From my personal experience I can say that my home working routine is a country mile away from what it was 2 weeks ago. I now find myself sat across the table from my wife whilst my 2 boys (11 and 14) charge round the house winding each other up instead of diligently home schooling. Oh, and add in a rather energetic dog that needs a lot of exercise. This last week I have found it relatively difficult to get into the zone and maintain the usual levels of productivity. Speaking to people it appears I am not alone with many others facing similar challenges. Cabin fever is a real danger for us all in the coming weeks 😊
That aside and moving on to the topic in hand, having the tools in place to work from home is, dare I say it, relatively easy if the technology infrastructure is in place to support it. Unified Communication platforms can be rapidly deployed (If not already in place) to enable a remote workforce.
It certainly appears that Teams and Skype for Business are the collaboration platforms of choice for many organisations, with Microsoft announcing on March 18th the number of Daily Active Users (DAU) being 44 million – an increase of 12 million in just over a week.
Once Teams or Skype for Business is in place, further challenges are presented around how to maintain a level of business continuity. It is essential that organisations have visibility of the connected workforce and that’s where monitoring and reporting really comes into its own. Largely it comes down to common sense……… for those who know me watch out, this is where I drop in sayings such as ‘You can’t manage what you can’t measure’ and questions like ‘Would you drive a car without a dashboard?’ 😉
Part of the issue with working from home is that it doesn’t fundamentally change human psychology. If you are an unproductive person in the office, then it’s unlikely you will change when you work from home. If anything this can get worse with plenty of other distractions, whether it’s the TV, household chores or the half-eaten cheesecake in the fridge.
Some of the key questions an organisation needs to consider:
What exactly does your organisation need visibility of?
- Productivity levels
- Are Voice, Video, IM and Conference volumes at an acceptable level?
- Call handling – is this at an acceptable level? Are customers being serviced within SLA timeframes?
- Call routing – are inbound calls being distributed correctly?
- Is the technology being used to replace traditional ways of working such as video conferencing replacing face-to-face meetings?
- Call Quality
- Is the home wi-fi causing call degradation?
- Are employees using the approved headsets they were given or borrowing the gaming headsets from their children?
- Is the technology infrastructure coping with the increased volumes of use of the UC platform.
Who needs access to this information?
It is no longer just the responsibility of the IT admins to monitor and report on Teams or Skype for Business usage. Yes, they do need visibility to call quality and related areas, but it is very much a requirement for the heads of business to be able to view their staff’s productivity levels. Whichever reporting solution is used, it is essential that quick and easy access to relevant information is made available.
What are some other considerations?
- Quick and easy installation – time is not really something anyone has at the moment so an installation taking hours is preferable to one taking days or even weeks.
- Restricted access to data – as a reporting tool is required across an entire organisation, restrictions need to be applied ensuring users only have access to relevant data and user details.
- Access to multiple data sources – in many cases organisations may use multiple UC platforms so visibility across multiple platforms from a single reporting tool can be very insightful.
And finally, on to Clobba the reporting and analytic solution from Code for Teams, Skype for Business and other UC Platforms. Here’s a few of the key features:
- Installed in hours, delivered either from our cloud, in customer cloud or on-prem
- Simple to use search-based reporting
- User definable automated reports and dashboards
- Security policies restricting access according to a user’s profile with support for Microsoft Single Sign On
- Visibility of employee productivity, call quality (dependent on UC platform), device usage (headsets), user adoption, call costs and SIP trunk capacity.
- Voice recording available for Teams and Skype for Business on-prem.
- DID range management module to view and manage multiple DID ranges
- Teams module which looks at the collaboration and general usage of Teams
- Support for multiple platforms including Teams, Skype for Business, Cisco ACUM, Avaya, Ribbon (SBC’s), Audiocodes (SBC’s) and IPC and Speakerbus dealerboards.
We can get a 30 day PoC up and running very quickly so if you or your customers need some help with a remote workforce let us know and we will be pleased to help.