SpliceCom’s Director of Marketing & Product Management, Robin Hayman, takes a step back and ponders if the way we work stimulates technological innovation – or vice versa.
In the “always connected – always available” business environment that we’re fortunate enough to be working in, it’s sometimes necessary just to draw breath, sit down and consider how much business has changed. Over the past five years the number of significant changes and indeed the rate that change takes place, has significantly increased – and will continue to increase.
Take flexible working and workforce mobility as one such example. In terms of location modern business practice has evolved to produce three types of employee; those that are always in the office, those that are always out of the office and those that are sometimes in and sometimes out of the office. For the sake of convenience let’s call them In, Out and Nomads.
The In’s can be considered the traditional workforce and are well catered for, from both a computer networking and voice perspective; most will have a desktop or laptop computer and a desktop phone. If they roam about the office, building or campus they might use a notebook pc or tablet for data and a DECT wireless or SIP/WiFi phone for voice.
The Out’s are also well catered for now through 4G/3G mobile services and public WiFi for data connectivity and the former for voice connectivity through their mobile phones. But how can you transfer a call to a colleague from your mobile phone? How can you set-up a conference call? How can phone usage be included to sit within the overall business policy? How can calls be recorded and tracked in order to be accountable and measurable like those handled by the In’s?
The same is true of the Nomads, who can be considered a hybrid of the In’s and Out’s. Do they spend more time out of the office than in, or is it the other way around? Do they need both sets of tools to accomplish their work goals, or do they utilise just those related to how where they spend the majority of their working life – in the office or out?
As always, technology is again evolving to meet business demands, with business telephony apps – like SpliceCom’s iPCS – turning SmartPhones and Tablets into fully functional IP extensions on the company telephone system. These apps support transfer, conferencing, presence, company-wide directories, call recording, tracking for statistics and so much more. And not only do these meet the needs of the Outs and Nomads, they are also eliminate the requirement for Office Mobility devices for the Ins – so much so that the requirement for the desktop phone itself is being called into question by many organisations.
The way in which we work is changing. Most of us embrace these changes as a matter of course in the form of gradual transition as time evolves – on both a personal and organisational level. But some are “change averse” resisting larger business transformations by focusing on the negatives rather than the benefits when it comes to initiatives like flexible working and workforce mobility. But whether you consider yourself in the former camp, or the latter, one thing is sure; change continues to happen all around you.