How Mobility in Unified Communications Became More Important Since the Pandemic

How Mobility in Unified Communications Became More Important Since the Pandemic

While there had been an ongoing shift in how businesses communicate before the pandemic started in early 2020, you can agree that the crisis accelerated the need for a robust unified communications infrastructure. While the pandemic appears to be on the downturn, savvy business owners have continued to benefit from the upgrated communications upgrades.

Mobility, Productivity and the Workforce of Today

With the pandemic’s apparent downturn, much of today’s workforce has returned back to the office. However, the need for a robust unified communications system only increased. The pandemic has, for all of its negative effects, also managed to demonstrate how important that technology is to the business going forward into the future.

Today, unified communications mobily tools are one of the best ways to enable your workforce to seamlessly collaborate and conduct business, no matter what various combinations of environments they work under. Since a mobile unified communications system is about accessing the features and functionality of a company’s unified communications system and using all its features from any remote location and any device, it also facilitates a new hybrid workplace, increasing productivity in ways that will last into the future.

The Leverage of Mobile Devices

As already mentioned, the mobile workforce trend was already in force in the marketplace before the pandemic. The pandemic accelerated it, however.

Statistics have shown that about 70% of employees keep their cell phones within eye contact at work. About 71% spend more than two hours each week accessing company information through a mobile device. And, that’s not hard to understand since increased accessibility abilities of a mobile workforce increases productivity. Employees are more reachable to co-workers and clients, of course, regardless of their physical location.

Accessing Unified Communications Features from Anywhere

For many businesses, robust mobility is not so much a convenience but a crucial standard basic capability. It allows companies with multiple divisions, regardless of physical location, to communicate with key individuals from anywhere and still present themselves to clients as a single, cohesive unit. A unified communications system allows users the ability to access advanced features such as presence management, voicemail and call transfer capabilities with the same ease as they would while physically in the office. It allows for efficient collaboration throughout the organization.

Finally, as the pandemic wanes, the need for unified communications is just as important as during the crisis. In fact, the pandemic has only served as a means to introduced the technology to more businesses. Can a unified communications system work for your business? Please feel free to reach out to a Got2Connect representative. We would be very happy to consult with you regarding how this technology can benefit your organization.

The Benefits of Unified Communications and How They Effect Your Company’s ROI

The Benefits of Unified Communications and How They Effect Your Company's ROI

 

Unified communications has been making inroads in the last few years, having become a crucial component in the modern office. The technology has matured to the point of reliably providing a solid and dependable return on investment. In fact, businesses that deploy a dependable unified communications system throughout the organization can look forward to any of the following:

  • Lower costs of operations
  • New efficiencies
  • Enhanced communications between you and co-workers
  • Enhanced communications between you and your clients
  • Productivity boost

Each of these elements contribute to the efficiency of the business and a better bottom line. Let’s take a closer look at how each of these benefits can provide a considerable return on your investment:

An Improved Business Process

When researching unified communications’ return on investment, business owners should look beyond simple initial price points by focusing on the benefits of unified communications and how it fits within your organization. For instance:

  • How a virtualized infrastructure lowers costs. Unified communications technologies are, for the most part, delivered as a service through the cloud. Cloud-based services generally bypass the need for expensive in-house hardware. There is no expensive capital outlay for equipment and instead relies on a subscription model. Costs are both lower and predictable.
  • Rapid deployment of unified communications technologies almost eliminates delays in getting your business’ communications needs up and running. While in-house hosted unified communications deployments can sometimes take months to get up to speed, subscription model systems can be configured and running in a matter of hours since the behind-the-scenes infrastructure is already up and running via the cloud. In addition, maintenance, updates and additional services are also provided via the cloud and completed quickly and seamlessly with almost no need for your direct involvement.
  • Cloud-based unified communications systems support legacy investments. Because of the virtual component of the technology, unified communications solutions have the additional advantage of being easy to implement in a legacy environment while allowing businesses to keep a portion of their existing technology investments intact. In this way, companies can upgrade their communications without having to endure a budget-breaking “rip-and-replace” scenario.
  •  A streamlined communications system increases productivity. Whether it’s quickly locating a co-worker, texting an urgent message to a colleague or customer from your location, or transferring a call to a team member out in the field as seamlessly as if he or she were in the office, cloud-based unified communications systems offer a host of productivity-enhancing capabilities. More fluid, immediate communication speeds up workflows and enhances productivity, which has a positive impact on revenues.
  • A unified communications system promotes better performance. It consolidates a great number of features into one platform, available to the user in any location that has an internet connection.
  • Centralized system management. You, or a permission-based administrator, can add or remove users to the system without needing to depend on the technology provider. This reduces downtime for the staff and cuts down on labor for the technology team, all the while creating an easier way to support staff members in the field.

No matter the size of your company, the return on investment provided by unified communications systems is substantial and almost immediate. This is especially important to cost-strapped small businesses. To find out how Got2Connect can benefit your company’s communications needs, feel free to set up a consultation with us. Either fill out the form on the website or call during business hours at (802) 773-0126.

Why the Hybrid Workforce Is Here to Stay

Why the Hybrid Workforce Is Here to Stay

As the pandemic winds down, more and more organizations are phasing their workforce back to their physical offices. While it was necessary to have employees work away from the office due to health concerns, technology came to the rescue, playing a part in maintaining a company’s bottom line. This hybrid model, as it came to be known, has continued to be a part of many company’s daily work experiences due to its benefits.

Because of continued, even increased, benefits of a hybrid workforce, an increased demand for such collaboration technologies like video conferencing, unified communications, persistent chat solutions and more will only grow.

So, what type of benefits are we talking about?

-According to a Gallup State of the American Workplace report, engagement levels are even higher for remote workers by about 32% as compared to in-office workers at 28%.
-Research shows that remote workers feel a greater sense of belonging and communicate more regularly with team members online.
-An Owl Labs’ 2019 State of Remote Work report shows that remote workers were more than 13% more likely to stay in their positions for at least 5 years compared to on-premises employees. So, a hybrid workplace model may result in lower employee turnover, even during a pre-pandemic time period.
-According to a survey by Boston Consulting Group, despite the disruptions of the pandemic, 75% of employees were able to maintain or improve productivity while collaborating virtually with coworkers.
-The Upwork business marketplace estimates that over 26% of the American workforce will be working away from the office in the foreseeable future. They also estimate that 22% of Americans will work remotely by 2025.

Cloud-Based Collaboration Solutions for the Remote Workforce

Virtual collaboration solutions has continued to be in demand post-pandemic which has forced many organizations to re-examine their meeting areas, conference rooms and even online meeting spaces to accommodate both on-site employees and remote workers. This is especially true for solutions that are flexible, scalable and easy to use.

Research by the Boston Research Group involving 12,000 employees during the pandemic found that businesses that were optimized for remote operations saw increases in productivity of 40% or more.

It’s hard to fathom any bright side to the pandemic. However, the successful growth of the hybrid workplace, and the accompanying demand for collaboration technology resulting in increased return on investment for companies of any size, cannot be underestimated.

If you would like to find out more about how collaboration technology and a hybrid workplace can benefit your organization, feel free to contact Got2Connect for a free consultation. Either fill out the contact form on the Got2Connect website or call the office during business hours at (802) 773-0126.

Got2Connect Adds SMS/MMS Features to Its UCaaS Solution

Got2Connect Adds SMS/MMS Features to Its UCaaS Solution

Got2Connect is excited to unveil new SMS and MMS messaging capabilities for our Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platform. Got2Connect SMS gives users a secure, reliable, and convenient way to to engage with their customers via the rapidly-adopted and highly-preferred channel of text messaging. These new capabilities are embedded directly into the Got2Connect platform and business telephone numbers, giving businesses the ability to project a professional appearance, keep communications routed to the appropriate source, and protect users’ personal information.

With Got2Connect SMS, users can send text messages, images, videos, or documents to both individuals and groups. Inbound messages can be accessed anywhere, anytime through our UC, making it ideal for telecommuters and remote-based personnel.

Text messaging has been rapidly gaining momentum in recent years as a preferred method of business communications. According to noted market research group Vitiello Communications Group, nearly 70% of employees believe text is applicable for interoffice communication. Salesforce.com reports that 84% of businesses either use, or plan to use, texting in their sales and marketing efforts.

Texting has become a preferred communication method for people of all ages, and many customers are more likely to communicate  via text than making a call. By adding SMS and MMS capabilities and a customer’s business telephone number, we’re giving our customers the ability to satisfy growing demand for a reliable, secure, and easy-to-use business texting solution. We continue to focus on adding the features our customers need to the Got2Connect platform, and will continue to develop even more compelling solutions that will empower the you to succeed.

3 Key Ways Cloud Communications Can Strengthen Remote Company Culture

Got2Connect - Unifying a distributed workforce

Though stay-at-home orders are beginning to lift, many employees are still working from home long-term, which can be taxing on company culture. Cloud communications can combat some of the disadvantages teams are facing when it comes to collaboration, cohesiveness, and employee engagement.

Building a strong culture throughout a distributed workforce is hardly a new challenge. Many companies with global branch offices and remote work policies have been successfully navigating these scenarios for years. Let’s take a look at some of the shrewd and proven advice provided by executives across the web and some of the ways businesses can leverage cloud communications to drive not just productivity but motivation as well:

1. Leverage Videoconferencing for Improved Collaboration

According to an article by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), videoconferencing offers an ideal space for virtual collaboration since the experience is closer to a face-to-face dynamic. “The voice on the other side of the conference call wants to feel heard just as much as the one in the chair next to you,” wrote CMI’s head of content for Digital Room, Emilie Moreland. “Add in the fact that many creative professionals identify as introverts, to whom speaking up on a crowded conference call doesn’t come naturally, and it is easy for many to get lost or hide behind a phone line.”

She also recommends team quizzes and daily creative “icebreakers,” such as asking team members to name their favorite foods or list non-work-related books they’re reading. A “show us your shoes” activity was particularly popular – resulting in snapshots of high heels, bare feet, and fuzzy slippers shared via corporate social media. It sparked lively, creative discussion that fueled the workday’s tasks.

Unified communications platforms that support a variety of communications media such as web chat, video, text messaging, and social media can seamlessly facilitate these cross-location interactions and contribute to a positive company culture. Similarly, capabilities such as screen sharing or virtual meeting rooms facilitate these bonding exercises and create more intimacy and familiarity among remote team members.

Companies that leverage communications technology will find it goes a long way to promoting a unified team and allows organizations to assemble a superior staff – no matter the physical circumstances.

2. Build a Culture of Communication Outside of Work

“Scattered teams seem to evolve in spite of a preference to have everyone together. Distributed teams embrace their geographic diversity,” said Robin Camarote, founder of Work Life Lab and creator of the Working Mom Tip Of The Day. In her article in Inc. magazine, she reports that savvy companies have been leveraging the remote team policy for years to assemble the best workgroups – regardless of location.

“A co-located office develops its own personality through inside jokes, shared experiences, and a collaborative environment,” according to workflow automation expert Zapier. Remote teams, Zapier notes, can develop a “virtual water cooler” dynamic – accomplished via a seamless unified communications platform or dedicated application. Distributed workers need a “day-to-day toolset” that gives employees enjoyable interactions that build company culture.

Executives who manage employees in multiple locations agree: shared interactions beyond workplace tasks help employees bond – even across different geographies.

This could include GIF- and graphic-based activities conducted over a versatile, omnichannel, UCaaS network. Morning contests, trivia games, and at-your-desk selfies posted by each employee – no matter their location – generate discussion across multiple offices or remote workstations and foster camaraderie. Gamification is another option – giving employees new ways to interact and develop bonds despite distance. Some of these tools can also include a virtual whiteboard, web chat, or social media application.

3. Keep Lines of Communication Open at the Highest Levels

San Francisco computer software development company Rainforest maintains a third of its staff across 13 countries and did so long before the 2020 pandemic. Between satellite offices, teleworkers, and business trips, “we are truly a highly distributed team,” asserted CEO Fred Stevens-Smith in Camarote’s Inc. interview.

Executive leadership needs to make itself accessible to remote and on-site employees alike – creating a system by which workers can seamlessly express concerns and interact with management.

“We work differently to collaborate in a productive but healthy way. We have bi-weekly “ask me anything” (AMA) meetings where anyone in the company can – and does – submit questions for me to answer,” said Stevens-Smith. He also emails weekly updates outlining the company’s progress on its internal KPIs to keep employees informed and motivated as a group.