East Coast Storm Highlights Need for UCC in Every Company

Jan 22, 2016

The storm bearing down on the Eastern United States has once again reminded us that companies should have plans and technology in place to maintain operations even in the event of severe weather or other natural and man-made disruptions. Unified communications and collaboration (UCC) tool s and hosted software and services of all types can make it seamless for companies and their employees to keep business as usual when they can’t get to the office or call center. Here are some tips to make sure you’re prepared—if not now, next time:

Invest in a complete suite of UCC applications—and make sure all employees who might need them have access anytime, anywhere. This should include conferencing (audio, video, web), collaboration (team spaces), mobile email, presence and chat. Allow employees to access these tools from their business laptops, as well as their personal smart phones and tablets (or PCs), in case they get caught off site without their company-issued devices. That way, they can stay connected to the business, customers, and each other from anywhere.

Extend mobile clients of all critical business tools to the right people ahead of time. Contact center agents should be able to log into their apps from home; sales people should be able to access salesforce.com or any other CRM tool from anywhere; and so on. If you want your company to run as usual, you must ensure employees can access the applications and information they need to do their jobs.

Consider hosted and/or managed services. Service providers have multiple redundancies built into their business model, so even if a storm hits one of their data centers, your apps, services, and data will be protected—and ready for use.

Make working from home (or, really, anywhere) part of the company’s DNA. If managers and employees are already used to having colleagues working from non-traditional locations, they won’t balk at having them do so in times of emergency. Employees affected by the event will not need time to ramp up on the new clients, or deal with other technical questions. Managers will feel comfortable knowing they can trust their reports to work even on a snow day. And customers will be none the wiser, since on any given day their interactions may be with employees who are not based at a corporate location, without any decline in service.


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Melanie Turek

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