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Remote working is here to stay, so what does that mean for your business phone system?

In March, when businesses had to adapt to remote working with little or no time to prepare, those who were still using traditional phone systems had an even bigger challenge: How to keep in touch with staff, customers and suppliers at a time when regular communication was critical.

Businesses who had already implemented internet-based systems found themselves a step ahead. If you haven’t yet made the move to an internet-based phone system or need a new one, there are many reasons Microsoft Teams calling just might be the solution for you.

Your technology should be an investment

A common band aid solution when it comes to remote working is the old “forward the desk phone to mobile” approach, but this has its own set of problems. From varying mobile reception to staff using personal devices with different levels of functionality and security, this can quickly become a minefield.

In a recent survey, 51% of Australian employees said they were using personal apps, like WhatsApp, to communicate with their colleagues remotely. Alongside the obvious security risks of sharing business information on these platforms, there’s also the productivity cost and confusion of multiple communication channels. Who needs it?

Many businesses looked to set up all staff with company mobiles at short notice to address these challenges, but I would argue this isn’t the best investment of time, money or resources. It might have seemed like a good short-term option, but the best technology investments are typically those that increase output or productivity, improve the customer experience and make it easier for your people to do their jobs over the longer term.

And this is where Microsoft Teams calling really comes into its own.

No disruption, no downtime

If you were to replace your phones with another desk-based system, set up could take weeks – or even longer if you are in a state still under restrictions. An engineer may have to come to your office, possibly multiple times, install new cabling, a physical box on the wall, new phones that your staff will need to get familiar with – the list goes on.

With Microsoft Teams, you can be up and running in a tenth of the time, with no physical site visits and no disruption to your business-as-usual. It’s also more cost effective; no hardware, simple monthly plans that scale with your business – it just makes sense on so many levels.

Your solution should increase productivity

One of the real benefits of Microsoft Teams calling is that your team are likely already familiar with the interface and can use their existing Microsoft account. This might seem like a small benefit on the face of it, but essentially it means little to no time spent training, your staff are already comfortable with the existing features and that makes adding call functionality simple.

It also means no time wasted setting up new accounts and remembering new passwords, a surprisingly significant productivity drain, estimated to cost large companies around $USD 5.2 million annually.

And whether or not they are in the office, your team use the same application with the same features across desktop, mobile or tablet making it even easier. For me, I’m on the road a lot, and with Microsoft Teams it works brilliantly with my car Bluetooth.

Collaboration should be easy

In a digital world, communication and collaboration should be easy, but that isn’t always the case when working remotely. For me, the answer lies in getting the right tools to your team members.

Something I personally really like about Teams calling, when it comes to collaboration, is that I can see when other people are around or when they are in meetings. It means I don’t waste time trying to track down someone who isn’t available anyway.

Another thing I love is that when I am on a call, I can see when another call comes in. So, if I am talking to a colleague and a client calls, I can quickly end or park the internal call and speak to the client when they need me.

Security is key

We all remember the debacle earlier this year, when the security of online teleconferencing platforms was called into question. Some companies decided not to use them altogether – and if your clients were among those to put a ban on the service you were using – this was a whole new headache.

You, your suppliers and your customers should have the peace of mind that your conversation is private and secure, and Microsoft Teams really brings it in this department. With advanced security capability, you can have secure conversations wherever you are – in your hotel room, on the road, or even at Friday drinks. The team really can stay connected securely anytime, anywhere.

The benefits of a global leader with local support

When you work with the right partner, like Cloud Earth, you get all the benefits of a global leader (Microsoft), with a local support team (Cloud Earth). We own and run our infrastructure, so we can identify and manage any emerging issues before they become a problem for you. And if you do have a query, you won’t spend a lifetime on hold. You’ll get to a local expert who understands the product and the Australian business landscape.

It’s something we really pride ourselves on at Cloud Earth. Our team has so much expertise, having worked in the industry and with the product for such a long time, it means you really have the support you need to focus on what’s most important – your business.

If you are looking for a phone solution that will move with you, and you’re interested in seeing what Microsoft Teams can do for you – get in touch. I’d love to show you first-hand the difference it can make to your business, your team and your customer experience.