Call it the “Convergence Conundrum.” While mobility is all but a given in business these days, mobile workers and their employers often have to deal with a confused jumble of business and personal communications. Even as they enjoy the freedom that mobility promises, employees lament the sense of “always being at work” that anytime access causes, while employers are justifiably concerned with keeping company data secure.
The next phase of the mobile revolution helps solve this problem. Despite a diverse set of mobile devices (often provided by employees in a trend known as Bring Your Own Device or BYOD), organizations can deploy cloud-based solutions to help segregate communication by role — whether personal or professional.
Just as a business email address is accessible seamlessly via multiple devices, a phone number supplied by a unified voice communication system (UC) is associated not with a physical landline or cell phone, but an individual able to answer wherever he or she may be. When employees are on the road, customers and colleagues can reach them with a single call instead of dialing multiple numbers, and get an immediate answer instead of winding up in voicemail. Employees, meanwhile, have complete control over when they’re available with where taken out of the equation entirely.
Basile Insurance in York County, Pennsylvania, recently learned the value of “Be Anywhere” when it adopted Comcast Business VoiceEdge Unified Communications system. “We’ve truly changed the way we communicate with each other,” says Gregg Basile, owner. “Our customers seem happier, which, in turn, makes us happier.”
Organizational and Personal Benefits
Just how big is mobility? According to Global Workforce Analytics (GWA), more than three million U.S. workers telecommuted in 2011, a staggering 73 percent increase since 2005. And nearly one third of employees globally now rely on more than one mobile device in a typical day.
There’s no question that employees love the flexibility that mobile technology enables. In fact, GWA notes that 80 percent of employees consider telework a job perk, and that it makes them more productive as well — by as much as 15 to 55 percent.
Mobility and BYOD don’t just increase productivity. They’ve been shown to drive customer satisfaction rates as well. Research from Forrester shows that among organizations that implement BYOD strategies, 76 percent report increased employee responsiveness and decision-making speed, while 43 to 46 percent report faster customer-issue resolution and improved customer satisfaction.
Today’s cloud-based solutions can also save companies time and money in both direct and indirect ways. By making remote workers more efficient, it facilitates telecommuting, a significant cost saver, with GWA calculating that a typical business would save $11,000 per person per year if those able to telecommute did so just half the time. And because workers consider mobility an important perk, companies may also save on recruiting and salaries. How much? GWA notes that 36 percent of workers would choose telecommuting over a pay raise, or that 37 percent of technology professionals would take a pay cut of 10 percent if they could work from home.
Organizations can also see savings when it comes to capital expenditures in IT infrastructure, technology upgrades, and scalability. When Smart Marketing in Naples, Florida, ran up against the maximum number of extensions its in-house PBX system could handle, it was faced with having to purchase hardware upgrades, which the company could just as easily outgrow in the future. Instead, they turned to Business VoiceEdge, which could not only scale effortlessly to meet their current and future needs, but relieved them of burdensome annual maintenance and technology lock-in, at the same time offering higher quality and greater flexibility. “Trying to add another user to the phone system [had been] unbelievably hard,” recalls Dave Meehan, web developer, adding that with Business VoiceEdge, “we can configure lines through the Web portal, which was not possible with the older system, and the phone-to-phone quality has increased dramatically.”
A Voice System Fit for Mobility
Comcast Business VoiceEdge offers greater efficiency by delivering a phone system through the cloud. Having a unified communications solution means that you get integrated business communications allowing you to call from your desk phone or mobile phone and have it appear as if you called from the office. Your company can enjoy constant connectivity without the capital investment and hardware management that typically come with traditional private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems.
Business VoiceEdge offers service continuity, so your important, incoming calls always reach the intended person even if disaster strikes. Features include Be Anywhere voicemail to email — in your inbox or on your smartphone; call management and feature editing through Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer, or Firefox Internet browser; and much more.