Hybrid working is here to stay, yet several pieces of research have shown that it remains challenging for many organisations, leaving remote employees feeling isolated or demotivated. And technology is often a large part of the reason because IT and comms are not fully integrated, mobile and fixed communications remain separate, and various contact channels — voice, video, chat etc. — remain separate siloes.
And that is the opportunity for service providers to help business customers while finding ways to adapt and survive: mobile as the foundation for hybrid working. After all, evidence has shown that smartphones are increasingly people’s primary business tool, even when working at home or in the office. So, instead of being an add-on, why not lead with mobility (and, of course, fixed still has an important place in the mix) so that everything is optimised for mobile from the get-go?
At the same time, this focus on adding value to mobile helps existing channel players face head-on the fact that the market is being disrupted by new mobile services entrants offering different business models. As a result, traditional profit margins from mobile are under unprecedented threat. To avoid a race to the bottom, the only way forward is to find ways to add value. And mobile-first hybrid working is one of those ways. Become one of the pioneers of the new mobile industry.
Of course, there are a range of issues to navigate, not least of which is how service providers work with customers to take what they already have and pivot all that into a more mobile-centric environment.
One answer is to take a stepwise approach, starting with some features that are all readily available yet, to date, have yet to be exploited fully by the channel or its customers. For example, mobile numbers and calls can be integrated into CRM, ERP or vertical market solutions, or existing PBXs. Enhancements to Teams to make its mobility more telephony-centric is another example.
Further steps can include mobile voice recording or enabling other personas to live on the same device. Allowing the workers to manage their reachability will improve their work-life balance without affecting productivity or customer service (for example, incoming contact streams can be intelligently rerouted).
Enreach for Service Providers can share some practical advice on how the channel can help those businesses reach new levels of hybrid working success (based on experience gained from working with service providers in the region) using mobile as the fundamental building block.