Well, what a couple of weeks it has been. Companies have been forced to embrace remote working. Here at Unified World Communications, our technical team has assisted our customers to continue operating in these difficult times through remote working.

The sudden increase in working from home has presented customers with problems, as well as opportunities. Company networks are not set up to have so many remotely connecting in over VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), while home internet usage is taking the strain for data connectivity at times they are not expecting.

But how have Unified World helped its customers?

“Just a quick thank you for your assistance this week in what must have a hectic time.”

Andrew Ponsonby, Director at GFW

Telephone Systems

The use of hosted telephone systems, such as Talk.Express, has shown their worth.

COVID-19 has already infected more than 1 million people globally, with the number still rising each day. It has forced school closures, event cancellations, and a “social distancing” mandates from governments – and even more strict quarantine measures in many countries.

It’s also created an immediate demand for teleworking capabilities, as businesses and governments that are able to, have told employees to work from home if possible.

Dependent on which phone system, calls can be re-routed if needed. This can either be by utilising mobile phones, computer and mobile-based phone clients (Soft-Clients) or relocating physical desk phones to use at home offices.

We are also able to put Auto-Attendant and other enhanced call routing solutions to make it as simple as possible for customers to get through to the right person as fast as possible.

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TalkExpress UC Client Dialpad
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Mobile Phones

The mobile phone is making a massive contribution to the remote-working operation. They are enabling staff to stay connected and receive those important calls needed to keep the business as operational as possible.

While many staff have personal phones, there are the ones that don’t have access to mobiles phones. Alternatively, some staff prefer to keep the private mobiles separate. Over that last few weeks, we have provided a large number of mobile sim cards, on short term rentals, to enable these staff to be a valuable part of the business in these difficult times.

Mobile Broadband

While the broadband network is getting better in the UK, if someone does not have internet access it is proving difficult to provide new fixed-line services. This is because Openreach engineers can no longer enter premises to the final box on the wall.

Also, with the whole family being at home, many of the children are requiring the home-broadband connection to continue their home studies. They are also enjoying many of the streaming entertainment such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney+. This means that broadband capacities, at home, are being utilised to the max.

Our team supplied mobile Broadband solutions, either using USB dongles or 4g/5g-connected routers.

We have recently helped a local college by providing 4G dongles with unlimited data sims to help provide internet to students who don’t have access to it at home. We were able to source and supply these within a very short time scale at the request of the customer.

Vodafone Gigacuke (Huawei N528)

This simple solution will bring around some normality for the students to carry on with their normal daily tasks and homework…(Not sure the students will appreciate this as much).

Microsoft Teams

In the absence of a physical meeting room, bringing everyone together can feel like the biggest remote-work challenge of all. Moving meeting to Microsoft Teams helps keep the business inclusive and, with video. Visual cues and expressions through video is a key part of face-to-face interaction. This goes a long way to help everyone feel connected.

The loss of the corridor meeting is also a major disrupter. Chats while making the coffee or having a quick snack not only keep us connected, they often surface important information or insights we wouldn’t have guessed. Utilising Instant Messenger maintains that much-maligned form of communications.

What about those not remote working?

Protection of key-workers at this time is important. Education and care homes are utilising our EntrySign solution, the operation to have an accurate representation of who is on-site at all times throughout the day and also accurate for roll call evacuation.

On entry to the facility, custom questions can be asked on sign-in. Staff, students and visitors can be asked if they are experiencing any symptoms. Dependent on the results, access will be denied and a member of the team is alerted immediately.

In Summary

Still, technology can only go so far, and working from home is not for everyone.

While this could be a turning point for remote and flexible working, a thorough analysis of the business in normal operating times should be completed to assess the benefits and the challenges. We would be glad to help if this is something you wish to progress further

Finally, we would like to thank ALL our staff across the business. Everyone here has been very busy, and we will continue supporting our customers in these difficult times.

I would like to thank all the staff at Unified World for providing us with the tools to work from home it has helped us immensely at this unprecedented time. When you originally sold me the telephone system saying you can plug and play at home I must admit I was sceptical but how true it is, the phone system, mobile help and computer system you have helped us with are gratefully appreciated and I recommend Unified World whenever I’m asked by my customers.

Thank you again it’s a great service you offer and the backup is very professional

Nick Whittaker, NW Recruitment