Nearly 12 months ago, we packed up our laptops, grabbed our extra monitors and a few office supplies to get us through the next few weeks of working from home. Those weeks turned into months and for many business’s it may become the new norm. Companies were scrambling to find enough devices to allow their workers to get online from home. The IT departments were implementing software like TEAMS, slack, LogMeIn, TeamViewer, or google docs to allow people to chat remotely and share docs. Businesses were forwarding their phone numbers to be answered on either an IP phone, mobile app, or a cell phone. People were changing their messages to reflect their limited office hours and how to best connect with them on social media platforms.
The reality is that many remote workers will find themselves staying remote as businesses are making decisions to eliminate rent as a line item on their P&L. How does that affect businesses, and what is trending for our workforce in 2021 to keep the workers, their data, and the employers safe and secure?
Security – Let’s face it, as we were scrambling last March to make sure everyone was able to stay connected, many businesses allowed for people to use their own devices (BYOD) and their home internet. “Do you have an internet connection at home?” became the question and little thought was given to security of either the devices or the networks they were using. One hot trend in our industry for 2021 is Security. Did you know that InteleCONNECT is an advisor who can help you navigate your way through Cloud services and security?
- Many businesses are putting their critical applications in the cloud and relying on platforms with single sign on, or two factor authentications to get access to the applications. Controlling their employees with a username and password that can be shut down as fast as it was set-up if there was a security threat on their device or if they were exiting the company.
- Firewalls, VPN Tunnels, and SDWAN appliances are being installed to allow for secure and redundant connectivity as well as prioritizing bandwidth for the remote workers.
- Making sure that all information is securely backed up and stored and protected from cyber-attacks.
Conferencing – First question out of bed in the morning for remote workers is “do I have any conference/video calls today?” Do I need to look presentable, or can I wear my jeans, throw my hair in a pony, grab a cup of coffee and login? Video Conferencing is the new way to hold meetings in this remote working world. Many companies like zoom and PGI (who happens to be our Lunch GIG sponsor/presenter on March 10th) are enhancing their product offerings to keep people engaged with break-out rooms, surveys, chat, or even webinar platforms for presentations on annual budgets. Even the VoIP/UCaaS carriers are stepping up their games to allow for better conferencing and collaboration tools to be a part of their customer’s app experience.
Communication – Do you omni channel? Have you been on a webpage recently or on social media and the chat window pops up asking how they can help? Have you received an SMS text reminding you of an upcoming appointment, telling you your order is ready, or letting you know your tech is on their way? Do you receive follow-up surveys asking you to rate your experience either via a virtual call, email or text? Have you pushed 1 requesting a call back, so you don’t have to sit on hold? Omni channel is a tool that allows a business to manage all these communication means through a single platform. We are in an era where there are:
- 4 generations all working together.
- 4 generations that are all our customers.
- 4 generations that prefer different methods of communication – phone calls, emails, texts, or chats.
Businesses need to be able to offer a variety of ways to communicate with our customers. Pulling it all together into an omni channel, well that is just saving us time and allowing for a better customer experience, and who doesn’t love that!
2021 trends of Security, Cloud Services, Conferencing Tools, and Omni Channel Platform, allow your business to put your best foot forward and we can help. Our offerings are so much more than voice and data…we are here to keep you connected AND safe!