The COVID 19 pandemic continues to rattle the world as we know it: people’s lives, businesses, the entire world’s economy, and everything in between. Terms that didn’t exist more than ten years ago like social distancing and working remote are household terms these days, and a handshake is suddenly the least desirable way to conduct business. But now, more than ever, the channel has a huge opportunity to help us all stay linked together and moving forward. By providing services that allow businesses to continue collaborating, serving customers, and communicating and operating effectively while remote, this industry is in a prime position to actively help fill in the gaps that the COVID-19 virus continues to create.
Many of the Intelisys and ScanSource Partners I’ve been talking to are being asked for a multitude of remote solutions from their customers. However, the majority of their customers aren’t entirely sure what they need; all they know is that they need it now. Many people are actively transitioning to working remotely, with little to no knowledge of what they need to be successful in doing it. While every end-customer is different, I’m seeing a general need for three specific technologies that are vital for remote work success: Unified Communications, Web Conferencing & Collaboration, and Virtual Desktops and Workspaces.
Basic voice communication is still the number one way many businesses reach out to their customers today. A full UCaaS solution will enable customers to hold voice calls as they telework, hit the road, or wherever they might be. Customers can use softphones on desktops, laptops, tablets, or even cellphones utilizing their corporate telephone number. Or of course, they can also use a traditional headset or handset. Many of these platforms also include many built-in collaborative tools, such as web conferencing, whiteboarding, instant messaging, knowledge-based systems, presence, and a whole lot more to allow them to interact with their fellow employees or collaborate with external customers.
2. Web Conferencing & Collaboration
When your customers want to see their teammates and communicate with them face-to-face, but in a safe way during the coronavirus, web conferencing is the perfect solution. This can be a quick add on for most customers, whether they are using an on-prem voice system or a full UCaaS solution. But, adding video capabilities can bring a great personal touch to remote meetings. Many also have built-in whiteboarding capabilities, webinar functions, the ability to share files, etc. Moreover, with collaboration, services such as Microsoft O365 and Teams can take an organization to the next level. Teams can help pull people together, not only within your organization, but also across the globe, giving them the ability to collaborate on documents, share files, plan projects, and more. Web conferencing allows many people to get together in an instant, and do more together, even when thousands of miles apart. Most UCaaS providers also tightly integrate with Teams. Plus, O365 and Teams run on almost any device: Windows, Mac, tablets, cell phones, etc.
3. Virtual Desktops and Workspaces
Customers need desktops while working remotely. Many of our suppliers allow their customers to have an entire virtual desktop or workspace running remotely in the cloud, giving them access to their full corporate desktop experience anytime, anywhere. Remote desktops and workspaces can typically run on almost any device—Windows, Mac, iPads, Android devices, etc. This allows users that are teleworking to utilize equipment they may already have at their home office. Also, many software packages today run across the web making teleworking much easier in the event you may not have a full virtual desktop provisioned. But integration with your voice and collaboration systems for many of these packages, such as Salesforce, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, and more allow a much richer experience for that remote worker. Especially advance-knowledge workers who interact with customers day in and day out. And if you need an extra branch of support when talking with your customers on virtual workspaces, ScanSource and Intelisys engineers would be glad to discuss how all of these systems can interact and integrate together for a seamless experience.
You are uniquely positioned to be the key resource of connecting your customers together during this time. And if you need any extra support in helping your customers find the solutions they need quickly and deploy them efficiently, the Intelisys Solutions Engineering and ScanSource technical teams have the expertise to help you work with your customers as they look at moving towards remote worker solutions, especially during COVID-19. You also have a world class set of Suppliers that can be used to build out a fully remote business operation through Intelisys and ScanSource. Many Suppliers in our portfolio are offering complimentary services and special pricing as relief for COVID-19, too, which you can help your customers take advantage of. To check out a full list of free or discounted services, special offers, and more from leading Suppliers in the ScanSource and Intelisys portfolios, visit our Intelisys Go Remote and ScanSource Go Remote landing pages.
More helpful information is coming your way, so stay tuned!