Cloud communications at the heart of remote work

With the state of work being where it is in 2022, are we facing a future where remote work is a mainstay in how modern industries conduct business?

IVR solutions and the prevalence of cloud-based omnichannel solutions continue to grow and expand. With it is an expectation that more industries will adopt said solutions as an answer to the questions raised by the pandemic. But is it here to stay?

Where remote work is now

There’s been an expected rise in remote work obviously due to the pandemic. Despite it being already on the rise since 2020, the sudden nature of the Covid 19 Pandemic has only sped up the transition. According to this research by the NCCI:

“Before the pandemic, three-quarters of working Americans did not work remotely at all, and only 6% primarily did remote work. In 2020, COVID-19 forced almost over one-third of all workers to shift to work at home when they would not have done so otherwise.”

As it stands, about 16% of companies have resorted to a full work-from-home model after during the pandemic. That’s a staggering increase and an incremental improvement to the adoption of remote work.

Another report from Mckinsey found that about 29% of work in America “could be done remotely with no productivity loss, and an additional 10% could be done remotely if needed.”

It seems that in response to the Covid 19 pandemic, companies had to resort to remote work and found positive results. The fear of decreased productivity proved baseless. But how did this happen?

Cloud Computing History

Remote work wouldn’t have been possible without the right tools. Top of that list of tools would be the cloud, which refers to a series of servers that allow people to access databases and networks from anywhere as long as they are connected to the internet. Cloud computing has taken strides since its conception in the mid-1990s, but only started being adopted by major industries in the decade that followed.

Companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon started investing heavily into their respective cloud infrastructures in the mid-2000s. This move of the so-called “Big 3″ would push cloud computing and resource sharing to the mainstream. In fact, these three companies continue to dominate the cloud industry with their services: Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services.

Modern Cloud Computing Services

In its modern iteration, cloud computing offers more than just remote access to databases, data storage, and networking. There are currently three main service models that are attributed to the cloud:

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
    This refers to virtual server access, operating systems, data storage, and networking. These are the traditional cloud computing capabilities.
  2. Platform as a Service (Paas)
    This is where software and web applications are built. PaaS allows for web developers to handle their business easily and quickly over the cloud.
  3. Software as a Service (Saas)
    A modern solution that allows for access to software over the internet. Popular examples would be sales and CRM platforms like Zendesk, Salesforce, and Nautilus.

Video Calling

One fundamental aspect about working in a team is collaboration, and with the pandemic and the social distancing mandates in place it was plain impossible to have in-person meetings. Video calling bridged that gap.

Since the onset of the pandemic, companies like Zoom, Apple, and even Facebook capitalized on the opportunities presented and came forth with their own version of video calling. These solutions were cheap, easy, and highly accessible. These factors made adoption quick and the possibility for long-term investment an inevitability.

From a commercial aspect, video calling allowed for companies to hold meetings online and for participants to join from the comforts of home. This solution offered a quick and painless means for people to connect, collaborate, and report — which are three essential components of working for a business.

Cloud Phone aka Business VOIP

An integral part of a business’ operation is the ability for their customer service team to connect and run their daily operations. A cloud-based contact center solution allows you to make and receive phone calls through an internet connection.

In a remote work context, this is integral. Running a contact center that is cloud-based lets businesses expand their reach and connectivity. It is also cheaper, as your customer service agents don’t need individual, physical PBX phone systems installed. They only need a computer and an internet connection to make and receive phone calls.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

In a nutshell, a CRM system is a tool that helps a business manage all their customer interactions effectively and easily. It is where a team can build and nurture customer relationships by getting to know their behaviors and tendencies. A proper CRM tool lets you engage a customer from the beginning of their customer journey to where it would be presently.

A popular example of a CRM tool would be Zendesk, which serves about 170,000 users worldwide. They offer an extensive ticketing system that lets your team easily provide customer support and order tracking .Their customer relationship solutions are known for being user-friendly, intuitive, and scalable.

Where we’re heading with cloud communications

According to this Forbes article, remote work looks like it is here to stay and even increase in 2023. Moreover, the article goes

“According to their projections, 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022, and remote opportunities will continue to increase through 2023.”

There are various implications here that are worth looking into: first, that if you are looking to take your operations to the cloud, you have all the tools that you need. Secondly, if you’re someone looking for a remote work employment, now is the perfect time to jump onboard. Lastly, various industries are set on taking advantage of the benefits of remote work. This could mean that a wider adoption of the remote workspace is already in place, and could mean tremendous benefits for you and your company too.

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