Author - Reelika Tammeoru

5 Ways Software Assurance Helps Your Business Succeed

Just like your business, communications technologies are evolving all the time to enable even more value and integrate more tightly with business tools your employees utilize every day. Therefore, keeping your Mitel solutions current with Software Assurance (SWA) is vital to your organization.

Mitel Software Assurance provides access to upgrades, incremental enhancements, fixes, security patches, expert technical support and much more, helping to ensure that your communications investment delivers value from day one and for years to come.

This Guide was first published by Mitel.

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MiVoice Business Software Upgrade Matrix

Collaboration technologies and omni-channel communications will be intrinsic to more and more business processes. After all, successful businesses rely on the seamless sharing of diverse thinking and experience, even if teams are separated by geographical distance. Sales teams, customer service agents and other departments, require integrated systems that not only keep them in contact with their teams, but improve the customer experience at a time in which communication is more important than ever.

Every year, updated software for your system is released offering access to new capabilities and protection from security risks. To help you understand how much you’re missing out on, your system’s manufacturer, Mitel, has provided this Migration Matrix to demonstrate exactly which capabilities you could have access to immediately after a simple software update. Download the guide, choose your current version of MiVoice Business Software and we’ll show you what you’re missing out on.

This Migration Matrix was first published by Mitel.

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Do This to Build Better Connections While Remote

Staying connected with colleagues and team members is harder in a remote working scenario. While you might be able to have casual chats, arrange informal social events and organize meetings on the fly when sharing the same office space, there are more obstacles to navigate when everyone is holed up at home, huddled over their laptops.

With all that in mind, it makes sense to be proactive about building connections with your employees and coworkers, to strengthen existing relationships and establish new ones effectively. To help you achieve this, here are a few ideas that should overhaul your approach to working and interacting remotely.

Embrace Virtual Team Building With Accessible Activities

You are probably already spending much of your working day taking advantage of conferencing and collaboration tools to steward ongoing projects and touch base with employees, but it is also important to harness these solutions specifically for the purpose of team building.

The challenge in this context is to pick team building activities which are suited to be conducted while participants are in different geographic locations. Obviously, you cannot do trust falls and outdoor excursions at the moment, so you need to encourage team bonding in an accessible way.

Whether you go about this by playing scavenger hunt with your employees, hosting quizzes that are tailored to the interests of attendees or even get involved with a virtual escape room event, there are lots of tailor-made team-building experiences that will keep colleagues closer during this difficult time.

Have One-On-One Catch-Ups

Hosting virtual get-togethers with employees as a large group is definitely sensible, but there are pressures and expectations that come with this that can leave some people feeling more isolated. Videoconferencing allows those with the biggest personalities to dominate proceedings, and because only one participant can realistically contribute at a given moment, it is necessary for managers and business owners to set aside time for one-on-one catch-ups on a regular basis.

Such meetings will let you get to grips with the progress that individual employees are making, as well as giving you an understanding of the challenges they are facing and any feedback or concerns they want to raise.

It is important to be open to hearing what others have to say about the state of play, and smaller-scale meetings can be the best way to do this while continuing to build on your relationships in a way that will boost morale as opposed to allowing it to stagnate or shrink.

Delegate Responsibilities To Keep Things Fresh

You might feel that it is your duty to be the one who bears the lion’s share of the burden for keeping geographically dispersed teams connected while working remotely. However, this can be problematic for two reasons; first, because it will be another stress for you to cope with, and second because others may feel left out from having their say on how virtual events and activities are organized and executed.

This is where delegating can be a useful approach to adopt, as offloading the process of picking what paths you take and who is involved in what aspects of setting up online events will allow employees to feel involved and invested.

Opening this up even further and allowing all participants to vote on what you do as a group in the future can bring a level of democracy to proceedings which everyone will appreciate. So resist the temptation to micromanage and you should allow entire teams to remain connected and engaged.

Be Flexible

Finally, it is worth remembering that different personality types will respond in their own unique ways to the challenges of remote working, so while some employees will crave a more intense and involved approach to communication and virtual socializing, others will bristle at the thought of having to hang out with their colleagues for online events outside of office hours week on, a week off.

It is all about being flexible and striking a balance that encompasses as many viewpoints as possible, rather than taking a more draconian angle. And most of all, if your strategies are clearly not working, then switching them up is better than staying the course.

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Barometer of Cloud Telephony Adoption in Europe

An economy based on distancing has emerged following the COVID-19 crisis that has affected European companies. Mitel’s 2020 Cloud Survey shows that European companies were already moving towards cloud technology well before the pandemic crisis, and that it will not affect the trend towards new technological models for corporate telephony.

As we analyse key figures in this survey, we realise that European companies have advanced through several stages and become more agile, even as they continue to insist on high-quality infrastructure. Even in terms of use, the decision criteria expressed by respondents show a degree of technological and marketing maturity regarding solutions for migration to cloud-based telephone systems.

 

The COVID-19 crisis, and the subsequent need for ways to organise distance working in the environments of customers and business partners, have undoubtedly pushed suppliers
to be more innovative and raised technical standards. This situation also calls for a new dialogue with customers.

European businesses continue to move to cloud telephony, and 44% of them are ready to make the shift. Are you?

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This article was first published by Mitel.

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What Role does the Office Play in the Future of Work

Do businesses still need expansive campuses in a post-pandemic world? Google has opted to extend remote work, until at least the summer of 2021. Other companies have shifted to a permanently remote office policy, completely shuttering their corporate offices. With approved vaccines now being administered globally, now is the time to start evaluating what work will look like in a post-pandemic world. Will your business be fully remote, return to a 100% office environment, or will you choose a hybrid of the two?

Let’s take an in-depth look at these questions and how to begin answering them.

1. For What Purposes Is It Important For Employees To Be In The Office?

The trend of remote work had been on the rise for years, but the pandemic accelerated it dramatically across all sectors. Virtual classrooms popped up in every grade level, the finance industry left Wall Street to work from their home offices, and telehealth boomed as surely as remote work in tech.

Global social distancing quickly gave rise to the popularity of videoconferencing and remote team collaborations. But now, that trend may reverse course (at least somewhat). Will some offices return to a more traditional office environment? Or will they continue to experiment?

The answer may lie in the industry your business is in, the culture of the company itself, or how well the staff has fared these last several months.

As McCabe explains, “Things will continue to be unsettled… The pandemic sparked an en masse shift to work from home. As time has gone on, and policies and regulations have changed, companies are testing different wants to reconfigure the workplace for a combination that could comprise fully remote workers, fully in-office workers, and workers that alternate between working remotely and in the office in a fairly ad hoc way.”

As you look ahead into 2021, evaluate which roles truly need to be fully in-office, which can be fully remote, and which can be a hybrid. In remote roles, consider which can be worked from different states or even spread across the world. Should any (or all) employees work in the same time zone, no matter where they live? For instance, if your headquarters is in New York should you expect a San Francisco hire to maintain Eastern Standard Time with the rest of their colleagues? Remember that even your pre-Covid staff may have moved during this turbulent time. You’ll want to maintain the same guidelines for them that you do for any new recruits.

It’s a good idea to avoid recreating what you were doing before the onset of the pandemic. This is an opportunity to see what might work best for your employees and your business going forward.

2. How Can Office Space Be Designed To Accommodate A Hybrid Workforce?

Like all interiors, office design should support the intended activity. Of course, the set-up of any office must be conducive to productivity—but this idea takes on an entirely different shape when accommodating a hybrid workforce.

McCabe advises business leaders to consider which tools will help you “collaborate in a more integrated, less cumbersome way. Examine how you need to digitize your business processes so that employees can do their job anytime, anywhere.”

Laptops are a must if you want to give your staff the flexibility to work at home as well as the office, of course. The ability to answer work phones securely from personal devices is another essential component of a hybrid workforce.

For the office itself, consider flexible workstations to accommodate hybrid workers when they need to be on the premises.

3. What Do Employees And Managers Need To Work Collaboratively And Productively?

Investing in collaborative tech is the key for a remote or hybrid workforce. It helps to keep employees connected to each other and to customers. To maintain this level of engagement, access to certain tools is crucial:

Videoconferencing

Face-to-face time is always vital, whether it is achieved in person or remotely via video.

Chat

Not all communications have to be in person or synchronous. Text-based chat can help your employees avoid videoconferencing fatigue while still staying connected.

Collaboration Solutions

Mitel offers a suite of collaboration software to help enable the sharing of info via voice, video, and instant messaging. Choose from a variety of options including MiTeam Meetings, MiCollab, and more.

VPN

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is an encrypted connection to the Internet that keeps data secure and uncompromised. A VPN allows a remote workforce to send and receive data as securely as if they were on site.

4. How Can We Secure Employee Well-Being And Engagement?

Ensuring employee welfare goes beyond just offering the right technology, of course—and it’s important to acknowledge not every employee feels the same about remote work. “Early on, WFH worked very well—a lot of people were ready for a break from the office. But the novelty is wearing off for many,” says McCabe. “Companies will need to get creative and try to find out how they can take out some of the stress.”

Flexibility is the key for making sure employees’ needs are being met. Instead of forcing everyone into a single way of working, many businesses are looking at ways to promote a hybrid workforce, with workers able to choose the work environment that suits them best. This type of flexibility will be crucial for businesses to attract and retain top talent in the future.

As you equip your offices and your workforce with the technology to communicate and collaborate, make sure your choices are moving toward a more flexible workforce, rather than enforcing a one-size-fits-all approach.

Begin Preparing Now For Life Post-Pandemic

Just like we weren’t quite sure what life in a pandemic would look like, we can’t be entirely certain of how the world will look on the other side. But we can evaluate what has worked so far and what we’ve learned over the past year, and use that information to guide the next phase.

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Why Happy Agents Make Happier Customers

Customer experience is a key metric for every business and the way agents interact with customers plays a critical role when it comes to providing a good one. Yet contact center agents today are experiencing more stress than ever before.

The pandemic has put added pressure, making agents the first port of call for many customers, especially if businesses have moved online. Add to that rising call volumes and supporting anxious customers with heightened concerns along with the new challenges of working from home.

The best way businesses can help agents is to provide them with the right tools so they can communicate effortlessly, using whatever channel suits the customer. Here are some of our best tips on providing a great agent experience:

Providing The Right Tools And Technology

A common cause of agent frustration is the tools they use. Investments in contact center technology will allow agents to access all the information to address customer needs and to do their job to the best of their ability, ensuring seamless multichannel communication.

Good agents know that customer interactions are more seamless when they are able to efficiently solve the problem. Companies can empower agents to work better by unifying conversations across multiple channels and enabling collaboration. Having a user-friendly desktop for agents so that they can efficiently have everything they need in one place will enhance their productivity, and ultimately better assist customers. They will feel empowered so the customer experience will improve and the agent frustration will be reduced.

Continuous Training And Support

Companies that implement agent workflows across multiple channels need to be dedicated to managing, training and coaching agents in the omnichannel environment. The better trained an agent is, the more successful they will be and the better chance of them staying in the business. Staff attrition rates are a real issue in the contact center industry; recruiting and training staff is a costly exercise.

By establishing a continuous training schedule, agents will receive the appropriate training at the right time, such as new customer service skills or best practice procedures.

In addition, it’s important to establish a feedback process for agents. By consistently implementing agent ideas, you will not only increase their efficiency, but also help to boost motivation and morale.

Mitel CX Report

Mitel commissioned a market research study conducted by Sapio Research in July 2020 using online surveys from more than 4,000 global consumers. It draws on findings from a market study about the customer experience during pandemic times and validates the need for contact center decision-makers to take a closer look at how digital technologies are driving CX.

CX has improved during the pandemic, according to 60% of consumers. Among the top drivers equated with good CX were the following: friendly, helpful, knowledgeable customer representatives (55%); responsiveness and fast service (45%); and communication that informs every step of the way (35%). Bad CX, on the other hand, is being transferred multiple times and repeating oneself (48%); being placed on hold (46%); and having too many steps to navigate (35%).

Reporting Tools Provide Valuable Insights

Reporting tools can capture agent and customer communications and analyze them to make sure protocols are being followed, to ensure the customer is receiving the best service possible. Analytics allow for constant improvement so that agents can be better-equipped for future calls.

Advanced reporting tools enable the contact center supervisors to see the true journey of the customer. Have they been transferred to the right department? Did the agent have the necessary skills to help the customer? What can be done differently next time to improve? When managers can track agent performance, it improves overall effectiveness, which in turn drives better customer service and that all-important “first call resolution”.

Happy And Fulfilled Agents Enhance CX

Reporting tools and technology can identify peak times within the contact center, even when agents are working from home, enabling managers to have the right number of staff on at the right times. This will ensure workloads are balanced, no sales are missed and agents do not burn out. Flexible start times and fixed shift lengths for agents can also reduce the pressure, leading to greater productivity.

Human capital is the most expensive resource in a contact center. Businesses want to provide great customer service but don’t want to overstaff for budgetary reasons. Yet, enhanced agent satisfaction translates to lower absenteeism, improved retention and more skilled agents.

Despite the advent of so much self-serve technology, the human element is still important to many. Technology certainly plays a key role, but ultimately the connection between agents and customers will drive the customer experience. The agent experience really does matter.

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A Bird in the Hand: Upgrade vs. Cloud Considerations

Strategic business thinking is all about leverage. To gain a competitive advantage in the market, successful businesses make strategic decisions about how best to capitalize on their strengths. Market success is contingent on the ability to leverage resources, assets and a workforce to create value for customers. Leveraged properly, these elements deliver a big return on investment.

The same strategic approach can be applied to communications systems. There is an almost infinite number of technology options available on the road to a fully optimized platform that can be leveraged effectively. With so many choices, it’s easy to get dragged into a continuous replacement cycle, especially if the shiny new option is the cloud. Although it may be tempting to toss out an old system for a new cloud-based solution from another vendor, you may get a bigger return for your investment dollar by continuing to leverage your existing system until a move to the cloud makes sense for you.

THINK ABOUT LEVERAGE

The maxim “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” is appropriate when thinking about communications systems. The asset you already have may provide more benefits to your business than you even realize.

For that reason, upgrades and updates should be your first consideration when you are thinking about how to leverage your premises-based communications system for a competitive edge. After all, one thing you can be sure of is that communications technology continuously evolves. The technological foundation of the system you installed a few years ago has probably already gone through a few changes, so if you haven’t kept up, it’s unlikely that you’re leveraging the full potential of one of your most critical competitive assets.

Optimizing your communications system means staying current – much like you would do with your mobile phone, laptop or tablet – by installing the latest software releases and activating features and functions that are table stakes for newer communications systems like video, collaboration and mobility. It also means thinking strategically with your technology partner about how emerging technologies and creative uses of integrations can revolutionize the workflows in your organization to improve efficiency and increase productivity. A fully optimized system should provide the communication and collaboration features and functions that will enable your employees to maintain that vital connection with each other, suppliers, partners and customers at any time, from anywhere, on a variety of devices and with any application they choose.

CALCULATE THE TCO

Obviously, when weighing the pros and cons of an upgrade compared to a new system, maximizing value is a prime consideration. After all, you’ve made a significant investment in your current infrastructure, so before you rip it out and go through the trouble and expense of replacing it with a separate cloud option, you should know what you are getting into.

With most new cloud systems there will be the initial hard costs associated with replacing your existing phones and accessories which can’t be avoided. In addition to these obvious expenses, you’ll want to calculate the hidden costs that will be caused by the disruption of daily work processes while the new system is being integrated. You’ll also want to calculate the impact on efficiency and productivity that your business will experience while employees learn the new system and integrate it into their own workflows.

Looking beyond the initial bottom-line impact of a new cloud platform, you may also want to compare the total cost of ownership (TCO) for both options over an extended period. Since you’ll be working with your new system for a few years, you should know what it will cost to operate it over the long term.

For example, if you’re a Mitel MiVoice Business customer with a system configured for 100 employees, you can easily calculate what it would cost to upgrade and operate your system compared to replacing it with a cloud solution from a different vendor (see table below*).

Since you have already paid for your system, there is no additional cost for the hardware and software that runs it. You own it. However, by simply adding Mitel MiCollab to facilitate chat and collaboration or a cloud-based application like MiTeam Meetings to enable video conferencing, you can provide employees with the same features and functions you would get from switching to a new cloud vendor. Most importantly, the updates and upgrades needed to keep your system operating at peak efficiency at all times are covered by the Mitel Software Assurance plan. So, over a one-year period, the

TCO for your on-premises system would be $37,000 and over three years the TCO would be $81,000.

Applying the same model when switching to a different vendor’s cloud solution, we can see that while there may be cost advantages in some areas, they are outweighed by charges in others. And although the TCO costs over one year are comparable, over three years they are 34% higher. That’s a significant difference.

GET STRATEGIC

Now, that’s not to say that a move to the cloud should be pushed from your mind. Eventually, all businesses will end up with some form of a cloud-based solution. However, your communications system requirements should be dictated by how the system is expected to contribute to your daily business operation and your communications strategy should evolve with your business needs

If you can address all your requirements by leveraging your existing on-premises equipment, then that’s probably what you should be thinking about before you consider cloud migration. But chances are, there are incremental updates and upgrades you should be making today that will keep your system as flexible as possible, ready to capture opportunities when they arise and enable you to better support the needs of today’s workforce.

LEVERAGE MITEL

Mitel makes it easy for Mitel MiVoice Business customers to think strategically about how best to leverage their current communications system.

The Mitel Software Assurance program is structured to keep your system current and relevant. Through the program’s ongoing tune-up process, you have access to the technology updates that allow your system to deliver the advanced communication and collaboration tools your employees need to compete today and tomorrow.

Then when a move to the cloud makes sense, you’ll already well-positioned for the migration. In most cases, the transition will be virtually seamless, since you will be able to keep your existing Mitel hardware. And the disruption to your business will be minimal because the application interfaces between MiVoice Business and a Mitel cloud solution like MiCloud Flex are the same, so your employees don’t have to learn new systems.

All of which brings us back to leverage. While a rip and replace approach to cloud migration might look like a great idea at first glance, it may not be the best way to leverage your communications system for a competitive advantage. Take a deeper dive into all your options. You may be surprised to discover that the communications system you already have can provide all the strategic leverage and ROI you really need to achieve your short- and long-term business objectives.

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8 Tips for Making it Over the Holiday Hump

The second wave of COVID-19 has taken hold. In the U.S., the number of daily cases is ticking up, while England and Western Europe reimpose stricter lockdown measures in response. Americans are also recovering from an emotionally draining election, the aftermath of which is still causing stress and contention. It’s no wonder that many workers feel there’s no end in sight to these tough times.

Most of us have adapted to working from home and accept that we’ll continue to do so for the foreseeable future. But, especially after 10 months, that doesn’t keep remote work from feeling long in the tooth. Given the current state of affairs, reports of rising employee distress are no surprise.

Usually, the holidays are a time of increased social activity with friends and family. This year, we’re faced with restrictions and guidelines that are tempering our joy. Given the rampant sense of disappointment that’s growing deeper by the day, we decided we could use a little workplace motivation to get us over the holiday hump.

So take a five-minute break from your to-do list, grab a cup of coffee and discover eight ways to reign victorious during these extended periods of isolation, during the holiday season and beyond. We even have some tips from former astronauts—true experts when it comes to being alone.

8 Tips For WFH Isolation During The Holidays

1. Take Advantage Of Employer Resources

Many employers are doing their part to provide to help employees deal with WFH burnout and social isolation. Our suggestion: use them. Counseling services can help you learn how to cope with feelings of depression or anxiety that may feel seeping in.

2. Schedule A Self-Care Day

While you may not want to take a staycation, using some personal time off gives you the opportunity to spend time on personal interests and hobbies, or to schedule quality time with family members in your household. A self-care day every once in a while can recharge your batteries and even make you more productive once you return to work. Some companies have gifted employees extra personal days to help them strike a better balance between work and personal life—a big help since working from home has blurred the line for many of us.

3. Stay Connected With Video

Former NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly relied heavily on videoconferencing to stay connected with friends and family on Earth. The rest of us can do the same, even if our feet haven’t left the ground. Videoconferencing may not be as good as a physical hug, but the ability to see our loved ones’ faces and have a real conversation can provide a genuine mental and emotional boost. Be sure to schedule regular video calls to keep the emotional connection strong.

4. Vent With Co-Workers

While we don’t often encourage complaining about your job, sometimes it’s therapeutic to commiserate about the struggles of long-term remote work. Managers can create an environment where employees openly discuss WFH challenges and how they’re tackling them. A regular videoconference discussion dedicated to the topic can provide employees with a place to vent and exchange ideas on how to stay motivated. A shared workspace where employees can post motivational pictures, mantras and tips is another great way to let employees help each other and feel less alone.

5. Make A Detailed (And We Mean Detailed) Schedule

Former Astronaut Kjell Lindgren spent 141 days in space, so he knows a thing or two about working in a remote environment with little social contact. On the International Space Station, the daily schedule was broken down into five-minute increments. While this may seem like overkill, it kept the astronauts busy and made time go by quickly. At-home employees may not need a schedule that covers every minute of the day, but a detailed breakdown of meaningful activities, both work and personal, can help them stay focused and balanced. Example items to include are daily meetings, routine tasks or maintenance, working out, breaks for meals and quality time with family.

6. Debrief

If a weekly debrief worked for the astronauts, it can certainly work for us. Reflecting on the week can be especially helpful for people working from home, along with their spouse and children attending virtual school. Tensions can run high when everyone’s in tight quarters, sharing bandwidth and trying to churn out quality work. An open forum where household members can discuss what’s working (and what’s not) provides a place for brainstorming better ways to co-exist peacefully and productively. Jocelyn Dunn, who spent eight months living inside a dome habitat with five other volunteers, said her crew used such weekly sessions as a safe place to raise frustrations. Also, these sessions become more important as employees begin entering what researchers call the “third-quarter phenomenon” in which people involved in a challenging mission begin to lose morale. COVID-19’s second wave and impending socially distanced holidays are certainly creating a drop in motivation and hope among the workforce.

7. Make Time For Frivolous Fun

As important as work is, “play” time is just as important. Working from home makes it harder to turn off the job, so we find ourselves working longer hours. The astronauts can teach us a thing or two about carving out time for fun. Faced with immense pressures and stress, they found time to binge watch their favorite TV shows—twice. Activities done for pure enjoyment and relaxation are crucial to staying positive and avoiding burnout.

8. Look For A “Higher Purpose”

Let’s face it: it’s pretty simple for astronauts to focus on a higher purpose when they’re feeling lonely or frustrated. However, we all have an important role to play. As NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson so eloquently said, “COVID-19 gives us a higher purpose much like being in space does because we are saving lives by quarantining. It is important to understand that bigger purpose and to embrace that purpose to give you reason and rationale for continuing to put up with the situation.”

Times may seem desperate, and you may feel as though you’re destined to work in isolation forever. But this will pass. The team at Mitel is proud to provide communications technology that can help employees strike the right balance between work and personal life and keep communication open before, during and after the workday. We encourage everyone to use the resources they have available to stay motivated, and to reach out for support. Together, we’ll get over this holiday hump!

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Seize the Day: How to Lead Through Great Change

We’re living in tumultuous times. Every day, numbers bombard us—about the pandemic, the economy, politics. On both an individual and organizational level, we’re forced to continually respond and adapt to major changes that impact every aspect of our lives.

But remember: this is isn’t the first time we’ve lived with uncertainty. And throughout the years, leaders from Winston Churchill to Warren Buffett have managed to chart a course through rough waters. Like them, today’s leaders must motivate and inspire their people through challenging times.

Living With VUCA

During the 1980s, the collapse of the Soviet Union created a period of great uncertainty and ambiguity. The Cold War was over. But what would follow? In 1987, the U.S. Army War College coined the acronym VUCA, standing for “Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.” VUCA both described the geopolitical climate and provided a framework for managing the new environment.

The pandemic has all the elements of VUCA. For instance, there’s a volatile economic environment impacted by rising COVID-19 cases. Uncertainty about when a vaccine will be widely distributed. A complex interplay of public health, economic and political issues. And, a lot of ambiguity because we have no clear, tried and true path to follow.

Leading During VUCA Times

While there may not be a textbook solution to leading during such times, years of research and experience point to the key behaviors of successful leaders. With those in mind, here’s a new interpretation of VUCA, one that can help leaders succeed in this uncertain world.

Vision

When things ahead are steeped in uncertainty, people need clarity and guidance. Great leaders of the past have developed strong followings because they were able to communicate a vision for a future that no one had demonstrated before. American scholar and pioneer of leadership studies Warren G. Bennis said, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Good leaders shine a spotlight on opportunity, possibility and a better future. It’s that vision, that new articulation of core purpose, which gives people something to strive towards.

Understanding

Uncertainty presents the opportunity to step back and gain greater understanding. U.S. President John F. Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Good leaders ask a lot of questions. What does the new landscape look like? How has the market changed? When faced with risk, it’s time to reexamine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. What do stakeholders want from the organization, be they customers, investors, employees, business partners or the community at large?

Asking these questions will help you meet everyone’s needs as well as inform your short-term and long-term decisions. For example, people working from home need robust communications tools to connect to customers, colleagues and business partners. When the pandemic began, perhaps your organization jumped on upgrading its systems (short-term decision). But are those solutions strong enough to meet your needs going forward (long-term decision)? Understanding what your stakeholders want in the new environment is the beginning of meeting their long-term needs.

Connection

Communication becomes critical during times of upheaval. Because conditions change so quickly, leaders must pass on information as soon as they can. While this may sometimes feel like overcommunication, it’s important to strike the right balance for your organization and your stakeholders. As former UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, “The difference between mere management and leadership is communication.”

Communicate your vision and core values. Show empathy for others. Be visible and available. Use telecommunications tools to hold town hall meetings or daily check-ins with staff. Bring vendors and business partners into the loop, explaining how new strategies will impact them and getting their buy-in. Be proactive. Reach out to stakeholders before they come to you. It inspires confidence and assures them you have their concerns in mind.

Adaptability

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt knew a thing or two about acting in a VUCA world, having led during the Great Depression and World War II. “Take a method and try it,” he said. “If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But, by all means, try something.” At the core of FDR’s thinking was the need to adapt and act. It’s about being resilient, or able to respond thoughtfully to change.

However, adaptability is needed throughout the organization, not just in decisions made at the top. Not only do teams need to be nimble, they need a clear mandate, driven by the organization’s vision and core purpose.

A good example of adaptability and effective communications is occurring in hospitals all over the world today. Administrators, doctors, nurses and other stakeholders meet daily, sometimes several times, to triage. Who needs more PPEs? What patients must be moved? What equipment is needed and where?

A reliable and flexible communications system enables them to share files easily, use visuals in their discussions and make decisions in real time. Presence technology allows people to easily locate colleagues, whether they’re on-site or on-call. With web-based communications, staff can connect on any device – phone, laptop, tablet – from any location. All they need is an Internet connection.

To make good decisions quickly in times of rapid change, leaders also need to work closely with external stakeholders like vendors, suppliers and community leaders. For example, a business may decide to shift part of its supply chain to using local suppliers, which results in faster deliveries to customers while simultaneously supporting local employment.

We’ve Been Here Before

“You know, people talk about this being an uncertain time,” said Warren Buffett. “[But] all time is uncertain. I mean, it was uncertain back in 2007, we just didn’t know it was uncertain. It was uncertain on September 10th, 2001. It was uncertain on October 18th, 1987, you just didn’t know it. We always live in an uncertain world.

This isn’t the first time our world has been rocked by crisis. It may feel different because it’s our present, not someone else’s past. But today we have the communications tools to manage volatility more effectively. Imagine what working from home would look like without web-based communications.

As the “new normal” changes almost every day, leaders can rely on the basics: a strong, clear vision; understanding changes in the market and with your stakeholders; connecting and communicating quickly and with purpose; and adapting and acting.

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Webinar | Connect the Best of Both Worlds

Panelists: Robert Fitter, UK Enterprise Senior Sales Engineer, Andrew Wlodek, UK&I Country Partner Manager at Ribbon and Paul Arigho-Crockett, Enterprise Solutions, 4Sight Communications

Save the date and join Paul Arigho-Crockett, Head of Enterprise Sales at 4Sight Communications, Robert Fitter, UK Enterprise Senior Sales Engineer and Andrew Wlodek, UK&I Country Partner Manager at Ribbon on the 21st of January 2021 at 10.30am for an informative overview of the technology and know-how to voice-enable MS Teams and connect your core Mitel functionality.

Who are Ribbon?

With more than a thousand customers around the globe, full accreditations to integrate with both Microsoft and Mitel, and 20
years of experience transforming and securing networks, Ribbon enables enterprises to transform their communications networks.

Who should attend?

• If you want to PSTN voice-enable your MS Teams users
• If you want to connect your MS Teams users to your Mitel platform and provide PSTN access
• If your organisation uses Mitel and/or Microsoft Teams and are looking to connect them

Why should I attend?

• This webinar is designed to give you a brief but informative overview of the options you have to merge these critical business applications.
• We want to provoke your feedback and engage in your plans to help ensure you are well informed and supported with the best methods and pricing to achieve your objectives

Why 4Sight and Ribbon?

• We have a proven track record working with Ribbon to deliver these solutions and have already deployed thousands of seats across large, multi-site public and private sector clients.
• We are already a trusted supplier with all the right knowledge of your voice requirements.
• Exceptional service record delivering support to your organisation already.
• FOC consultations and solution trials to de-risk your journey and decisions

Key Topics for Discussion:

• Microsoft Teams and Mitel: How will Ribbon integrate these two worlds together?
• What’s required in the cloud and at the enterprise edge to securely connect Microsoft Teams to Mitel?
• Answers to audience questions during live Q&A

Join 4Sight Communications and Ribbon on 21st of January 2021 at 10.30am to see how you can connect the best of both worlds and discuss opportunities to take advantage of connecting Microsoft Teams with your current Mitel investment through Ribbon.

If you are interested in the subject but are unable attend the webinar, email us at marketing@4sightcomms.com or simply register, to make sure you will receive a link to the replay of the webinar after the event to watch it at your own preferred time.

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