Whilst 2020 was very much an unprecedented year, 2021 is pretty much precedented and the ‘new normal’ is not feeling so new anymore... Rewind 10 months or so and the challenge that faced almost every organisation across the world – nearly synchronously – of how to enable staff to continue working safely in the workplace or doing their jobs remotely from home whilst maintaining efficiency and good service is still with us.
The big shift
The high-octane tech evolution that ensued as the long-term planners and the cautious and late adopters jumped headlong into the world of UC&C is still having repercussions today and it is worth considering that something that works seamlessly today, won’t necessarily do so tomorrow. Technologies which had been projected as ‘nice to haves’ for some point in the mid- to distant future were rolled out in a matter of weeks thanks to a huge effort by IT teams across hundreds of thousands of organisations. Workers in (almost) all sectors had to find space in their homes to create a makeshift office – whilst learning the intricacies and nuances of various virtual platforms to remain connected, efficient and effective.
Microsoft Teams is the platform of choice for the business world, especially as Microsoft has continued to add features and functionality to keep up with demand – almost weekly there are announcements of new releases available to its more than 115 million daily active users.
The drive to make Teams as accessible to its users has largely been successful but one area of that remains lacking is around reporting irrespective of the improvements to Power BI. Gaining insight into activity on auto-attendants and call queues, employee productivity and user adoption can be a frustrating and complex process. Likewise extracting call quality, capacity management and overall cost of ownership of running a Teams estate data can be a time-consuming process. This is where third-party vendors have delivered solutions to bridge the gap and to augment the overall power and functionality of Teams.
Maintaining operational change
Here at Conversant, we are always responding to partner and customer requests for consolidated, intuitive, granular advanced reporting and analytics, call recording and device management tools. Our well-known Clobba suite of products is now used by thousands of companies to manage over a million end-users globally, empowering managers and executives with data-led business insight to enrich the user experience and drive efficiencies across their organisations.
A key sector that has benefitted from adopting Clobba in these times of adapted working methods is Local Government. As a sector, remote working was quite a sea-change from the typical office environment that most council officers and staff operated from previously. The collaborative nature of governmental work – irrespective of whether this is at local, district or national level – is well suited to the traditional operational methods practiced from centralized and distributed office locations. Equally, the responsibility of managing public funds in a responsible manner typically means that government bodies are careful with any spend on infrastructure so were perhaps not the best-placed sector for a sudden shift in staff working practice and location.
The upshot was IT departments having to find workarounds quickly with little (if any) additional funds. Microsoft Teams is the ideal platform in this scenario – no long-term contracts, controllable initial outlay and discount plans for government and other industries. Technically, it operates very well in a hybrid environment so organisations can continue to ‘sweat’ their existing assets whilst reaping the benefits of the latest technologies. This can inevitably lead to additional complexity from technical, fiscal and management standpoints but, with the right processes and tools like Clobba in place, IT departments have been able to deliver against the demands placed upon them.
Once the remote working environment is set up, it is vital to utilize the same tools to maintain insight and control so effectiveness can continue to be monitored and tweaked where necessary. Managing lots of staff who are used to the more rigid environment of the office with colleagues, peers and managers at close quarters, is something that should not be underestimated. Clobba’s advanced reporting for Teams ensures councils know that they can anticipate increase in demand and have enough available staff to maintain service levels. Managing inbound calls from residents and support workers has never been so important for local councils, and it is crucial that calls are handled well, and staff workload is divided amongst those with capacity to achieve operational effectiveness whilst avoiding overloading certain members of the team.
Similarly, when rolling out a new technology, its differences, nuances and complexities can sometimes be overwhelming to the end user, which can lead some staff to avoiding the new tools being made available. Having insight into who is using all the various services delivered via Teams as opposed to those who are being more reticent can be invaluable in ensuring a return on your investment and maintaining high levels of service.
Clobba supports all the major telephony and UC platforms which means it is often utlised to help manage the digital transformation project, tracking progress in the migration process from a more traditional phone system to Teams. It can then be used as an on-going ‘check in’ tool to keep progress on track and for the end-user maintaining the initial enthusiasm experienced at the beginning of the new technology roll-out.
We offer free, no-obligation, 30-day trials of our solutions so organisations can experience the benefits that advanced reporting and analytics can bring to their operation before committing. With contract terms built to suit and a choice of deployment options, Clobba is a sensible, cost-effective and flexible solution that is proven to deliver.
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