Hosted PBX as a foundation for enterprise mobility

Unified communications is one of those enterprise services that is hard to define. This is mainly due to the variety of features that encompass these solutions. UC aspects such as video conferencing and visual voicemail are well accepted in the workplace, but these technologies also enable employees to work from wherever they please. Enterprise mobility is praised by organizations that adopt such strategies, and it has truly changed UC, making businesses more agile and enabling high productivity gains.

Mobility is a key component to hosted PBX solutions. Regardless of where staff members are working, they will have the ability to forward calls to their mobile devices, giving clients and consumers the illusion of a professional presence. This ensures that employees are always working, despite being miles away from their desks while traveling or simply relaxing on the couch.

The increase in connectivity to the workplace has lasting effects on an organization. An Evolve IP report found that 60 percent of employees feel as though their mobile devices enable them to access business information at all time, and 95 percent  believe they are now the most productive that they have been in the past five years because of enterprise mobility. Additionally, with call forwarding to mobile devices and other UC features, 67 percent of staff members stated they work while commuting, adding almost 30 extra minutes to their workdays, which means they are contributing an extra two and half hours of their time to their organization.

Working while in transit seems like it will not do much. However, everyone from clients to coworkers will discover that workdays have expanded past the average nine to five schedule, meaning that transit workers become more important to businesses.

Work from home
As employees start to realize that they can complete critical business tasks from the road, soon they will discover that with UC tools, they can work from home on a consistent basis. That means they spend less time traveling and more time doing their job. Hosted PBX will allow these staff members to answer calls, send emails and instant message coworkers from their personal desktop PC, laptop or mobile device.

With hosted PBX and UC solutions, employees will become more productive and the organizations can reduce spending. A recent study published by Stanford based on results from a survey conducted at a Chinese call center stated that when compared to staff members that commute to an office, those who work from home have a "highly significant" 13 percent increase in performance. Home-working employees also saw a 9 percent reduction in the time spent completing business-related tasks. Furthermore, home workers reported that they were more satisfied with their jobs and they scored higher on psychological attitude tests. These improvements would not be possible without Cloud PBX solutions that essentially bridge the gap between the home and workplace.

Geographical diversity
Organizations that embrace enterprise mobility also expand their reach across the country, allowing human resources and hiring managers to look for talent anywhere. Hosted PBX and UC tools will enable HR departments to communicate with future employees and eventually enable businesses to find staff members with the necessary skills regardless of location. In a Cisco report, researchers stated that 58 percent of HR professionals would hire a worthy candidate after only interviewing them through a video teleconference.

Hosted PBX solutions empower enterprises with the ability to find the best employees for the job, while improving the productivity of existing staff members by granting them access to business tools when they are out of the office. These solutions serve as foundations for a wide range of UC features, all of which increase metrics essential to creating the optimal company.

Sheldon Smith is a Senior Product Manager at XO Communications, a telecommunication services provider that specializes in nationwide unified communications and cloud services.  Sheldon has an extensive background in UC and his position involves overall product ownership of Hosted PBX, SIP, VoIP and Conferencing.

Hosted PBX as a foundation for enterprise mobility