The great remote work migration has been a massive adjustment for many businesses, causing their leadership teams to double down on security and invest in additional collaboration solutions. Indeed, most organizations would agree that moving employees into WFH environments was the best decision to maintain operations and keep everyone safe, but what about the future?
What should your clients expect their workplace situation to be in 2021? Will employees need to remain remote and, if so, for how long? Will a hybrid model be a good option?
These are just a few of the questions your clients are likely asking today. While grappling with those future workforce possibilities, your customers may be wasting valuable time, and money stuck in a transitioning ‘limbo.’
With so much uncertainty, MSPs need to step in and advise their wayward clients of all the viable options. One area that is still causing massive heartburn for some SMBs is their previous investments in PBX systems. Until recently, these on-premises servers and networking resources dedicated solely to office phones were common in the business community.
However, the transition to WFH has many SMBs paying for hosted VoIP on top of their traditional PBX solutions, spending more of their budget than necessary. While this may make sense for the short term, continuing this model far into the new year will be costly.
Those businesses need a long-term transition plan. With the availability of softphones, one of the best options to solidify their communications capabilities for the future now is the perfect time to start the conversion. Organizations that lag in adoption will undoubtedly hurt their bottom line in the coming years.
IT services professionals must ensure their clients understand the inherent benefits of softphones and make the transition from traditional phones as painless as possible.
Supporting Remote and In-Office Employees
Though there are many unknowns, one thing is a guarantee: remote work is here to stay. Many employees with the intention of working from home will likely adopt the hybrid method, with time spent in the office and other locations as needed. Regardless of how many team members are offsite, organizations need to be prepared to support their communications and computing needs as if they were operating from their corporate headquarters.
Hosted VoIP is the perfect system for accomplishing that goal. IP-based telephony adds a multitude of features not available on PBX phones to enhance productivity and incorporate various capabilities through integration with other business tools. Cloud-based softphones make it easy to support workers no matter where they are and what devices they have at their disposal.
All they need is an internet connection. Softphones require no hard-wired networks or on-premises servers. With flexible call-forwarding and the ability to mask phones as office extensions, no one has to know your clients’ employees’ location, and these systems allow them to be easily reached if available (not in meetings or on more important calls). Softphones help businesses convey a professional attitude and enable companies to improve their customer service capabilities no matter where their team members are located.
If 2020 has taught the world anything, it’s that businesses that can adapt quickly to changes have a greater chance of survival. For even the smallest organization, a well-designed hosted VoIP solution makes that a lot easier.
The pandemic is the perfect example. While your clients may realize that going remote will reduce costs, many may not be able to sever their leases on unneeded corporate offices or reduce their real estate footprints. MSPs can help by trimming other expenses.
Transitioning from PBX to softphones is a start. That move will let employees shift from in-office work only to a remote or hybrid option. Of course, those companies can also avoid replacing costly and outdated PBX-related equipment, including desk phones, servers, and other network-enabling devices. They can use those savings to pay for additional steps in their digital transformation and help ease their adoption of WFH or hybrid work environments.
Let’s look at another scenario. Some of your clients may be unsure of what their business will look like in the future. Will their organization be able to expand or need to scale down to survive?
Many entrepreneurs and business leaders cannot predict what lies ahead, and no one wants to be slowed down or held back by their previous investments in technology. Walking away from costly PBX systems may be hard to do, but as the pandemic-related changes are proving to many companies, the future looks brighter with the right tools in place. Some or all of their current infrastructure may be a “sunk cost” that is better off left in the past rather than compromising their future.
Adding a single new employee can be a hassle for your clients and your team members, from waiting for new extension numbers and sending someone on-site every time that company increases its staff. Softphones and unified communications applications will allow companies to adapt to change more readily. With no maintenance agreements or lengthy waiting periods, or significant capital expenditures, your clients will be further ahead by moving on from their less flexible and costly (mostly to maintain) technologies.
Preparing for the Future
2020 brought about significant amounts of upheaval. If there’s anything we’ve learned, it’s that change is inevitable – today, tomorrow, and years to come.
To adjust to that new business environment, MSPs must offer their clients new options that prepare their employees for whatever may come next. Unifying communications across the organization is a great place to start.
Help your clients transition to a softphone environment with a well-designed and feature-rich hosted VoIP solution. With apps for mobile, PCs, and other devices, you can make the WFH, hybrid, and even office-based workforce model more efficient and productive and save your customers a lot of money as well. A value proposition like that will surely start the new year off right for your MSP and the businesses you support.
If you enjoyed this blog, you might also be interested in the blog: Become an All-in-One Communications Expert in 2021