5 Benefits of letting agents work remotely

My Post (17).pngIf remote working hadn’t yet been on your radar, the current state of the world due to COVID-19 has almost certainly changed things for your business and contact center. As states and businesses close in an effort to control the virus’ spread, business owners are having to make tough decisions about their workforce.

Though you may not be thrilled about having your employees work remotely, there are numerous business benefits to having a remote customer support team. In this article, we explored some of the top advantages of working in remote teams, from home or local coffee shops. If your contact center has the ability to utilize a remote workforce, this change may make a powerful, beneficial difference to the way you do business.

The benefits of a remote team

As a business owner or contact center manager, you likely have legitimate concerns about allowing your agents to work remotely. Maybe you’re wondering:

“How will I know if my remote agents are actively working?”

“Can I coordinate a productive schedule for a distributed team that works across multiple time zones?”

“Will I see negative effects on our customer service if I create a remote team?”

Thankfully, these fears are largely unfounded, especially when your contact center team is equipped with the right tools. In fact, there’s a good chance you’ll see even better results when your team is connected by technology rather than proximity.

Before getting into the benefits, however, let’s start with the basics.

What is a remote team?

A remote team includes a group of employees that completes their tasks and collaborates with coworkers outside of office spaces. In terms of a contact center, this can include agents, supervisors and contact center admins. These remote workers may have started in a traditional co-working space before moving home or they may have been hired specifically for a remote position. Though they don’t work in the same space, these teams maintain typical team meetings and communication, just through the phone or over video calls.

Many contact centers build diverse teams by hiring remote workers from across the nation and the globe. This increases access to a larger talent pool and often attracts more candidates, allowing you to build a highly effective team that is the best at what they do.

What are the benefits of remote working?

The decision to move from an office setting to a virtual team affects everyone in the business, so it’s important to know the benefit of remote work for your team and customer service. There are many ways to implement remote work, each with its own perks, but there are some benefits that everyone can experience when working remotely.

1 – Increasing productivity through remote work

Though many business owners and contact center managers worry about work getting done from home, increased productivity is often the biggest benefit of a remote team. A study presented in the Harvard Business Review, for example, showed that remote workers accomplished almost a full additional day’s amount of work per week when compared to on-site employees. Another study found that 45% of remote employees can get more done in less time and 44% are less distracted and more productive than they would be at the office.

For some agents, the ability to find the best environment and schedule for their needs naturally leads to better work. For others, improved productivity is a way to pay back companies that allow them to work from home. – Read more

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Working from home, staying secure: 14 Identity & Access Management tools to deal with the coronavirus fallout

My Post (16).pngWith record numbers working remotely during the COVID-19 crisis, CIOs and CISOs must look at how to maintain identity and access securely across a dispersed network

 

The coronavirus pandemic has overturned normal ways of working. Many office workers will be based at home for the coming weeks, if not months, and are already having to reassess how they accomplish their daily tasks. While staying connected to colleagues is now easier than ever, remote working brings more challenges than just bored children and over-excited pets – especially when it comes to cybersecurity.

We are long past the days when an office was the extent of a secure network. Today, security experts agree that identity management is the true digital perimeter, ensuring that only trusted parties can enter the corporate network.

Identity and access management (IAM) tools tend to be embedded in a business, and changing them is not as easy as switching between Skype and Zoom as a preferred platform. However, making sure you have the right solution for your needs is critical, and there has never been a more appropriate time to reassess your existing supplier.

In this article we cover some of the most popular IAM tools in the UK today. They cover a variety of areas and while most have the same basic functionality, many will specialise in a certain area or be more suitable to a certain type of business.

We will assume that your company has already laid the groundwork for remote working, with policies to support the practice and an analysis of expected traffic and risks – such as freezing password expiry limits and establishing a VPN if needed.

After getting the basics in place, it is time to look at IAM tools themselves. Requirements will vary depending on factors like company size, and others like solution price and vendor support will also come into play. Here are some of the elements to consider when looking for a new IAM solution.

Features to consider

  • Product features: multi-factor authentication (MFA), single sign-on (SSO), role-based access control, etc.

  • Ease of use

  • Compatibility with existing IT

  • Policy controls

  • Management of on- and off-boarding

  • Deployment options – on-prem, cloud, hybrid, hosted

  • Data migration ability

  • Identity data consolidation from multiple sources

  • Protection of identity data (and, related, the end-to-end security of the solution)

  • Supported standards/membership of standards bodies

  • Integration with third-party applications

  • Extensibility and scalability

  • Product roadmap

Delta

Delta is Computing’s technology market intelligence service, which distills the opinions and experience of thousands of IT leaders. We have put together a special three-month trial for access to all research to help with business continuity at this challenging time, for the price of a cup of coffee per team member per day. Click here to request a demo.

Microsoft

Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD) is widely adopted for IAM, even though it is not a traditional IAM tool; rather, it is a collection of services that help administrators manage users and devices on a network.

AD integrates with nearly 3,000 business apps, including Salesforce, Box, Workday and Office 365. Customers can run AD on-prem, in the cloud (Azure AD) or in a hybrid deployment.

The cloud version of the app has several important differences to standard Active Directory: for example, it doesn’t include Microsoft’s Group Policy or DNS. Customers often use standard AD and Azure AD together to extend an on-premises AD solution to the cloud.

AD features a directory called the data store, which contains information about network objects like servers and user accounts. It uses logon authentication and access control to these objects to manage security. Through this architecture, AD enables single sign-on to data store objects (including for external users), multi-factor authentication, privileged access management, identity governance and other methods of IAM.

As well as the data store, AD includes many more ways to work with objects in the directory, including rules to define their classes and attributes; a catalogue of information; and a replication service to distribute data across a network.

Microsoft splits Azure AD into four pricing tiers: free, Office 365 Apps edition, Premium P1 and Premium P2. The Office Apps edition is bundled into O365 E1, E3, E5 and F1 licences, explaining AD’s massive user base. Price for the Premium editions starts at £4.47 per user per month.

Delta respondents said that AD had many areas of strength, especially its password and employee lifecycle management. They praised its integration into existing infrastructure, and added, “Seamless user experiences are key, and Microsoft does this so well at present.” They also felt that Microsoft’s resources would enable further development. However, costs were a weak point and said to add up “very quickly.” Microsoft shows little flexibility in this area. – Read more

Learn More About Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, RSA, Oracle

 

What is Remote Desktop?

My Post (15).pngBringing the office to you

 

Working remotely
As all the normal rules for business no longer stand in light of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, working remotely has become a lifeline for UK companies.

But how can users securely access their work files and data from their home PCs whilst working remotely?

What is a Remote Desktop?
Remote Desktop is essentially a virtual office environment which allows users to access their files, data and applications from any device, anywhere in the world.

Users can connect to their office PC remotely in a simple and secure way and interact with their workplace PC as if they were using it locally. Remote Desktops are charged on a monthly basis for the number of virtual desktops that are required.

Hyve’s Remote Desktop solution
With increasing numbers of people trying to access their office PCs during the working day, connecting to a remote solution through a normal office network could cause performance problems. As office networks are not designed for hundreds of users trying to connect from outside, the network wouldn’t be able to cope with the number of connections and could fail under the pressure.

Hyve’s Remote Desktop solution provides users with a cloud-hosted virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), where all desktop systems are hosted on a high-performance cloud platform in a secure data centre, instead of running it from the office location.

With Remote Desktop, the office server is essentially moved into Hyve’s cloud infrastructure, providing far better performance, flexibility and security. Users connect to the Remote Desktop solution from their home with every user having an individual network in the cloud.  – Read more

Learn more About Hyve