Can you support the needs of remote workers with efficient call handling and FMC solutions?
Remote working is the new normal – and it’s likely to stay. Can you deliver the services your business customers need in the new environment? FMC, remote terminal management and more are all essential. Help your remote business customers with Gintel.
How can MNOs and operators help business customers?
The explosion of remote working brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the eagerness with which business customers – across all segments – have embraced technologies to support their activities. Applications such as Zoom or MS Teams have suddenly become household names. What most of these have in common is that they are delivered from cloud providers, not by MNOs and traditional operators. Users simply access them using the connectivity they have available.
MNOs and operators have a crucial role in supporting access to such services. At the same time, they also want to deliver more for business users. What can they do? A recent article by consulting firm, Analysys Mason, provides some clues. We’ve selected a couple of simple options that can make a difference – and enable greater flexibility for business customers in the future.
No single answer – but there are fundamental steps to take
It’s important to note, however, that there isn’t a single answer or easy template to adopt. As the authors note, “different approaches will appeal to different types of operator, and exploring new approaches carries risk.” That’s sensible, but in our opinion, there are a couple of essential steps that MNOs and operators need to take, which are particularly relevant to the current situation.
First, let’s consider a key need that’s relevant to the current – and likely future situation. Most business users may have connectivity to an office UC system, but this is probably not fully integrated with their mobile devices. Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) is not just about using a single number to reach different devices, in which the mobile is just another diversion number. It’s really about true integration with awareness of the status of the device in question. Routing a call to a mobile at the same time as routing a call to a fixed terminal may well work, mostly – but when the mobile is busy, then the call will simply be terminated by voicemail.
FMC can be realised in a number of ways – make it effective
True FMC can get round this by ensuring that the status of all devices is collected and managed. So, MNOs and operators can deploy call mediation handling platforms to enable a full range of FMC offers – from complete integration with a UC platform all the way to custom routing algorithms, all of which can be supported by real-time status information to ensure the right decision can be taken, at the right time. Of course, we can help with this, because Gintel’s solutions ensure that real-time device status is known, across all available networks. With remote working, that must include 2G and 3G coverage options.
Integrate with Teams and more
Another useful thing that operators can do is to extend collaboration platforms, such as Teams, with integration to mobile and external end points, so that closed-user platforms can also include devices attached to public networks. This integration is a simple add-on to the Gintel solution, but it delivers significant benefits, enabling mobile devices to terminate and originate Teams calls, for example.
Optimise performance – business users are adapting, so help them
Analysys Mason makes another interesting point regarding service performance. Business users may be sourcing applications from a diverse ecosystem of providers, but they are also dependent on the connectivity MNOs and operators provide. They must be able to optimise QoS performance so that business users obtain the connectivity they need.
Anecdotally, we know that many are tailoring their connectivity options. For example, while fibre has grown, it’s very far from being ubiquitous. As a result, many home-workers are dependent on household ADSL for broadband, this may not be up to the job, particularly when in demand from co-resident consumers (with school out for many, there’s plenty of demand for bandwidth!).
So, one increasingly common response is to switch the mobile to LTE / 3G and to use this for voice / lightweight data applications, while leaving the laptop to serve more intensive services. Ensuring mobile voice connectivity really matters – and managing working numbers through mobile devices is more important than ever – if not FMC, then mobile PBX capabilities are essential for remote workers and teams.
Gintel can support your efforts
At Gintel, we can deliver solutions that augment existing service offers, provide innovative new solutions, and which help businesses adapt to the new reality – which is likely to continue. If you need help in supporting remote workers, we can help. Get in touch to find out how.