Over the past year and a half, businesses of all sizes have had to shift attitudes towards remote and hybrid working. Many have embraced cloud-based tech that allows their teams to continue working from home. But even as circumstances continue to improve, businesses are still evaluating and planning for where and how their employees will be working in the future.
Many organisations have understood that they will still need the flexibility to keep their businesses running from anywhere – be it the office, home, or any combination in between. If you look more closely at this new hybrid model of work, everybody needs a mobile device. You can’t really get away from that fact, and it’s important that businesses recognise the infrastructure and investment required to enable a workforce that can work anytime, anywhere.
AGILITY AND SECURITY
While Fixed Mobile Convergence or FMC is a notion that’s been around for a number of years now, it’s not necessarily been widely adopted in the UK. But the argument for ‘now’ is particularly strong. FMC provides users with a truly flexible solution that allows them to use a single phone when moving between home, the office or any other location, without interrupting the ongoing call.
When you start to converge a mobile device with a unified communications platform in a FMC approach, it gives business leaders some very interesting opportunities. Gone are the days of having to make separate calls when transferring between a mobile and a landline, having different numbers for different devices, or having to rely on potentially insecure public networks to make business calls.
There are benefits for both the private and public sector alike, working with the right provider, FMC enabled users have the ability to make internal extension calls from their mobile handset, including to critical services such as internal fire or security extensions. This means they can answer their own mobile and extension calls from their mobile devices, without revealing personal numbers.
The ability to seamlessly move from fixed to mobile networks, and from a desk phone or soft client to a mobile device, means conversations can continue uninterrupted. Making employees in the field easier to reach but at the same time giving them more transparency when they are contacting patients or clients, as they are able to present a corporate number that can be easily associated with their organisation. Mobile devices then become an extension of the PBX, so that businesses can use one set of communication tools across the entire workforce, no matter how large.
For businesses that operate in regulated industries, FMC services can be further enriched to include call recording. This enhances compliance as mobile calls can be recorded and securely stored, making it easy to listen back to conversations and check them from a quality assurance standpoint, provide an audit trail as well as settle any disputes or complaints.
Other FMC services can include unified voicemail so any message left for employees, be that on their mobile number or desk phone number, can be merged into a single unified inbox and delivered into email services.
FMC can also include enterprise PBX functions such as hunt groups and call pick up. This means that a hunt group can contain users irrespective of whether they are at their desk or utilising their mobile device out in the field. Previously it was impossible to aggregate that kind of data across fixed and mobile domains.
As this new world of hybrid work unfolds, FMC is going to be incredibly important because it brings together the fixed services of desktop telephony to the mobile device to deliver a unified communications service to an end user irrespective of their location.
With FMC, businesses can benefit from the efficiency that comes from simplifying comms. Not only are there savings to be made from consolidating comm and combining mobile contracts with hosted telephony into one solution, but there are also gains to be made from having greater control of regulatory compliance. With one consistent solution across entire organisations, employees have better reachability. This can improve productivity and the user experience for employees.