We don’t need to tell you that workplace communication has evolved dramatically over the last decade. In this post we look at some of the underlying technologies that are supporting this shift in how we work.
The use of smartphones, tablets and laptops by employees has become increasingly prevalent for both public and private sector organisations in recent years, even for employees that are not typically field-based. Mobile applications and the ability to work from anywhere have become the new norm and the significant investments in WiFi, 4G, and in the near future 5G has enabled almost ubiquitous coverage in urban areas.
Organisations are no longer constrained to traditional office spaces. Teams can now work more independently, ramp up operations based on demands and work flexibly and more collaboratively.
While instant messaging isn’t new, employees are turning their attention to dedicated workplace chat and new collaboration tools. New capabilities such as video conferencing, document sharing, presence as well as task management are why such solutions are rapidly finding their way into organisations worldwide.
Team collaboration tools are now predominantly cloud-based, internet-powered and device agnostic, so you can be productive irrespective of what device you log on from. Chat threads with a teammate stay the same whether you’re using your smartphone, laptop or even hosted desktop; you’ll be exactly where you left the conversation.
Cloud communications is quickly becoming the default choice for organisations looking to replace the often expensive and inflexible, premises-based systems of the past. Businesses are seeing significant value from the implementation or adoption of cloud-based communications services due to reduced capital expenses, efficient ongoing operating expenses, using their existing broadband connection to carry voice so saving money by cancelling ISDN circuits, faster deployments, simplified experience for users or administrators, and greater flexibility among many other benefits. Likewise, those who are seeking completely new deployments are expressing a strong preference for cloud communications.
Integrating key business applications to communications platforms can have a dramatic impact on productivity. An example would be connecting a CRM system, such as Salesforce, to your communications platform. Employees who are tasked to handle customer service through common channels like voice, email, chat, or social media can just view client information on the CRM and click their contact details displayed on the interface and a calling app or other contact tool would fire up immediately.
Old Vs New
Comparing traditional PBX systems to cloud-based hosted VoIP technology is becoming more and more of an “Old vs. New” story. The core technological differences and the reduction in future potential put them in practically different categories altogether. Heavily invested in PBX systems and general office complacency can make it difficult to transition out of traditional telephony, even as employees continue to adopt and develop work behaviours in relation to high-tech personal and consumer technologies.
The proliferation of VoIP, cloud computing and improved superfast and increasingly ultrafast broadband networks have made advanced cloud telephony widely available and affordable, even more so than standard PBX networks. Businesses looking for a new system should reconsider what comes to mind when they think “business phone system,” because for many companies it is the last barrier between their operation and today’s telecommunications.
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