Business Telecoms Planning for 2021
In March 2020, many businesses were forced to adapt their business communications quickly, with offices closed and staff told to stay at home to work remotely, as COVID-19 took hold on the world.
But, ten months in and with no immediate end in sight, is 2021 the year we all need to establish ways forward with a more robust and apt solution for our changing businesses?
The Way Forward
Firstly, although in the midst of an effective lockdown at present, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel with vaccinations beginning. For some businesses, it may already have come too late. But for others, it’s a case of planning how to redeploy assets as the world of commerce tentatively looks to revive itself in earnest later in the year and balance sheets are demanding, well, balance.
Office downsizing is a common theme here. Many companies have realised that they can utilise the model of people working from home and hot-desking, with efficiency on time and physical space, and a global acceptance of video meetings platforms.
In terms of communications infrastructure, this poses two opportunities for business efficiency and potential cost-savings.
At VSL, we have seen many companies with traditional on-premise telephone solutions move to the cloud over the past year, fully leveraging IP networks. With a solution that is based more on software than hardware, the flexibility is evident.
Staff can use an office number wherever they are, rather than being tied to a specific piece of hardware sitting on a desk. The business can adapt their solution to redirect calls quickly and easily between home, office and mobile.
And, with more members of your team working from home, there could be less demand on your connection with calls taking place in the cloud.
The key to retaining your professional approach is to ensure your teams have adequate working facilities at home, such as desks and seating, as well as telephony hardware, such as headsets.
Connectivity and Bandwidth
Depending on your technology setup – for communications, documents and databases – your bandwidth demands at the office may have reduced with more of your team working from home.
This could offer you the chance to review your line connection. The solution is different for each business, but as more companies become cloud-based, and with more of the team working remotely, the onus could be on your team have sufficient internet connectivity.
Integrated (Unified) Systems
One thing 2020 did deliver was the need for more companies to be using integrated communication platforms and video conferencing. With the rapid growth of Teams, Hangouts and Zoom, security and performance issues were soon highlighted, including a better understanding of how integrated specific systems actually are in the context of a functioning business with existing systems and processes in place.
Specific issues led us to look at integrations against some of our existing platforms and enhancements that can help businesses overcome some of the problems they face – significant for companies fully integrating telephony with other comms channels.
It’s certainly worth exploring the options, not just from the angle of the platforms that have gained the most attention during 2020, but also from legacy cloud telephony solutions with the additional features you may need.
We continue to work with many of our customers, objectively looking at their telephony and connectivity solutions, as they look at what the future holds for their organisations and how they plan to integrate cost-effective business communications.
The landscape undoubtedly changed in 2020, but the technology is there to support businesses that need to be leaner, without compromising on communication quality and efficiency.
If you would like a conversation to chat through your options, please get in touch today.