For many of us, the ‘new normal’ is no longer working in a traditional bricks and mortar office environment. And some 70% of the professional workforce are predicted to work remotely for part of the week by 2025.

The pandemic-induced explosion of remote working has seen technology escalate at the same rate. In a bid to keep up with remote working, communications technology in businesses have needed to up their game substantially. 

Clouds and umbrellas

Cloud communications are at the forefront of technology. Delivering business growth and endless functionality.

Many technologies exist under the umbrella of cloud communications. VoIP technology is just one of them, and seems as good a place as any to start. 

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It enables phone services to run on an internet connection, rather than a landline. 

Some current business VoIP trends include AI (Artificial Intelligence), 5G, and VoIP assistants. A good example of where AI shines is the customer service arena. Those adverts popping up on social media feeds are a result of AI technology. 

Video conferencing is a technology that has been wholeheartedly embraced during the pandemic. Face-to-face communications have taken efficiency to the next level. Whilst maintaining that all important human contact with fellow colleagues. 

Cloud communications enhance workflows, allowing remote employees to collaborate to their hearts’ content. Video conferencing, business SMS, team messaging, and file sharing is undertaken with ease. Whether that be between co-workers or customers. 

It is vital to stay in the loop of the latest tech trends to explore what cloud-based communications can offer your business. 

Is VoIP the way forward?

The power of VoIP is integral to voice communications working seamlessly, regardless of location. 

If your business is pondering the VoIP vs analog debate, consider the following:

  • Are your business operations increasingly mobile and remote? 
  • Have you seen an increase in employee productivity since working remotely? 
  • Would your business benefit from advanced calling features?

Analog telephone systems are fast becoming outdated. After all, when was the last time you called someone on their landline at home? 

If you decide to switch to a cloud-delivered unified communications option, you will be in good company. 67% of businesses envisage moving to cloud-based options in the near future. 

The clue to unified communications is in the name. Delivering a complete package of solutions – email, video conferencing, business SMS, data sharing, VoIP, and more. The all-inclusive nature of cloud-based unified communications offers flexibility and ultimate convenience. 

The cloud combination

Forward-thinking businesses are embracing AI and cloud technologies to improve operations and drive efficiency. It is not true that remote working hampers productivity; in fact it actually enhances it using the right tools. 

An example of cloud and AI working in harmony is the business phone – powered by AI. 

Technology advancements such as this empower your team to communicate from anywhere. Remote working at its finest. 

AI and IDP is another great collaboration. Could this be due to both featuring the word intelligent? Anyhow, IDP means Intelligent Document Processing. 

So what is intelligent document processing, exactly?

Glad you asked. Intelligent document processing refers to the process of extraction of data from an unstructured format (e.g. a PDF, email), into usable business data. 

AI technologies are put to work to capture, extract, and process this data. From there, the data is categorized, classified, and validated.

Complete collaboration

Collaboration is a key factor in driving productivity in the workforce. With cloud communications, location is not a limiting factor. Collaboration in real-time between remote employees is easy using cloud-based technology. Automatic updates come as standard, so every staff member is working on the latest version of a document. 

Cloud-based AI technologies further drive efficiencies using integration with existing business productivity apps. Simply combine call transcripts into a CRM system, keeping all important information in one place. Tasks can then be automated or actioned immediately, increasing efficiency. 

Another use for cloud-based technology in remote working situations are scheduling systems. Calendar sharing enhances productivity and encourages flexible working. Around half of employees surveyed reported increased happiness levels compared to pre-pandemic. Which is a direct result of working remotely, or working from home.  

The problem with 24/7

Cloud-based technology is making remote working easier than ever. And statistics show that 77% of remote employees were happier to work from home than the office, post COVID-19. 

The overall result of the success of remote working from both employers’ and employees’ points of view can be seen below.

One word of caution, however: Employees being contactable 24/7 can lead to burnout. This scenario should be avoided at all costs. 

Encourage employees to switch off (mentally and physically) at the end of the work day. This action will do wonders for the mental health of your team.

To automate, or not to automate?

Automation done right saves a business a shedload of time. And that is mainly thanks to the good old cloud again. Everyday business processes can benefit from smart automation. 

Just a few examples include:

  • Invoicing
  • Emailing
  • Processing payments
  • Setting reminders 
  • Data entry

Less manual work on these tasks allows more time for business ideas and development. Not to mention other tasks which require a much higher level of expertise, and to be carried out by actual people!

Cloud automation can also encompass more complex processes. Processes like configuring servers or networks. For example, a collection of virtual servers can be automated. This is achieved by creating just one template detailing specific configurations for the servers. 

Businesses which capitalize on cloud automation enjoy the benefits of immediate business advantages. Advantages like developing new products or services, and keeping their customers happy! 

The future is cloud

The future is also looking like remote working is part of the working landscape for the foreseeable. Investing in cloud communications technology makes everyone’s lives easier, and keeps productivity high. 

Technology is an ever-moving beast. To future-proof your business, act now. Make the switch to cloud-based communications before the change is forced upon you. 

Doing so will ensure your business takes a proactive stance.