardware. The same technology lets colleagues collaborate using rich media (like HD video and crystal-clear audio), share files during chats, run meetings, presentations, and webinars — all from the same platform.
Many companies have brought together disparate elements of their offerings to produce what they claim to be a fully encapsulated unified comms platform capable of all this but don’t provide the seamless experience that very distributed and elastic workforces need. On the other hand, pure-play, dedicated UCaaS gives users and customers a sense of continuity, where communications might move from channel to channel (text to voice, for instance) and be handled in turn by operators in different cities yet experience no disruption.
For example, in the case of Enreach’s cloud platform, Enreach Contact, teams can be an ever-changing mix of colleagues at home or in branch offices yet be working together even more effectively than if they were sharing a co-working space. Users can pick up the phone (PDF) at home, use their desktop, or mobile, in the office or anywhere that’s connected, and get a day’s work done.
At the core of Enreach is interoperability via the cloud. For customers, that translates as being able to be in contact with their favourite brands seamlessly and safely. At a systems level, it can also mean integrating company-wide CMS data with the UCaaS, so providing a history to every customer’s individual journey, from initial reach-out call to long-term support and aftercare.
Collaboration tools help form strong bonds inside teams that might be miles apart and extend their capabilities for staff at all levels. For managers and decision-makers from the supervisor level upwards, the data-based technology provides the ability to see trends, get oversight into activities over historical periods (or in near real-time), and pull information together to help strategic decisions.
Despite being a leading unified communications provider, what sets Enreach apart for us is the human element. The provider manages the fine line between providing empowerment through high-end technology, and the real world need for human advice and guidance in this often-complex market and changing world of work.
In a later article on Tech HQ, we’ll be looking in more detail at Enreach’s product and service offering and taking a deeper dive into just what it’s capable of and how it brings multiple benefits to the organisation. But with dedicated assigned account managers for every one of its customers, and a UK presence staffed by real people, answers are available for any business owner or decision maker considering moving away from ISDN+on-premise VOIP.
If what you’ve read here rings true for you or your organisation, get in touch with Enreach to talk about the cloud and its UCaaS. And check back here in a few weeks for a further look at this solution.
As companies of all sizes now take a metaphorical breath and plan for the next few years of very different circumstances, the Enreach Contact platform is a central pillar on which the digitisation of any company can be built.