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IT managers and team leaders have faced some serious challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Times of upheaval and rapid change often create intense stress and pressure.
Consider this – over the course of 2020, companies responded to the increase in remote working and collaboration 43 times more quickly than executives thought was possible.
It should come as no surprise that this highly-accelerated change has left IT teams struggling to keep up.
Although most IT teams have done an amazing job at enabling more people to work from home by integrating systems and resolving issues, most would admit that in the rush to get up and running, little thought has been put into how to ensure productivity and help teams to collaborate efficiently.
That’s why we’ve decided to highlight 5 top ways that IT teams can empower remote workers to collaborate more easily reach maximum productivity levels.
1. Connect team members with collaboration tools and apps
Over the past decade, collaboration tools and apps such as MS Teams and Slack have grown in popularity. As digitisation has increased, so has the demand for team members to be able to connect and collaborate with each other remotely and seamlessly.
Collaboration can be as simple as sending a quick text message to clarify some project details, sharing files by dragging and dropping into a group chat, or organising an online video conference to review progress.
Voice calls remain an important part of collaborative working. Some things are just much easier explained in the quick back-and-forth flow of a spoken conversation. That’s why it’s so important to integrate various communication channels with business collaboration tools, such as enabling telephone voice calls in Microsoft teams.
2. Increase customer engagement with cloud telephony
An important part of any business is communicating with leads, prospects, and existing customers. Enhancing communication and customer engagement will lead to more sales, more loyalty, and higher profits.
Cloud telephony allows employees to connect with people remotely, at the same time maintaining safe and secure communications. To encourage even more productivity, you can add features such as call recording, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and call management analytics.
Another way to optimise customer engagement and satisfaction is to connect your cloud telephony to your CRM or ticketing system. This reduces the time it takes for customer service personnel to answer customer queries and resolve problems.
3. Create seamless communication and collaboration with APIs
Communications APIs are the ideal way to combine your business and collaboration tools with your telephone system.
Voice APIs help to keep communications flowing freely within an organisation, even when most employees are working remotely.
Employees get access to reliable and secure business telephone packages from home. Customers benefit from improved customer service and engagement, as they can ring from any landline or mobile phone on a secure line.
Another advantage of using voice APIs is that it removes the need for multiple interfaces, which saves time as everything is seamlessly connected in the backend. In other words, people no longer have to switch between a variety of apps and devices to communicate, which saves a great deal of time and effort.
From an IT perspective, APIs are the simplest way to integrate comms and business tools as there is no extra hardware needed and there is no need for any system downtime. Implementing APIs also opens the door to increased automation and makes it easier to transition platforms to the cloud.
4. Unleash the power of unified communications
Unified communications in the cloud is the perfect solution for IT managers and teams. It involves moving communication systems away from on-premise hardware-based networks, to remote cloud-based systems. Ensuring that everyone is working from the same interface and using the same communication tools through the cloud makes everything much easier to manage and control.
The success of running communications through the cloud depends on IT teams finding the right partner to provide the cloud comms service. This should preferably be a company with hybrid expertise in both traditional communications such as telephony, as well as digital systems and tools.
5. Provide plenty of cloud storage
One issue that arises for employees working from home is that of storage. It’s not ideal for staff to store data and information on local drives, especially sensitive and confidential data. Shared storage through the cloud can also help to promote collaboration and unified communications.
Many companies simply take advantage of what their email providers offer in terms of cloud storage. But it’s advisable to look further afield and seek options that integrate with your unified communications systems.
Remote productivity is a burning issue for most businesses these days. It falls upon IT leaders and their teams to provide solutions to the problem – how to make remote teams more productive and collaborative.
Unified communications, particularly the integration of voice and collaboration tools, provides the answer.