There is no single approach to Fixed Mobile Convergence - what's right for your business?
Fixed mobile convergence is a key tool for distributed organisations but there have long been different approaches. It’s really about identities, devices and the connection in the last mile. Are you delivering true unity for your customers?
What is Fixed Mobile Convergence, or FMC?
Fixed Mobile Convergence is one of those terms that has been around for long enough that it seems to have multiple meanings. The fact that it continues to excite the industry is proof that the problem has never really been solved – and one reason for this could be that it means different things to different people. We’ve written about this before, but recent events have shown that the question remains open.
That’s because business continues in a state of flux, as organisation seek to embrace more flexible work models to support distributed working during the pandemic. And, if the reports are to be believed, very few people think that we will return to the previous model any time soon.
As such fixed mobile convergence has become an essential consideration. Distributed workers need to be able to manage and coordinate their fixed and mobile communications in the most seamless and efficient way possible. Operators must enable them to achieve this.
So, it’s worth noting that there isn’t a universal approach to this. That is, fixed mobile convergence that works for one operator as a solution, may be different from the approach taken by another. Both are valid. What really matters is the way in which different devices (and their identifiers – fixed or mobile phone numbers) are managed, so that the desired end result is achieved.
What do you need to consider to deliver fixed mobile convergence?
Several factors need to be considered in any FMC solution. First, the primary means of communication that is used by an organisation. If fixed numbers dominate, then fixed mobile convergence depends on ensuring appropriate inclusion of mobile devices. Second, the communication path available. When people occupy centralised office spaces, this is likely to be a premium business trunking solution, but when they are dispersed, it could be a simple DSL path.
This matter, because the same QoS may not be available in each case, so the convergence solution must take this into consideration. It cannot simply depend on an OTT app that may not function correctly in a contended domain.
Third, it should also factor in other channels that are used by the organisation, both for internal and external communications. This means that, for example, if Teams is being used, then Teams clients and applications should also be included.
Unity is all that matters
All we really want to achieve is a unity between these points, given the worst possible connectivity (we can’t default to the best – we must cater for the worst case – because with a distributed workforce, we have less control over the local environment).
So, any useful FMC solution should enable an organisation to enable its team to be reached seamlessly, given the identity adopted (fixed, mobile numbers, Teams, for example), across any of the available devices. And, crucially, the individual should be able to control this, so they can set the preferred devices from those at their disposal.
Fixed mobile convergence is now more important than ever before
Operators need to take action so that they can deliver fixed mobile convergence that’s tuned to the needs of newly distributed organisations. They need to do so now, so that their customers can make the most of the situation and ensure there is no loss of efficiency.
We’ve implemented multiple FMC solutions over the years, some of which are standalone while others are integrated with existing communications platforms, adding new functionality through a non-disruptive evolutionary approach. So, if you are thinking about how you can deliver natively integrated fixed mobile convergence solutions, why not tell us your current architecture and we’ll show you how it can be enhanced to deliver new levels of efficiency and reachability for your customers?