Posted on December 5, 2016
Paul Burn, Head of Category Sales at Nimans assess the impact of the mobile office.
What do you lose by having a mobile office?
I think one of the biggest factors you lose with a mobile office is detail. For example if I’m replying to an email on my mobile it often tends to be a much shorter and concise message because it’s not as easy to do away from my desk. On the other hand you gain speed and fluidity and can react quicker. There’s also team spirit and interaction with colleagues that can suffer by working independently.
What do you gain?
A mobile office can boost business productivity and efficiency because you can do more with less people. You don’t need the same level of people in the office. They can multi-task and be dispersed elsewhere. But it’s horses for courses depending on the type of customer a reseller has. People have been working from home for years but today’s technology enables them to do much more and truly have their office away from their traditional desk. I think one of the biggest changes has been the ability to set up your office almost anywhere. That could be a coffee shop with a laptop and wifi. It’s much than working from home, it’s working from anywhere. Collaboration continues to grow.
Should resellers sell it as a concept?
The mobile office is more than just a concept; it’s a way of working. You are selling the concept of flexibility. The key question for a reseller is to have the confidence to ask how their customers want to work and then attach a solution to the answer. The starting point is identifying what your customer is trying to achieve. Then a reseller can enhance that and mobility is one of the ways of doing so, where appropriate.
I think from a business point of view there’s still some lack of trust with home and mobile workers. In an ideal world bosses would like to know where all their staff are and be able to see them. Trust is a very personal thing. Some people are more trusting than others but trust can be given more these days because there are more ways of tracking people’s activities and overall productivity. I don’t think people are trusted more it’s just that they can be monitored more.
Where do you see the market heading?
Mobility in the hosted market is an interesting dynamic. Fixed Mobile Convergence is being built in more now, as providers are recognising that people who want hosted also want mobility and how you link those is an interesting development. In general the market will continue to evolve as the gap between the office and working elsewhere gets less noticeable.
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