Research indicates that organizations are quickly transitioning to ‘mobile-centric’ environments to take advantage of new efficiencies brought forward by mobile cloud communications solutions.
IDC research indicates mobile workers will account for more than 72 percent of the U.S. workforce by later this year, exceeding 100 million people. There are some key reasons behind this trend, such as more inclusive Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies implemented by many businesses and the advancement of cloud communications solutions that enable the mobile workforce to optimize productivity while outside the confines of an office. Many industries are seeing a significant benefit of deploying mobile solutions, including construction, retail, manufacturing, and healthcare. Businesses recognize the advantages of leveraging an untethered workforce, such as empowering field-based workers to independently address customer problems and reducing costs associated with brick-and-mortar facilities. The challenge is finding the right technology to make sure you are adequately served, proprietary information is securely handled, and personal and business data is reliably partitioned in the network and on the employee’s device.
Ask Questions to Identify the Right Mobile Cloud Communications Solution
Forward-thinking companies have embraced the notion that they — in almost every instance — can leverage mobile technology to maximize efficiency and enhance customer service. However, you need to understand your everyday business processes and operations. Start with the basics:
- What industry are you in?
- Do you rely on mobile salespeople, whether out in the field or on a sales floor?
- Do you utilize outside technicians that visit customers, such as those in the HVAC or appliance sectors?
- Are you working with staff members that are always on the go, like doctors and nurses in a physician’s office?
Employees not bound to their offices or workstations require the same seamless and reliable communications tools like those available in traditional office settings to meet their business objectives. Don’t be reluctant to introduce new capabilities to these environments — it’s the role of an effective company to bring new functionality to your networks.
Mobile Cloud Communications: Must-Have Checklist
Companies should look for compelling solutions that can deliver robust mobile communications capabilities at least similar — if not identical — to the tools used in the office. But the truth is, not all mobile cloud communications are created equal. Here are a few key features to look for:
- Apple/Android Functionality: Cloud communications solutions should work equally well for both Android and Apple devices, basically turning smartphones and tablets into another extension of the core communications system.
- Presence Management: Specifically, ones that can automatically ring desktop and mobile phones simultaneously, and be programmed according to the user’s personal business preferences, ensuring that incoming calls are never missed.
- Personal/Work Contacts: A robust directory feature collects and synchronizes all personal and work contacts, giving employees access to all their essential phone numbers and email addresses at their fingertips, wherever they may be, is a must.
- Conferencing Tools: A worthwhile cloud communications solution needs to enable team members to participate in conference calls through a single click.
- Voice-to-Text: An ideal add-on for mobile workers that may not be able to listen to voice messages on their smartphones, voice-to-text features transcribe voice messages, enabling workers to glance at incoming messages and respond at a more appropriate time.