There has never been a more pressing need to rethink and reconfigure ways to navigate through business IT support and thrive.
In this interview with Assembly’s MD, Peter Smith; and Technical Director, James Reilly, we look at how to take advantage of the latest business communications technologies in order to empower employees, nurture collaboration and ensure business continuity.
Agility is the key to long-term competitiveness in the digital age.
At Assembly, we’re passionate about understanding your business challenges, delivering technology that transforms those challenges.
The ‘digital workplace’ is recognised as a strategic investment for companies looking for new sources of productivity and innovation. Companies in all industries therefore need intelligent communication solutions to strengthen their competitive position.
With modern communications & collaboration solutions, you are investing in your employees’ ability to be creative and innovative regardless of location and selected end device.
This technology has the potential to improve and accelerate the workflow in any workplace, encouraging employee engagement and performance…
Q1: Speaking to your own customers, what patterns have you noticed about remote working over the past 12 months?
Peter: “We have seen a huge increase. We have been nurturing many of our customers who had an initial apathy to home working. Now, they have all settled in and feeling at ease with the concept.”
James: “To echo Peter, I’ve seen a common trend with our customers whereby they would previously have preferred to conduct business in person, perhaps not entirely trusting that employees would put 100% effort in at home. But the last 12 months have seen a dramatic turn around in the way we all interact with each other, I believe the lack of contact with people face to face has increased the desire to use technology to fill that gap not only for business but for personal reasons too. Video conferencing and remote working has become more than a “nice to have” solution, it’s become necessary in order to maintain a semblance of normality and in turn has lead to remote working solutions becoming more universal throughout our customers businesses. It isn’t just a handful of employees that use it for 2 days a week anymore, it’s the whole business, and it works.”
Q2: What are the common issues your customers are currently facing?
James: “Collaboration is the big one here. With an employee base spread all over the city, country or even the world, we have seen customers who don’t have some form of remote working solution really struggle with collaboration on projects they are working on together. This is where we can really harness a variety of technologies to enable them to come together and enhance what was once a painful process.”
Q3: How can you help them work remotely more effectively?
Peter: “From soft skills perspective, our engineers have excellent interpersonal skills guided customers staff on the unified communications and helped calm on-screen nerves to a point where video calls are second nature. Technically, we have upgraded home networks and deployed bandwidth segregation where possible to ensure business comms are prioritised over the domestic requirements.”
James: “By utilising a variety of cloud technologies we can enable collaboration and the easy sharing of tasks and information between employees no matter where they are connecting from.”
Q4: How long have you been specialising in solutions that help remote working?
Peter: “Believe it or not, over 16 years, since even before we were established in 2009, using the different technologies of the respective era.”
Q5: Tell us about some of the products and services you offer to help remote teams work together better?
Peter: “The Assembly connectivity (bandwidth) service has made significant operational improvements. Helping customers replicate the in office operational experience as close as possible and assisting them with the adoption of Microsoft Teams for improved communication, as well as higher video calling solutions.”
James: “When thinking of technologies, along with basics like email, don’t forget –
- Text-based collaboration tools (e.g. Microsoft Teams)
For questions, you would turn around and ask a coworker “real quick” if you were in the office, these tools fit the bill and keep things moving.
- Video conferencing (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GoTo Meeting)
For brainstorming and other highly interactive meetings, being able to see each other’s faces makes my team’s interactions more energetic, more engaged, and more creative. We tend to hear from more people, instead of just a couple of talkers. And, we feel more connected and aligned when we’re done.
- File storage and sharing (e.g. Sharepoint)
Access to stored shared files with reasonable upload/download speeds is critical to working remotely. Depending on your work, version control might be necessary, too. If connecting to your regular servers isn’t enough or isn’t possible for your people, they will find alternatives that may not be as secure as you want them to be. Get ahead of the proliferation of workarounds and set up good tools.
These are just a selection of the technologies we provide, manage and support for our customers to enable an efficient remote working solution.”
Q6: Why is Assembly Managed Services a particularly strong solution for companies trying to create remote working habits?
Peter: “We have a history of early adoption of good remote working technologies and our style of support lends itself to individual personal support and problem resolution.”
James: “We are solution agnostic. By which I mean we don’t recommend a specific remote working product because it’s the only one we partner with, we will consult with our customers and together agree on what the best product is to fit their requirements. Furthermore, we have been using remote working technologies ourselves for years. We practice what we preach.”
Q7: Can you give me any specific examples of customers you’ve worked with lately to deliver a smooth remote working experience?
Peter: “SRI, the International resourcing company have used our services to support their remote working to great effect and with supporting accolades from the chairman.”
James: “BreathSafeUK, a cross territory Health and Safety Equipment supplier needed additional support in training their staff to acclimatise to home working and Microsoft Teams use.”
Q8: Are there specific industries or company types/sizes who benefit most from your offer?
Peter: “We have no specific industries that benefit more than others from our services, though we are very well aligned to the Finance, Property, Legal, Social Networking and Recruitment sectors.”
Q9: What part do you see your services playing in the future of remote working for your customers?
Peter: “Continued support of existing services and developing a Home Working Standard for customers that includes the home hardware infrastructure as well a training and support.”
James: “I believe our customers appreciate our genuine, open and honest advice on all technologies for remote working or otherwise. To this end we work with our customers to create technical road maps for their businesses, helping them to plan for the future.”
Q10: What might prospects not know about Assembly’s managed services offering, which might surprise/ help them work more efficiently from home?
Peter: “Assembly brings people, business, and technology together. Harmoniously. We support the individuals and not a singular device. Our support serves each user’s technical bubble and without restriction; laptop, handset, router, ISP… even printers. We believe that harmony is an art – and that ingenuity, finesse, experience and clarity drives this desire. We shape and create, every day. We aspire to leadership, every day. We strive for services that set benchmarks, every day.”
James: “New solutions not only represent technological advances, but also a paradigm shift in the way people work, which is often accompanied by a change in corporate culture. We will support you both on the technology journey, and also the cultural transformation.”
- Increase your attractiveness as an employer
- Empower your employees to connect safely and work securely from anywhere
- Flexible applications that deliver a great user experience
- Improve your customer experience
Talk to one of our specialists today to learn more about our remote working capabilities; how we’re bringing people, business and technology together; and what this means for you.