Hybrid working: creating opportunities for the Channel

Mike van Bunnens, managing director at Comms365, explains why productive hybrid working requires the right connectivity setup.

The transition to flexible working has been a gradual process over the years, with some business leaders not fully convinced of the productivity and performance levels achievable by employees working from home. Yet, all that changed overnight as lockdown measures were enforced to safeguard the population against Covid-19. Businesses were left with two choices – cease operations or support employees to get up and running from home.

Since then, the working office environment has now transformed, with many embracing the hybrid working approach – combining remote and office-based working. But what do business leaders need to consider in order to get employees working to their full potential within flexible office setups? Connectivity and collaboration hold the key.

Unified communication and collaboration (UC&C) tools have become an essential asset for workers to maintain productivity during the crisis, and will continue to be an integral component of the new business environment. A shared digital collaborative space where users can assign tasks and provide updates is the catalyst for productivity.

The recent spike in remote collaboration technology usage by remote workers has proven to stress broadband networks and impact application performance. These networks at home and in branches will need to be strengthened by additional connectivity and resilience options to ensure optimised user experience and business continuity. From WiFi extenders to hardware and software able to prioritise important corporate network traffic, adjustments and upgrades may need to be implemented in order for businesses to maintain business as usual.

This is where 4G data services can add a reliable and cost-effective backup, alternative connectivity option, or even primary access where fixed line options aren’t available. With supplementary connectivity resources for resilience and network control through using business grade 4G incorporating quality of service (QoS) techniques, business traffic can be separated from consumer streams, giving it the priority that it requires. And as some start returning to company offices, 4G technology will continue to support businesses, enabling companies to scale and employ flexible workforces both nationally and internationally.

But where does the channel fit into all of this? Comms365 has the strength, knowledge and capability to provide a solution for any scenario through our portfolio of connectivity services. We have strived to offer the channel a robust and functionally rich set of wireless services, from 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G – and we have since created the first enterprise ready 5G service in the UK. Also, we are the first and only company in the UK to offer Fixed IP, Enterprise grade 5G Services to the channel across all four UK networks.

Although 5G isn’t as readily available as we would hope yet, 4G has come of age and our partners have access to a range of unsteered, multinetwork 4G SIMs that bring a unique set of capabilities, from remote network operator selection via our versatile portal, DDoS as standard, the lowest out of bundle data charges and a range of 4G and 5G routers – all verified to work seamlessly with our solutions.

Our network underpins our entire business, and we know how valuable it is to have network assets. Our ever-changing toolkit offers the channel a diverse range of services to enhance their go to market strategies and help set them apart from the competition. And since upgrading our core network, a direct benefit to partners will be efficiencies in service delivery, additional overlay services and a better cost base.

By having a proactive and flexible approach, we can support our channel partners in the relationships with their customers. Our support team provides all levels of help desk support, including speedy response times and next day break and fix services on behalf of partners, if required. Partners have secure access to CommsPortal to manage their data estate, including granular detail about individual connections, aggregated packages or connections in bonded units.  We continually invest in new technology and provide education and training to our partners to support their development. Utilising the collaboration of our knowledge of connectivity solutions with that of the partners, who are proficient in their own fields of expertise, creates a formidable force – greater than the individual parts.

The combination of remote and office-based working will become the way we work, but by working with the right partner who can provide the right connectivity setup and collaboration tools, the channel can maintain productivity and safeguard business operations for their customers in order to thrive.

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