Not too long ago, employees began to expand the definition of the workspace by taking their laptops home or working in the field with their cell phones at their hips. Then came 2020, and the business world was compelled to make the leap to dispersed, remote-office environments to keep staff safe, maintain operations, and still serve customers. The mobile environment was thrust upon us, ready or not, and channel partners need to embrace that mobile environment to keep their remote customers productive.
Welcome to the Mobile-First World
The truth is that a mobile transition was going to take place one way or another. The global mobile workforce was already predicted to increase to 1.88 billion by 2023 – accounting for 43.3% of the workforce. But the pandemic ushered digital transformation into high gear – creating a hybrid workplace dynamic.
As the marketplace edges toward recovery, it’s become commonplace to regularly shift between remote and on-premises locations. Companies are allowing many employees to continue working from home – at least on a part-time basis – which means a significant percentage of personnel will be rotating locations. This also means that mobile capabilities are no longer niceties; they are intrinsic requirements for maintaining an effective operation.
Mobility Stats from the Experts
Industry authorities have been documenting this trend which shows no sign of abating. Here’s what experts have been saying about how businesses are evolving to accommodate this increasingly mobile-centric world.
“Today, mobile-first digital communication platforms are becoming mainstream. Why? First, more than 80% of the world’s workforce is mobile, frontline workers whose jobs don’t require a desk, computer, or email. Second, the nature of desk-based jobs is changing at warp speed right now,” noted Andreas Slotosch, chief growth officer at software development firm Beekeeper. “As the world creeps towards a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have reassessed their people operations.” This market evolution was inevitable since, as Slotosch also notes, more than 81% of the U.S. population owns a cell phone.
“For many businesses, unified communications tools and platforms have been a lifeline through the coronavirus pandemic that they didn’t realize they had,” said MyTechDecisions’ Editor Zachary Comeau. “To have voice, chat, video, email, and a range of other communication tools and applications unified under one platform is helping many survive and adapt to changing work environments, increase productivity, reduce costs, and enhance the user experience.”
“Mobile has become the primary communication tool for many business professionals, including a majority of executives under age 40,” wrote authors and business communications experts Courtland Bovée and John Thill. “Email and web browsing rank first and second in terms of the most common non-voice uses of smartphones, and more email messages are now opened on mobile devices than on PCs… Many online activities that eventually migrate to a PC screen start out on a mobile screen.”
Partners Will Profit from Mobility
Partners in the channel who are looking for success selling unified communications technology need to rethink how they configure their customers’ networks. Integrated mobility tools and sophisticated, cloud-based, work-from-anywhere platforms must take precedence in order to accommodate the fluidity of the post-pandemic dynamic.
Technology providers who were “born in the cloud” have a competitive edge in these new hybrid and ever-fluid workplace structures. Managed services providers (MSPs) should prioritize working with service providers that can offer an advanced ecosystem of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and contact center as a service (CCaaS) solutions.
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