Digital Workplace Part 2

Step 3: The Digital Workplace is becoming mobile
The traditional nine-to-five daily working routine in the office is more the exception than the rule in most companies today. Almost every company these days employs a large number of mobile workers, from the sales representatives on customer appointments to support technicians deployed worldwide and part-time employees working from home. In particular, the new generation now entering the working world have high expectations regarding the flexibility of their workplaces. To be able to work anywhere, in a completely mobile setup, is absolutely essential for this generation – a company that offers only traditional workplaces with fixed PCs will not be able to retain the new colleagues on a permanent basis.

Experience shows that mobile employees benefit quite noticeably from the possibilities of a digital workplace. With the right toolset to hand, employees can constantly remain reachable at one and the same number even when they out on the road and can communicate just as efficiently as in the office. They thus remain continuously available and able to provide information to customers and colleagues – and can process all incoming requests with a high quality.

Mobility concepts for the digital workplace go far beyond simple call forwarding to a smartphone or to a home connection. STARFACE now offers its UCC clients mobility in the form of powerful smartphone apps that transform Android and iOS-based end devices into real extensions of the telephone system. Employees can thus now use their smartphones not just for incoming and outgoing phone calls under the familiar office telephone number, but they also take the entire communication and collaboration environment from the office with them – from the call list to the phone book, the chat history and the presence information. Even sophisticated and convenient features such as the convening of ad-hoc conferences, remote management of call forwarding or the management of iFMC settings can be used comfortably on a smartphone.

What is important with regard to cost control is that ideally, modern smartphone clients should support SIP-over-WLAN in addition to traditional GSM and SIP-over-LTE connection, in order to be able to make calls in hotspots free of charge. In telephony via GSM and LTE it has proved worthwhile to route incoming and outgoing calls via the telephone system, in order to transfer them to the cheaper public network. In particular, companies with a large number of mobile employees or an internationally operating field service can thus benefit from the options of mobile digital workplaces at extremely favorable terms.

Conclusion – yes to digital workplace no to disruption
The technological innovations of the last few years enable companies in all sectors and of all sizes to provide their employees with powerful, location-independent digital workplaces. They can choose between various different deployment options – from the cloud solution to VMs and on-premises appliances, and implement almost any conceivable integration scenario using flexible UCC clients.

With all of this, however, one should always bear in mind that the actual challenge when changing to digital workplaces is often not the technology but the Change Management in the company. Employees will only use the solutions in their daily work and thus ensure a rapid return on investment if it is possible to convince them of the added value and potential at an early stage. For this reason, it should be possible to configure the workplace solutions very individually and to meet the requirements of mobile digital natives as well as the requirements of older colleagues who have grown up with a variety of ISDN features.

In view of the high complexity of this type of migration project, companies are well advised to bring the manufacturer and the integrators of the solution on board at an early stage. Together, the partners can ensure smooth implementation and help the team to exploit the full potential of digital workplaces from the very beginning.

Read the first part of the Digital Workplace article h