Back to articles

What technology will you need to support your future agile workforce?

How to build a future-ready communications system to help support your business growth.

Regardless of industry, businesses have been forced to become more operationally agile to meet the challenges of the modern global marketplace. Advances in technology mean that the traditional centralised office is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Online collaborative tools make it easy for workers to complete tasks together from anywhere in the world.

Businesses can now benefit from decentralised teams capable of covering greater geographic regions whilst still working collaboratively. Legislative changes also allow any employee the right to request flexible working – and employers have a duty to give such requests genuine consideration.

Operational flexibility is key to creating an agile business that is capable of reaching its corporate goals and creating a culture that supports and engages employees’ changing needs. So what are the technologies your business should consider to improve its own agility?

Flexible communications

Traditional fixed line telecoms systems are, by their very nature, inflexible. In the past, ISDN would have seemed a reasonable solution for a business based in a single office. However, as a business grows  the workforce diversifies and more employees work from outside the corporate network, a more flexible solution is required.

SIP trunks are the natural successor to ISDN, offering businesses much greater flexibility and enhanced functionality in order to support a more agile workforce. As a result, they are fast becoming the solution of choice for many organisations.

By choosing the SIP approach, your business can:

  1. Reduce telecoms spend by up to 50% on line rental and 25% on call costs, without compromising on quality or availability
  2. Benefit from additional cost savings with free internal and site-to-site calls
  3. Efficiently respond to seasonal voice capacity requirements by increasing lines quickly and easily, without long term commitments

To make the migration from restrictive ISDN to SIP trunking easier and more cost effective, it is often possible to enable your existing PBX for SIP with a gateway, module or upgrade. In doing so, you are able to extend the lifespan of your existing telecoms infrastructure to further increase return on investment.

Simplified system management

For businesses with several locations, a SIP trunking service can provide ISDN line rationalisation – an ideal way to reduce

the number of PBXs requiring maintenance. SIP can also help your business respond much more quickly in the event of an outage or disruption of service. Most SIP trunk providers offer a business continuity provision as part of the service, meaning your telecoms system is designed and engineered to cope with any situation, so keeping you connected.

Use SIP to help present your business in different ways, for different objectives. Particularly popular with call centre businesses, SIP with CLI flexibility allows you to decide which number you want to display on an outbound call-by-call basis.

When paired with an inbound call management system, SIP can help your business be in complete control of its communications. Call routing plans can be easily configured and deployed via an online portal, ensuring your callers can always get through. Calls can be seamlessly re-routed across multiple devices to reach remote workers when away from the office and IVRs put in place to help identify the right destination for each call.

“The cloud creates agility. A good CIO will figure out a way to leverage the cloud to explore business options much more quickly. Faster time to market, incubation—the cloud offers all of these things. From a business standpoint, when you want to pursue a new business strategy or try something, you can very quickly get something up and running in the Cloud. Once it matures, you can decide whether you want to continue to grow it in the Cloud or whether you want to pull it back in. The Cloud doesn’t force you into a lot of fixed cost.” 

Driving Growth With Cloud Computing PricewaterhouseCoopers Technology Forecast

Improved endpoint bandwidth

For the best results it is important to ensure your business has sufficient bandwidth to support both its data and voice traffic. All too often remote workers are supplied with a standard broadband connection or tasked with securing their own onsite connectivity. The focus is placed on data throughout for accessing corporate systems remotely, with voice traffic relegated to secondary importance.

Taking this approach almost always results in poorer than expected call quality. Should remote workers run into problems, they are likely to switch back to using their mobile phone and charging calls and rental costs back to the business, increasing telecoms spend. Instead, it is important to choose a broadband connection that properly balances voice and data traffic for best performance of both. This approach results in fewer dropped calls that create a negative experience for employees and customers alike.

3 keys to agile business success

In order to build a platform that supports your plans for an agile workforce, you need a solution that:

  1. Utilises next-generation SIP trunking technology to provide the flexibility and scalability your business demands
  2. Reduces ongoing operational and maintenance costs of onsite equipment, without compromising call quality
  3. Provides sufficient voice and data bandwidth for remote workers