Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
4:00 AM 3rd July 2021

Saturday Essay: Opportunity Calling

Image by Joshua Miranda from Pixabay
Image by Joshua Miranda from Pixabay
The light is visible at the end of the tunnel and finally we are moving out of lockdown and the end is insight as we all prepare to get back to the ‘new normal’. We will approach these new beginnings with some trepidation as we move into the uncertainty and our life and work will no doubt change to some extent.

Gartner estimates that 48% will want to continue with remote working or part time and it is expected that not everyone will flood back to the office in droves, but a new hybrid working model will be adopted where people will divide their time between the office and home.
Businesses will re-evaluate their strategies to make them fit into the post-COVID world and re-assess their priorities. IT managers have moved their focus from urgently deploying remote technology and teams into looking at a longer and more sustainable business continuity and a new day to day IT strategy.

The pandemic has escalated digital transformation exponentially because businesses, organisations and schools were forced to work at home and people required technology to do so. Pre-COVID digital transformation was always on the agenda but now it takes priority enabling us to view business and the workplace with a new lens.

At this moment in time the opportunities for businesses to improve communications, processes and customer service are huge, and now is the time to seize and harness them. If you don’t then you will lose out.

Education, Education, Education

The INONS report states that 22% of business owners still believe that digitalisation isn’t necessary. Plus, the Virgin media survey stated that 33% of IT managers view their business communications providers as transactional only, and 23% see network upgrades as a priority.

These stats demonstrate that the business communication providers need to educate businesses on how technology can deliver benefits to improve communications, processes, customer experience and as a result increase revenue and save costs.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Businesses should work closely with business communications providers to discover what their objectives are and what their strategy is to understand how mobile and unified communication solutions can help their business. This is more important now than ever as businesses will have to review their objectives and strategies to see if they are still current after COVID-19.

Dispelling Fears

Businesses often fear large investments and lead times for technology projects but this is not a concern because you can protect existing investments and adopt a hybrid cloud model migrating to IP and other applications when ready to do so. Therefore, eliminating any fears of ‘rip and replace’.

Long lead times are also a thing of the past and technology can be delivered in a step-by-step approach rather than a large one-off solution, which won’t take long to deploy, and they are more likely to get approval for.

Businesses should take a considered and strategic approach when selecting technology and not rush out and deploy a solution that won’t help achieve their overall objectives or improve communications, processes or customer experience.

Simplifying Business Communications

Businesses should take a step back and evaluate what technology they have now, what problems they want it to solve to ensure that the required results are achieved. Working with communication providers they will enable you to get creative and identify what is possible and achievable to deliver benefits and save costs.

Choose to work with communications providers who excel in technical expertise to help support you with access to the technology, service and support that you require.

Image Pixabay
Image Pixabay
Talk to Employees and Customers

Coming out of lockdown we will have all learnt what works and what doesn’t, so it is vital to discover this from customers to help them evolve and optimise their remote working strategy. The best way of doing this is to encourage your customers to talk to their employees and their customers to find out what the lessons learnt are.

The key to success of a technology project is the preparation, testing and involving an empowering staff.

Improving Processes and Productivity
Mobile and unified communications solutions can assist customers on how to improve within the customers’ journey. During the pandemic and lockdown online commerce has naturally taken off and customers are becoming even more demanding, and the market is more competitive than it has ever been. Businesses need to evaluate the journey that their customers take ensuring it is intuitive and seamless.

It’s All About Mobility

Businesses will be moving away from setting up remote teams and focusing on how to optimise them, so it is vital to have the right mobile and UC strategy. Ensuring that remote employees have mobiles with cellular and data coverage wherever they live, and mobiles will be increasingly become more important now that employees have moved away from the office.

Image by Joseph Mucira from Pixabay
Image by Joseph Mucira from Pixabay
During lockdown, Vodafone reported that there was a 50% rise in the internet as more people worked from home. O2 reported that over a third (36%) of Brits currently working from home are regularly switching to mobile data to stay online and 61% of Brits agree that being able to connect to mobile data has made the experience of working at home better. Younger people (61%) and those with children in the household (65%) where the groups most reliant on mobile data to keep them connected while they tackled working and home schooling. They also reported that voice calls were making a comeback as ‘Zoom fatigue’ had set in and cameras were being turned off.

Lead with Culture

The pandemic and lockdown have bought about many changes but one of the biggest for businesses is an enforced change in culture. Managers have not only had to accept change but embrace it with employees working from home, having to be sympathetic with employees home schooling children, mental health issues as a result from stress and attempting to manage and optimise a remote team. It has not been easy; however, it has demonstrated that culture is vital for a successful team and business.

Businesses need to hone a culture that is creative, transparent, authentic and not afraid to fail and make mistakes.

The Time is Now

Now is the time for businesses to harness the benefits of mobile and unified communications to digital transformation their communications, improve processes and customer service. Opportunities are calling for the ‘new world’

Matt Dykes
Matt Dykes
Matt Dykes, Chief Operating Officer, Abzorb has 25 year’s experience in IT and Telecoms with a proven ability to lead and motivate teams, execute change, deliver market differentiation and achieve profitable growth. Currently responsible at Abzorb for leading the management team, transformation of the Indirect Channel and instrumental in company vision, strategy & direction.
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