In the last several years, the way people work has undergone the most significant shift we’ve seen in decades – maybe since the industrial revolution. And with any change comes pain points. Unfortunately, many of those pain points result from the friction of the tools we used to do things the old way, getting shoehorned into the new methods. So how do you adapt your IT support for a distributed workforce?
At RCI, we help our Roanoke and NRV clients adapt to the new world of working from home, zoom calls, and working from anywhere with the technological tools of our trade.
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Business telephone systems have been a part of business for as long as anyone working can remember. And while they were always adding new features, in many ways, the technology it was built on didn’t majorly for several decades. But that all changed with VOIP.
If you’re a regular reader of the RCI blog or someone with a little idea of business tech in general, you already know what VOIP is. We have several blogs on it but for now, suffice it to say VOIP is the use of the internet to make telephone calls.
For many years, all calls traveled over phone lines. The introduction of VOIP revolutionized the business technology industry and significantly lowered the cost of making calls.
With VOIP working from all over the place is easier than ever because phones at any location can connect back to the system at the main office. We’re lucky VOIP got here before we needed IT support for a distributed workforce.
The next iteration of VOIP was the cloud which is basically a VOIP system without the system. Instead, businesses get telephone hardware, and the “system” is housed remotely. Your phones connect to it over the internet.
For end users working from home, there’s no difference between a cloud and a VOIP system. However, for businesses, cloud systems change the billing model to monthly instead of upfront.
Contrary to what some companies will tell you, one is not better than the other. It’s a matter of what works for your business and budget.
Cell Phone Integration
These days, we all carry a computer in our pocket, and many of us don’t want to put it down for a desk model. Using cell phones as business phones have had an uptick in recent years.
People have been saying business phones were on the way out for the last two decades. That hasn’t come to pass because of the limitations of cell phones with transferring, shared voicemail, and other business features.
But now, cell phones can easily be used as an extension to a business telephone system without losing the features that make a business telephone system superior for business.
Of course, if phones are computers, why can’t computers be phones? Many people are using their laptops and desktops as an extension too. The systems we sell allow us to set your computer up as an extension; all you or your business need to do is get a headset.
This has been particularly useful in the post-outbreak era.
There are dozens of solutions for dispersed document sharing ranging from free to very expensive and efficient to cumbersome. What works for you will depend on your company’s needs.
RCI does not sell document-sharing software, except what’s built into our telephone systems, but we are available to consult with our clients on what will work best for them and troubleshoot any issue that arises.
Problems with IT Support for a Distributed Workforce
Now naturally, telephone systems are just one part of running IT support for a distributed workforce. With a distributed workforce, your office’s resources are no longer under one roof. That can lead to problems you’re not used to, especially if your IT department is “the young guy who knows about computers.”
Security is one issue. For your average mom-and-pop business, file encryption is probably not top of mind, though we’re not saying it shouldn’t be. RCI is available to advise you on your cyber security issues. It’s always better to air on the side of caution.
Similarly, when people use their personal devices, they may not have the correct configuration, RAM or ROM needed to run your office’s programs. They also might not even know how to know if they have them!
If you need a company to coordinate all those decisions, upgrades, and troubleshooting, outsourcing your IT to a company like RCI can help.
Having an IT company to help with IT support for a distributed workforce, and answer your questions can do a lot to help you in situations where employees are confused or when it’s time to make a change.
Ch Ch Changes
Our most recent change after Covid scattered many companies’ employees to their respective homes is just the latest and most dramatic in our constant march forward. Of course, sometimes our tech marches a little faster, but RCI is here to help you catch up!