04/03/2020

Corona Anti–Virus

Yeah, at Nitec we’re good, but not that good! By all accounts an effective vaccination for the coronavirus, and its associated illness, Covid 19, is still a long way off. 

So, does Nitec have anything useful or practical to say about coronavirus that’s not at the Armageddon end of the scale? Well perhaps, in so far as the impact to travel is already being openly debated, even in countries where the risk is still extremely low.

As Microsoft’s Teamwork Partner of the Year for Ireland we have already been helping many of our customers reap the benefits of Microsoft Teams, one of the most productive apps within the Office 365 suite that many of you already own. In our own journey with Teams the outstanding audio/video quality of Teams meetings and conferencing has already revolutionised our business culture at home and just this week we had notification of our first overseas event likely to be compromised by the outbreak of coronavirus. Yet that may not be the dilemma it first seems, as the organisers are almost certainly going to run the event as a WebEx event, and with our Teams–certified conference rooms at Nitec, in truth, apart from the networking aspect of the event, we might as well be right there in the room – it’s that good.

Now imagine what life might be like for a while if that level of restriction ends up closer to home. How are you fixed as a business for effective homeworking, if enforced? Or what about the ability to run the kind of no–nonsense conference call that doesn’t have you chasing round the room for 20 minutes to get a bulletproof, media–rich conference call underway?

Working Flexibly with Microsoft Teams

Not that long ago the kind of conference room experience outlined above would have cost you a small fortune and the conference join procedures would have been right at home on the Krypton factor. Now, with a relatively simple choice from our small, medium and large Microsoft Teams Rooms systems, easily retrofitted to any half decent TV screen, you can enjoy full end–to–end conferencing facilities, all fully secured at no extra cost in Microsoft’s Cloud as part of Microsoft 365, starting from around the £3k mark. If you think that is expensive, have a look at any of the Microsoft Teams ROI calculators online and you will be amazed at how quickly you will make that back on travel cost savings alone, coronavirus aside.

Of course, you don’t have to start with your meeting rooms. More and more of us are benefitting from the flexibility of Teams calling and meetings with a decent noise–cancelling headset and webcam right where we sit. In fact, at Nitec, with Microsoft Teams as our phone system (more on that in a later blog) we don’t even have to choose which system to use. Need to IM? Use Teams.  Need to make an internal call? Use Teams. Need to make a cost–free call with one of our federated customers? Use Teams. Need to make a PSTN call to landline or mobile? Use Teams. Need to book a conference call with anyone, regardless of whether they have Teams or not? Use Teams. I think you get the picture.

Improving Workplace Productivity

Just like any business in SMB, Nitec is always having to make choices around investments. As you will know from Gavin’s blog many of those have quite rightly been in the security arena in recent years, but one of our other pillars of expertise and focus at Nitec is productivity – something that is often overlooked and underrated. Whatever you make of the current UK government’s new points–based immigration policy you can’t have missed the central proposition that, for many industry sectors, the future is not to be secured by throwing more people at the challenge, but by enhancing productivity, often through digital transformation. Many of us are still trying to figure that out. But every now and again something happens that focuses the mind and forces us to get our skates on.

I truly hope and pray that in six months’ time Corona will be back to being associated with something pale, golden and refreshing from the breweries of Mexico ( I think you know what I’m talking about), but over the coming weeks as we dust down our HR polices to do what we can to protect the health and safety of our staff, be sure to give some serious consideration to how a few simple productivity measures might do lot for the health and safety of our businesses.

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