Enabling the Digital Workforce: Productivity Pain Points and Solutions
This article was published by Telecom Reseller.
As a major determinant of efficiency and cost, productivity has become very complicated for the modern enterprise. Productivity is a primary source of business growth and competitiveness, but it faces big challenges as people and communications are increasingly fragmented across diverse locations and systems. The good news is mobility strategies are combating these challenges, leveraging technologies to reinvent collaboration processes. The key to stimulating efficiency and designing an agile enterprise is to first understand the pain points of today’s workers and then explore the best approaches for keeping them and their disparate information digitally connected.
Productivity Challenges: Information is Scattered and the Gap is Widening
The productivity problem is simple--the information is not all in one place. It’s distributed across emails, messaging sites, calendars, shared drives, social media sites, customer relationship, and enterprise resource platforms. All this distributed, unstructured information (90% according to IDC) adds time to projects, causes delays, and can lead to errors when you can’t find what you want:
- Users have a manageable number of tools, but 82% are still losing hours a week managing different technologies.
- 72% of salespeople and 75% of marketers spend up to an hour a day on data entry and connecting records from different tools.
- Nearly 60% of teams spend up to 10% of their budget integrating, maintaining, and managing multiple tools.
The advances in communications tools and the advent of technology sprawl are widening the gap between the data we need to use, the real-time conversations we are holding, and the data sharing capabilities available to us. It is likely that enterprises will be managing more technology sprawl, and more tools mean more for users to learn. Ultimately, workers may not ever be equally proficient in all the applications they use. But the bottom line is that the real barriers are the many non-integrated tools--not the users. Here’s what enterprises are doing about it.
Solutions: Unified Communications Open the Door to Productivity
Cloud-based technologies are enabling the digital workforce by unifying communications. When most enterprises have globally-disparate communications equipment and a plethora of providers, neworks, technologies, and applications, the cloud allows interoperation, keeping everything connected. Some technologies that facilitate consolidation or the “digital mesh” include Unified Communications as a Service and cloud contact center platforms.
It is a massive project to integrate all your global communication systems, contact centers, and communication apps into one cloud-based system. You probably have never done this before. So, you’ll want a flexible approach and a method that has already been developed, tested, and proven. Working with a full-service partner in unified communications as a service (one that offers a complete array of managed IT services) allows you to:
- Leverage their SIP trunking technologies for a hybrid cloud approach, which makes it easy to slowly migrate to the cloud one application and location at a time
- Choose the tools and services you want to integrate, creating a cost-justified approach
- Simplify your cloud deployment with a dedicated team of resources working from successful implementation procedures
- Eliminate IT complexities and rely on the provider for network service and performance monitoring as well as security monitoring including threat detection and response
- Infuse IT agility into communications systems, leveraging the provider’s software-defined network “backbone” to make contact centers and corporate communications more programmable and responsive
Why Go with the Cloud? Digitized Systems are Innovation Ready
Cloud communications are enabling innovation across the enterprise. For example, in the contact center environment, data analytics engines can integrate with real-time voice recognition technologies to predict what the customer wants.
“We call these AI-powered virtual customer service agents, and they’re supplementing real, human agents by proactively providing relevant information to their desktops,” said Dean Manzoori, Vice President of Cloud Communications at Masergy, who explained that integration platform as a service (iPaaS) technologies are helping UCaaS and CCaaS platforms work seamlessly with hundreds of other business applications, paving the way for data-driven advancements as well as voice-triggered automation that brings “Alexa-like” experiences to the enterprise.
Manzoori and Masergy are urging enterprises to apply “what’s next” now, because cloud migration is merely a stepping stone for reaching heightened levels of innovation that will soon be the new must-have for market competitiveness.