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Cloudonix - Blog

Lessons Learned: Remote Work During Covid-19 and Beyond

By Eric Klein, COO at Cloudonix, Inc

In 2020 the world changed forever, Covid-19 came and enterprises were forced to make a digital transformation that they never anticipated, they needed to allow employees to work from home and work remotely in ways that were unlike anything they had ever had to support before. This meant coordinating different types of technology to support them, new management techniques, changing ways to monitor and manage the teams.

People were expecting that the world would return to the way they were before the Covid-19 pandemic, but study after study has shown that this is not likely to be the case. For example, Cisco surveyed 10,000 people across 12 markets in Europe, the Middle East and Russia for its Workforce of the Future research. They found that even though only 5% of those surveyed worked from home before the lockdown, but in the survey, they found that 87% of workers wanted the ability to choose where they worked. Now companies are discovering that the benefits (financial and flexibility) are far beyond anything they anticipated.

But the technology to support them has never been considered before this. Connecting people securely to computer systems has been around for years. VPNs and secure connections have been around since the ‘90s, but what about the voice side of things? Unless your company was already using cloud services you will need to change a lot for your employees to be able to maintain the same level of voice services. This is especially true if you are using on premise IVRs, voicemail, call recordings, etc., or if you are using systems to integrate the calls to your CRM. The biggest impact will be if your company uses call center monitoring and tracking to judge or even train your staff.
We ran a survey of call center managers over the summer of 2020 and found that keeping the business running as it was before (no changes in processes and continuing to monitor the agents) made up a combined 67% of the responses.

Now these results combine with the multiple news articles about companies extending work from home (even after the vaccine) to tell us that the temporary solutions that companies are using will not scale or support them in the long run.

Employees sharing their phone numbers with people they call back is unacceptable; not tracking or recording those calls may violate various compliance rules. . Look at the rules under HIPAA, CCPA, GDPR, FCA, and others. This kind of private information being shared is a big legal risk for companies. Not to mention you don’t want your customers / patients /clients having the personal phone numbers of your staff to call them directly and bother them.

Your current options for connecting their voice communications are varied, some require more time and expense in hardware or licenses, others require complete working processes and how staff is managed. To look at a few:

Use a VPN to connect your employees to the office systems via VoIP using VoIP phones or softphones. If the employees are already used to working with headsets then the softphone requires less changes. The problem is that VPNs are not designed for VoIP and can give a poor quality voice experience. You can learn more about why VPNs are not good for VoIP by contacting the author.

  • Move to a cloud voice solution. Again, this can be via VoIP phone of softphone, but here you would need to rework your processes and systems to accommodate the new cloud systems. There are also more technical issues that your team will need to address to configure the new systems as they connect to your existing CRM, call recording, and employee monitoring. There may also be a need to port (move) your phone number from one phone company to another.
  • Use a system that securely connects to your existing on-premise systems and allows the employees to use a VoIP or softphone the same way they would work at their desk. No retraining, or changes to the processes and systems as they are connected to those systems. With Cloudonix, you can have them use preconfigured softphones or spend the 2 minutes for a one time configuration to get them connected to the existing office systems.

At Cloudonix, we have seen a number of cases where the voice communications issues were holding companies back with their business as they needed help with work from home. For example, a company that had 5 call centers, and spent more than $100,000 in new Avaya licenses to enable one of the call centers for work from home. The idea that they could use a service for the remaining locations at a fraction of that cost blew their minds. A rights benefits company was suffering because less than 20% of their staff was allowed to work in the office, by adding the Cloudonix WFA service they were back up to full service with 85% working from home.

Companies are now realizing that their initial “quick and dirty” solutions for work from home are not going to work longer term and they are seeing that work from home will remain part of their requirements ever after this pandemic is over. Now they are looking for stable, affordable solutions that will meet their current and future needs, and have the flexibility to grow or shrink as their situation changes.

The Cloudonix SaaS solution enables the security and flexibility that will enable you to better support your team and, more importantly, your customers.

About Cloudonix:

Cloudonix is a cross-platform, in-platform communications infrastructure - providing businesses with faster, smarter communications channels that can integrate with existing business communications systems and save the business both time and money. Cloudonix’s smart voice calls enable frictionless experiences that drive better customer care and faster sales by merging voice and data into a complete service context. Cloudonix adds Cloud capabilities to your existing on premise Call Center enabling your agents to work from anywhere in the world. Security, Privacy and more – rapidly deployed and cost effective without replacing your existing systems or retraining your team.

Publish Date: June 29, 2021 5:18 AM



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