Productivity During ‘Work from Wherever’: Choosing the Right Back-Office Tools for a Distributed WorkforceProductivity During ‘Work from Wherever’: Choosing the Right Back-Office Tools for a Distributed Workforce
In the same way cloud-based solutions exist for CRM and support, back-office functions can move to the cloud.
February 24, 2021
By Patrick Elliott
Regional communications services providers – like most businesses – have adapted to operating with a distributed workforce during the pandemic. Driven by necessity, many of these providers have leveraged cloud-based tools to sustain their operations. And while the uptake was rapid, it appears to have worked. Companies of all kinds have been able to operate and actually grow during this unprecedented period, and a consensus has now formed across the advanced communications space: Distributed workforces are here to stay.
While a great deal of attention for the adaptation of cloud-based tools was placed on customer service and sales, the back-office functions have required adaption as well. But for some telecom providers still relying on manual processes to manage client accounts and get bills out, the distributed workforce model has been difficult to implement and oversee.
In the same way cloud-based solutions exist (and are preferred) for CRM and support functions, back-office functions can now be moved to the cloud. What tools and applications can these businesses adopt to optimize this new workforce arrangement, automate manual processes, and embrace the promising future of cloud-based software? Let’s explore.
A Windfall for Companies
Employing a distributed workforce can be a boon to companies. One of the biggest reasons is the expanded access to talent. Advanced communications are complex and central to business operations. Providers require staff with expertise to understand the needs of customers, and the adaptability to correlate those needs to the providers’ solutions.
A distributed model expands the talent pool from just candidates within commuting distance of HQ or field offices to candidates nationwide. Companies that offer remote work options are better positioned to attract top talent with experience in the industry. This is especially important for regional providers.
Regional players usually can’t afford legions of specialists that each focus on one small aspect of accounts setup or customer service. Unlike massive national communications companies, regional providers require staff who understand the broader scope of their business. The systems required to empower this staff need to be more comprehensive, automated and inclusive of as many business processes as possible.
Adding Value, Not Headcount
A significant benefit of software of any kind is reduced manual processes; more work can be done by fewer hands. The right back-office software allows companies to focus on the quality of their personnel – as discussed above – instead of the quantity. These efficiencies translate directly into profitability.
By eliminating manual processes, there is also less room for error. Eliminating mistakes that cost money to fix and erode customer loyalty adds even more value to the equation. But there is an even greater value to be gained.
When software is configured for a company, the operations are literally coded into a durable asset. In the case of cloud-based software to empower a distributed workforce, these processes are preserved in a way that doesn’t require users to share an office. This makes the company’s processes more accessible and, therefore, more valuable.
Adopting a cloud-based account management and billing platform doesn’t need to affect the bottom line. Moving from manual processes and on-premises software to a cloud-based platform can be done in parallel with current operations. A proven software solution can be implemented with minimal disruption for a seamless migration experience.
The Silver Linings
Despite all the challenges the pandemic has presented – or, perhaps, because of them – advanced communications services have held their own during this period. While growth forecasts are down somewhat from previous years, growth is still predicted, and smart communications providers will be ready to capitalize.
Even before the last year, cloud-based software was recognized as the future. The sooner a company adapts, the sooner they’ll increase their capacity to grow.
When companies can go back into their offices, those using cloud-based platforms will not have to change procedures yet again. And, if they have adapted a distributed workforce, they can be more strategic in their use of physical office space.
In short, the right back-office tools for a distributed workforce enable consistent processes across all personnel, regardless of their location. And those essential tools can be found in the cloud.
Patrick Elliott is the VP of marketing at Rev.io. He leads the team responsible for content creation, creative design, in-market execution, advertising, media strategy, and demand creation for Rev.io’s billing and back-office software platform. Patrick has nearly 15 years of experience in B2B marketing, product and brand management, and business development in a variety of technically sophisticated industries, including enterprise technology.
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