Simplifying the shift to hybrid work with seamless connectivity
From a business communications and collaboration standpoint, 2020 was perhaps the most complicated year in memory. For the first time in history, virtual connectivity began to take precedence over in-person communication, as work priorities changed to cope with the so-called “new normal” reality. Social distancing and other physical meeting norms had to change to cope with the health and safety requirements presented by a global pandemic.
Over the past year and a half, nearly all work teams had to get acclimated fast with a variety of different working conditions. Some teams began to work in earnest from home, often requiring major technology innovations to support this kind of holistic, overnight switch. Luckily, workplace productivity has advanced enough that tools like cloud computing services, monitoring and reporting software, and even communications platforms are now good enough to be utilized in real-time – even from remote locations.
This changing face of collaboration is likely to continue, with studies indicating the move towards hybrid work is likely to be permanent for many companies. Recent data from 451 Research S&P Global Market Intelligence indicates that nearly half (45%) of companies expect to reduce their physical office footprint in the coming months, while 37% will expand or add collaboration spaces such as conference rooms and huddle rooms.
Organizations need to enable precise communications that maximize productivity internally, while having clear, uninterrupted contact externally with business partners, suppliers, and customers to keep revenue streams open and flowing. Companies need to identify the most sustainable collaboration strategies that are also capable of handling remote and hybrid workforces anywhere in the world and have them communicate like they are right there in the office.
When it comes to internal collaboration, Microsoft Teams has established itself over the past year-plus as the preferred platform for organizations the world over in supporting their internal video conferencing and communication needs.
Despite an array of big-name service providers bringing out their own established video collaboration platforms, Teams has risen to the top in a short time thanks to its extensive integration capability with not only other Microsoft services like Microsoft 365, along with other unified communications solutions that are better suited for the differing needs of end-users — especially those that might need to communicate and work together with external parties.
With the turn towards flexible working strategies, the 451 Research data shows that another 45% of organizations will adopt contactless tech such as biometrics and voice user interfaces, while another 17% will be replacing on-premises business telephone systems (often known as private branch exchange or PBX systems) with cloud-based telephony.
With these changes, IT decision makers need to think about how to optimize the software being used to keep remote and hybrid work ticking beyond employee support, but to keep interactions with customers engaging albeit in a different manner than in the past. IT managers have also had to adapt to supporting a hybrid distributed workforce rather than just an on-premises or an entirely remote workforce. They have also been looking at methods of simplifying their technology stacks – including purchasing from fewer vendors. Finding one vendor that offers the ‘best in class’ offerings for communicating and collaborating, hosted in the cloud so it can be accessed from anywhere securely, is their ideal scenario.
If having the same type of calling experience from inside or outside the office is the goal, then few services offer that caliber of unified quality along with the seamless integration with Microsoft Teams as GoToConnect. GoTo offers cloud-based telephony that fuses high-quality audio together with powerful video conferencing to empower straightforward communication in as smooth a manner as possible.
The new and improved GoToConnect also comes baked with an improved mobile user interface (UI) that narrows down on employee productivity, but still emphasizes security — a major concern for IT managers as more systems become remotely oriented, increasing security vulnerabilities. For instance, staff will be able to make and receive work calls from their mobile device, but without having to use or display their personal number.
GoTo also promises 99.99% uptime for video conferencing, meaning that with an MS Teams integration, end-users will now have a reliable redundant solution for potential Teams outages, which have become increasingly likely occurrences as Teams becomes widely-used by hybrid working organizations.
Just like with other third-party applications like Salesforce and Google Zendesk, the GoToConnect integration with Microsoft Teams will make both internal and external communications more fluid and natural. The native integration with Teams means that there will be no need to make PTSN calls and manage voicemails with external stakeholders – everything from the control dashboard to enhanced PBX call management to 24/7 customer support for critical communications, can now be accessed and controlled from the Teams environment.
Features such as directly routing calls, single button click-to-call and voicemail transcriptions will allow for unified interplay between Teams for internal comms, together with the meetings and calls functions that make GoTo such a reliable platform for external communications.
With IT departments looking to consolidate vendors, GoTo is an easy choice. Its easy out-of-the-box integration that keeps complexity to a minimum, with Gartner’s Critical Capability report for UCaaS highlighting that 95% of GoTo customers are self-activated, and don’t require any additional support.
The workplace environment is still evolving, and keeping communications flowing in and out of the company, wherever their located from, will need the steadying consistency of dependable, interoperable systems on a unified platform. Learn more about how GoToConnect works best with Microsoft Teams here.