The role of communication in digital transformation should not be understated. Recent advances in telephony can make organisations more productive and efficient, resulting in better public services in healthcare, public safety, and beyond.
Telephony should not be ignored
The role of communications in this revolution should not be understated. Successful digital transformation requires an architectural shift that allows for effective communication and collaboration. New networking technologies and platforms such as Microsoft Teams will help facilitate this transition, but a rather more traditional form of communication will also play a crucial role.
The humble telephone may have been usurped by email as the most popular method of correspondence within the office, but it is still an essential tool – especially when it comes to dealing with customer queries.
Public sector organisations have tended not to view the telephone as cutting edge technology, with reliability and cost prioritised. However recent advances mean the phone can play a crucial role in digital transformation, working together with other communications tools.
The cloud is the platform that enables this shift. Traditional phone systems are fixed to a single location, tying users to their desks. This rigidity restricts the ability of organisations to enable the flexible and remote working policies demanded by the modern workforce – lowering productivity and employee satisfaction. This is especially true when you consider that many public sector organisations are located over different sites or have large numbers of field workers. Cloud-based telephony disaggregates phone numbers from physical infrastructure, with communications delivered over a broadband network. Employees can be contactable on the same number regardless of location and can accept calls via an IP-based landline phone, mobile application, or via the web.
Coupled with the ability to access data on the go using cloud-based productivity tools like Microsoft 365, staff can accomplish far more outside of the office with cloud-based telephony. This system is far more scalable and cost-effective too, as new lines can be added without the need to deploy additional physical infrastructure.
IP-based phone systems also offer greater visibility over a traditional phone network. Public sector organisations can access a range of data, such as call duration, response times, and levels of demand. This data can then be analysed to improve levels of service. Some organisations are even pairing this data with other performance indicators and using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to route calls to the agent that can deal with a particular query most effectively.
More effective collaboration
Telephony is just one part of the communication element of digital transformation. Many organisations are using Microsoft Teams to facilitate more effective collaboration between colleagues regardless of location.
‘Teams’ of individuals communicate using text, voice, and video, alongside new capabilities, such as social networking-esque features, that drive engagement. Teams is now the default communications experience within Office 365, with support for Skype for Business Online set to end on 31 July 2021.
Microsoft Teams has all the same features as Skype, including support for Phone System. Phone System integrates cloud-based telephony into the Office 365 experience, allowing staff to make and receive calls through the productivity suite. It’s also possible to set up cloud-based voicemail, call queues and menu systems that route calls from customers to the right agent. Admins, meanwhile, can set policies from the same management console.
Insight can help any public sector organisation adapt to this new world of telephony. As well as being a trusted Microsoft partner, Insight has recently joined forces with 8x8, a leading provider of cloud-based voice, video, chat, contact centre and enterprise-class API solutions.
8x8’s tools provide a scalable way to digitally transform customer and employee experiences, supported through its global cloud communications platform. This not only ensures greater reliability but also gives public sector organisations access to cloud-based analytics that can be used to improve levels of service. 8x8 is used by many UK public sector organisations including The National Archives, Aylesbury Vale District Council and the Ministry of Justice.
Regardless of which route is taken, new telephony technologies enable and accelerate public sector digital transformation. Through integration with new and existing workflows in healthcare, education, public safety, and beyond – delivering better quality public services.
The benefits of digitisation are now widely recognised in the public sector. But telephony should not be ignored in this pursuit of improvements.
A key factor for organisations reviewing telephony strategies is the fact that BT has announced it will be phasing out ISDN and PSTN networks over the course of the next five years, starting in 2020.
For more information, email LGN.Enquiries@insight.com