February 15, 2019
By Oliver Bodden and Gary Moeller, Product Managers, Panasonic
As technology advances, more and more of our lives are mobile, at home and in the office. But before businesses deploy new mobile technology solutions, they must ask an important question: how does mobility advance their business objectives?
Whether working from the office, home or on the road, the need to stay connected is always there. The challenge is that this looks different for each company, and it’s hard to choose which solutions will be best for businesses both today and down the road. For partners, it’s important to work with the customer to ensure that they’re equipped with the appropriate mobility solution to meet needs now and in the future.
We recommend considering these five scenarios when having a conversation with customers about selecting a new mobile solution.
1. Establish boundaries for connectivity. Connectivity can present itself in a few different ways, whether in the office, a home office or using a mobile device on the go. As a partner, it’s your responsibility to ask the customer where, how and when they’ll need to stay connected to others to ensure that they’re able to find an appropriate solution. For example, if a customer is looking to use a solution in a hospital setting, devices with quieter and less obstructive feedback modes are ideal so patients aren’t disturbed. Understanding these types of scenarios helps you better serve your customers.
Additionally, when thinking about connectivity, it’s important that users have a superior experience when using the solutions. Today, end users want the same experience on a mobile phone that they have on a desk phone, and the manufacturer you choose must be able to accommodate these needs. Plan ahead for mobile solutions to ensure that the connectivity provided will meet specific needs.
2. Leverage existing communications. Meeting new mobility goals doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch. When selecting new devices, partners should always look to lighten the load for the customer’s IT department. To start, it’s important to understand the existing communication solutions in place so you can ensure that the new solutions and platforms selected will integrate with older systems, guaranteeing a smooth migration to mobile solutions. For example, the accessories for newer or different devices might not be backward compatible with existing hardware, requiring additional purchases and a loss of equity in prior investments. By asking the right questions prior to deployment, you can avoid these types of challenges.
3. Focus on deployment. How complicated is it to deploy a mobile solution? Different levels of functionality require different deployment processes, and it can quickly grow more complicated when additional features are added on. As a partner, it’s important to educate customers on the time and resources that are necessary for deployment so you can set expectations accordingly. A successful deployment is what will ultimately make for a happy and satisfied customer, ensuring that the user actually adopts the new technology. If it is too complicated, adoption doesn’t happen.
There are two ways to make sure this doesn’t become a problem for …
Training counts. One challenge that’s typical following a new deployment is that the customer doesn’t ensure that employees are properly trained on the new systems before they’re deployed. Partners can work with customers to help them educate their employees on how to use the new solutions to ensure that they adopt and are satisfied with their selection.
Make sure you understand customer bandwidth needs. Bandwidth requirements can vary from deployment to deployment, so it’s important that customers adequately communicate needs prior to selecting a solution. Most notably, bandwidth impacts costs directly, so moving forward without the correct requirements in place could prove costly. To ensure proper bandwidth, there are mechanisms that can be inserted into unified communications solutions to mitigate drastic increases in network consumption. That said, there can be an overall increase in real-time network traffic, which will burden other network systems if it’s not taken into account. Talk to the customer about specific requirements they’ll need before moving forward.
4. Prepare for OS changes. Sometimes there’s an expectation that a new mobile solution works on all mobile operating systems, but different carriers present a range of different features on their operating systems. In some instances, if a device operates on an OS that no longer releases security patches or offers security support, it becomes exposed to unforeseen security threats, which can be risky for information on the device. For mobile devices, there’s always the possibility that a new feature will come out, so it’s important to be aware of the operating systems that support the solutions you’re offering to prolong the life cycle of the device.
5. Increase security. Security is one of the biggest concerns for businesses when they consider deploying a new mobile solution. This is because it’s easy to lose sight of who is connected to a network and what applications can be utilized. For this reason, potential security breaches stemming from a mobility deployment need to be factored in as well. Partners should work with customers to consider separating networks and edge devices that can manage VoIP traffic. All of these considerations have a direct impact on deployment time and costs, which will impact their business long-term.
Investing in mobile technology for the workforce isn’t enough to guarantee improved productivity and efficiency for customers. Customers and partners need to work together to find the appropriate mobile technology solutions that will give them control over how the devices are used and ensure they work for their specific needs.
Oliver Bodden, senior product manager, and Gary Moeller, product manager, work in the unified communications division of Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America. Follow Bodden on LinkedIn, Moeller on LinkedIn and their company @PanasonicUSA on Twitter.
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