An Apprentices View


How has the global pandemic impacted how businesses communicate?

The World Health Organisation declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic on the 11th March 2020. Since then, many businesses have had to change the way they operate and communicate with employees and customers. Because of this pandemic, 88% of the world’s organisations have made it mandatory or have encouraged their employees to work from home. Due to these changes, we have become more reliant on various forms of electronic communications, such as audio and video conferencing. We have also found that 77.2% of people in business use video conferencing to connect with remote employees.

The video conferencing platform Zoom saw 200 million daily meeting participants on average at the beginning of 2020, which is compared to the average of 10 million participants in December 2019.  This strongly conveys how drastically the ways in which we communicate are changing. Microsoft Teams has also reached a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in a single day, Microsoft also found that video conferencing is being used two times more than before the coronavirus pandemic.

When more local lockdowns emerged throughout the UK and a second national lockdown was introduced, businesses and schools had to prepare for a completely new way of working and learning. This brought several challenges as the world we once knew changed and the things we often took for granted stopped.

Impact on the telecommunications sector:

The telecommunications industry has greatly benefitted from the surge in the traffic of Voice and Data, this has demonstrated an increased reliance on connectivity and digital services. However, the telecommunications industry is not isolated from short term disruptions. For example, disruption of the supply chain of equipment. Being a manufacturing hub, China is a key manufacturing location of some of the global ICT and telecommunications leaders including IBM, Intel, Apple, and Qualcomm, among others. Although China managed to regain, its manufacturing capacity. The impact of these temporary closures is still being felt somewhat today, with delayed shipments and reduced stock still posing some problems.

Network usage is growing rapidly, with many telecos reporting substantial spikes. In some countries, the volume of voice calls has also increased exponentially. Many companies are looking at long term investments in their network, and in some cases, pulling forward investments in 5G has increased reliability and speeds.

In the short term the social distancing measures have put a huge strain on the economy. Telecommunication has played a central role in softening the impact of social distancing on businesses. By allowing people the opportunity to interact over various forms of social media and video technology.

In the long term it is possible that the pandemic could foster a long-term shift towards greater reliance on telecom services. As the long-term effects of coronavirus will have on the way we as people are able to interact with each other, telecoms services may be increased demand far in the future.

Before the coronavirus pandemic companies were looking into cloud solutions as a way of digital shift. However, the pandemic acted as a tipping point for more telecommunication companies to invest into cloud-based solutions.

What solutions do Xarios provide?

During these times it is increasingly important to monitor and stay connected with employees. Dimensions Voice by Xarios is a cloud-based telephony platform which allows users to communicate using traditional telephony applications but in the cloud. Call Analytics allows you to monitor customer experience and manage staff using historical and real-time call data. Dimensions Voice Supervisor Dashboard is a great way to monitor staff performance, the Supervisor Dashboard shows the live status of agents and calls on the system, as well as a breakdown on individual and group performance for the day. Call Reporting provides access to all call and user status information that has been logged from the communications platform. Dimensions Voice Wallboards are completely customisable, they clearly display information on active calls so that all staff members can see when customers are waiting or when service level targets are being affected. Wallboards can be displayed on any compatible browser or simply deployed on any TV using our new Amazon Fire TV application. By using a cloud-based solution, call traffic can be as easily routed to a smartphone or home office, just as you would direct calls in a traditional office environment.

Xarios also provide Phone Manager for Unified Communications. Our range of products and features provides the tools for call centre agents, supervisors, and office workers to communicate easily with customers and colleagues, whether they are working in an office or remotely. This is now as important as ever to stay well connected and not loose communication. Stay connected with colleagues and clients from anywhere. Phone Manager Mobile allows users to stay in contact wherever they are, ensuring important calls are not missed. This is extremely useful for remote workers as the app can be simply downloaded onto their mobile and they will always be easily contactable. This ensures that communication is not lost between employees. Phone Manager allows users to change their status, options include working from home or in a meeting. This allows co-workers to know how and where to get hold of you.

In my opinion, COVID has put many restrictions on how businesses operate. However, these restrictions have allowed businesses to learn to adapt to these changes and shown them that remote working can work effectively. Personally, I have really enjoyed remote working, it has helped me work on my communication skills with my colleagues.

Charlotte Parker | Marketing Apprentice at Xarios Technologies