January is a month that is synonymous with resolutions, and an ideal time to revisit your IT solutions with a new frame of mind and a quality unified communications service. 2021 brought with it some downright scary cybersecurity statistics including:

  • Data breaches costing, on average, $3.86 million
  • Only 5% of organizations’ folders are properly protected.
  • The U.S. is home to the highest number of ransomware attacks in the world, being victim to over 18% of all global attacks.
  • Data breaches took an average of 280 days from identification to containment – representing a ton of productivity loss.

Especially when it comes to hybrid work environments, proper cybersecurity is paramount. And despite our slow societal return to normal, it is safe to say that the hybrid (or in some cases, fully remote) way of work is here to stay. As WebEx reports:

  • 57% of employees expect to be in the office 10 days or less each month going forward
  • 98% believe future meetings will include remote participants
  • 97% want changes to make the office safer implemented before they return

Make 2022 the year you and your organization bring your cybersecurity and productivity to the next level. Here are four ways to do so.

Focus on What Work is Done not Where it is Done

The days of in-house server hosting and inflexible working environments that are reliant on employees being on the physical work premises are behind us. Successful 21st Century organizations focus on the work itself, and streamlining and automating it as much as possible, as opposed to focusing on where the work is being carried out. And Microsoft Teams is one of the leading applications for just this. But Microsoft Teams integration into your organization’s existing infrastructure can be daunting.

“Teams is the de facto collaboration product,” Affiliated Communications Partner Jim Carter confirms. “The proper integration is so critical though, particularly with unified communications. Without it, your costs will continually skyrocket because of licensing and added functionality.”

Affiliated Communications specializes in customizing Teams to meet the specific and unique needs of their clients’ legacy systems, including Teams-compatible telephone hardware.

“2022 is going to see all of your organizational communication products coming together very easily,” Carter shares. “Meaning when an employee turns on their computer, it turns everything on, and they can hit the ground running. You just need internet access and a computer, and everything just meets on your desktop. It’s a beautiful thing, you don’t need servers, you don’t need hardware, you don’t need anything, you just need the services to bring this all these applications together via integration.”

Making remote work foolproof allows your organization to focus on what really matters, the what rather than the where and the work at hand.

Don’t Compromise When it Comes to Collaboration

Collaboration is critical when it comes to organizational success, especially in a hybrid environment. This, coupled with the expectations of a customer base that is accustomed to on-demand service, means that high-performing teams need their collaboration to be seamless.

Carter illustrates this by using Salesforce, one of the leading customer relationship management platforms, as an example.

“Consider a sales team that uses Salesforce. This sales team lives in Salesforce and spends so much of their working hours in this platform. Consider what seamless unified communications integration into Salesforce looks like. They can click the screen to make a call. When someone calls them, they can pop screens. They can do whatever outbound stuff they need to do, perhaps preview or progressive dialing. They can see the last purchase made and have this instant access to a wide range of data and information. All of this translates to a better experience for agents, for employees, and of course for customers on the inbound and outbound side.”

Move Your Phone System to the Cloud

A recent Affiliated Communications blog post, 3 Key Factors for Choosing Business Phone Systems in a Remote World, reviews three considerations to factor in when moving your phone system to the cloud:

  • Business phone systems provide essentials for remote work – collaboration tech is the next generation of communications.
  • Networking into your collaboration technology – features like chat, telephony voice and livestreaming are now considered standard in the workplace.
  • Choosing on-premises business phone systems with disaster recovery in mind – the needs for technological back-up plans extends to your telephony systems

A hybrid workforce needs the right business phone system in order to remain productive and competitive, and a move to the cloud can deliver on this.

Plan for Beyond Implementation

All of these awesome new technologies and tools that are now at our disposal have one thing in common: they require a thorough implementation plan. However, this is only the beginning, as Carter describes.

“Phase one is the adoption – the project management, the training, the database design, the cut-over services. Phase two is how we help post-cut – what we’re doing with our certifications, how we’re helping customers to differentiate, and ongoing work with manufacturers to make sure the products perform as intended.”

This is where Affiliated Communications’ Total Care package comes in, by taking their clientele through their implementations and beyond. Total Care services include emergency services, ongoing hardware and software maintenance, analytics and reporting, and quarterly meetings to review and meet customer needs.

The Right Resolution That Will Stick in 2022

This year, make the right New Year’s resolution, the one that will deliver security and peace of mind. Affiliated Communications can get you there with their comprehensive managed service offering and top-notch customer service. Take the first resolution step by reaching out to discuss your 2022 unified communications and cloud services needs today.