In the mobile cloud era, work is something you do, not somewhere you go. The workforce is trending away from 40 hour-per-week employees who commute from their homes to the office and back again each day.
IT managers in turn need to make the changes necessary to compete in a rapidly changing, mobile-first world. While flexible working is great for employee satisfaction and productivity, have you thought about how your corporate telephony system will handle a mobile workforce?
Moving to mobile
With the increasing popularity of freelance and contract workers, the trend of flexible work hours, and the ease of communication that technology has brought, it's becoming common to have at least part of your workforce offsite. For sales departments especially, being able to stay fully connected while constantly on the move is essential. In some industries, entire teams are remote.
As a result, connecting callers has become harder than it used to be. If you’re like most companies, you manage your telephone communications using a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system, which is essentially hardware that acts as a private telephone switchboard and central call control platform.
These systems are expensive and complicated to maintain and upgrade, and if your workers are hot-desking or working from home some of the time, keeping everyone at full capacity just isn’t necessary.
Thankfully, there’s a solution – and it’s in the cloud. A virtual IP PBX (or Cloud PBX as it’s sometimes called), allows workers to make, receive, and transfer business calls seamlessly, regardless of their location, as it uses a converged data and voice network. A user could be just as connected working in the office as he or she is on the road, or in a hotel room abroad.
IP PBX integrates with your current telephony infrastructure, which means you can support office workers on your existing PBX infrastructure, but have your mobile workforce using IP PBX for all of their telephony requirements. Businesses with multiple sites can also benefit from this model.
With a fully mobile, decentralised and integrated phone system, you can concentrate on servicing business users, whenever and wherever they are, and whatever device they’re using. And as with all cloud services, it’s billed on a pay per user, per month cost, meaning there’s no need for a large upfront investment (and it’s easier to get buy-in from company execs).
Traditional phone systems limit the maximum number of phones per user. As your company grows and new users are added, you’ll need to replace your phone system at some point to be able to connect more phones to it. But IP PBX systems don’t have this drawback as they connect via the network. This means it’s a totally scalable solution – you can easily bring on additional staff without the hassle of creating a formal office.
Rising up to the challenge
Today's employees are more mobile and distributed than ever. For employers, the benefits of having a flexible workforce are considerable, as it means business can be conducted anywhere and at any time.
However, for IT managers who are in charge of the corporate telephony system, this creates new challenges. The rush towards mobile working is placing increasing strain on legacy phone systems, as they struggle to keep pace with changing technical demands and the current speed of business.
A cloud-based IP PBX system helps mobilise businesses by transcending physical communication boundaries. With all of the features of a conventional PBX system, without the hassle and high costs, IT managers
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