Those who hesitate are lost. This is especially true when it comes to digital transformation, with those who dare to take a step towards it having everything to gain. Eliminating old habits, exploiting the potential for optimisation and redesigning work processes can free up resources that were previously consumed by rigid structures and enable companies to respond more flexibly to new challenges.
The importance of agility is particularly evident today, when entire workforces have been forced, practically overnight, to transition to working from home. The ability to respond quickly has created an opportunity that should not be underestimated. Those who had the foresight to invest in digital infrastructures and cloud platforms with a vision towards communications and collaboration are now being rewarded. Those who had not yet embarked on a digital transformation and were operating with older systems and processes are being challenged in this new world of work.
Prerequisites for successful digitalisation
Today, companies that have not yet done so should begin to address the issue of digitalisation. To do this, they need resolve, a clear vision and the will to actively drive new products and processes forward. To develop a successful digitalisation strategy, they should consider the following three principles:
- Say goodbye to the silo mentality. Digital transformation will connect previously separate areas. Investments in real-time communications can help to make processes more flexible and reassign tasks.
- Be realistic. Assess what the company can manage with its own resources and what requires external expertise.
- Know the technologies. Cloud services, the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, augmented reality and artificial intelligence are among the innovations that can play a role depending on the industry and type of business in question.
There are many possibilities offered by these innovative technologies. Let’s take a look at some examples:
- IoT and cloud services, among other technologies, open up new pathways for rethinking processes. Artificial intelligence allows companies to break down language barriers. Chatbots can answer standard questions, perform assistance tasks and relieve the back office.
- For international conference calls or help desk calls, AI provides the required translations, which are transmitted to the display or through the headset.
- Technicians benefit from devices such as smart glasses that show them schematics of the equipment they are servicing during phone calls.
- In schools, teachers, students and parents can exchange information – hopefully in compliance with GDPR – using chat, video or IP telephony. They can also share screen contents and documents.
The new working normal
Virtually overnight, the global pandemic turned the working world upside down and the demand for online communications solutions exploded. Digital transformation accelerated across entire industries, with a force that no one would have previously thought possible.
Since the onset of the pandemic, working from home has boomed. While it has been possible for some time, cloud-based communication platforms and the increased mobility of employees are only now being adopted by companies. Technical prerequisites that previously did not exist were fulfilled in no time at all. This was helped not only by the massive pressure created by the circumstances but also by the availability of sophisticated remote working technologies.
Cloud platforms for modern communications
Much of our business communications will continue to be verbal. Teams working from home need access to advanced telephony with voice messaging, call forwarding and other features, just as they have available in the office.
To optimise communications and collaboration across locations, companies are increasingly turning to cloud services such as Rainbow™ by Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. The open platform connects users to their business environment in a GDPR compliant manner and enables video and audio interactions across mobile devices and desktops. This allows teams to work securely from home and companies to maintain business continuity.
Cloud solutions for communications and collaboration offer the potential to make companies more flexible, enable their employees to work regardless of location and initiate a profound digital transformation that will render them (even) better prepared for the next crisis.
Digital transformation: you are not alone!
Throughout its century-long history, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise has been a part of the ongoing, ever-changing communications world. Now the company has reinvented itself. Managing Director Jürgen Reintjes knows the difficulties that come with such change: “We lived in a world where telephone systems and network switches were the backbone of communications within a company – this is no longer the case,” he says. “However, this has also created opportunities as it drives companies to reinvent themselves and focus on the advantages and potential that come with digitalisation.”
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise supports its customers in their digital transformation journey. “Our core competence is that we ensure the secure exchange of information between any number of participants or devices,” says Reintjes. The service provider also focuses on chat, voice and video communication. “We develop the hardware and software for these services and provide the corresponding cloud services. We support companies in their digital transformation and help them make their communications processes more efficient.”