VOSS Solutions

An Enterprise Guide to Digital Workplace Management

This guide will look at all components relating to the digital workplace, explaining why it is important and how to embrace it to achieve true business transformation across your organization.

Digital Business Transformation

What is a Digital Workplace?

  • With such radical changes to our working practises in recent years, the drive for business transformation is creating a new way of working. Enter “the digital workplace”. The digital workplace embraces the idea that organizations should use digital business transformation to align technology, employees and business processes to improve operational efficiency and meet organizational goals.

    The digital workplace is, by definition, a hybrid digital workplace. It is the virtual equal of the physical office space, and includes employee devices, apps, tools, software, and platforms. This means ensuring that remote staff have access to all of the collaboration and communications tools that they need, to carry out their jobs efficiently and effectively from any remote location.

    The digital workplace is a virtual, highly digital, modern version of the traditional workplace. The digital workplace quickly and securely provides personalized role-based services and all the applications, data, and collaboration that an employee needs, on any device, at any time, and anywhere, through a consumer-like online experience.

    At the heart of a successful digital workplace strategy is the concept of the “intelligent composable business” – this is a Gartner principle that organizations should be created from highly agile interchangeable building blocks. With this in mind, the more agile your UC & collaboration framework, the easier it will be to adapt to changes in working practises, and new problems as they arise.

     

What does the Digital Workplace include?

  • The digital workplace comprises a set of digital tools that your staff use to carry out their job. A digital workplace solution should include the full suite of unified communications and collaboration tools (audio phones, audio messaging, audio conferencing, instant messaging, presence awareness, soft phones, web conferencing, video conferencing, workspace collaboration i.e. Teams rooms, unified messaging, and other services spanning both real-time and non-real-time communication engagements), plus productivity tools (such as collaborative digital file sharing, collaborative digital whiteboards etc).

    Building a digital workplace is inevitable, but it is a serious undertaking that requires much planning. What is your digital workplace strategy? Be sure you understand your company’s objectives before you embark on the business transformation journey towards a highly agile, digital workplace.

How Does Digital Workplace Management Fit In?

  • A digital workplace involves multiple applications from multiple vendors, multiple interfaces, and multiple management methodologies and tools (i.e. vendor-specific and interface specific).

    Many vendors offer digital workplace services and solutions. Digital workplace technology and solutions come in many guises, offering a plethora of productivity and employee experience gains. The challenge comes in meshing these into a successful, agile, and easy to manage digital workplace solution, and managing and maintaining this complex suite of multivendor collaboration tools to ensure service quality to end users.

    A digital workplace management platform – or digital workplace management tools - provides a central point of control over the whole environment, to make it faster (i.e. often by an order of magnitude), easier (i.e. lower-cost, non-technical administrators can perform simple and medium tasks), and more repeatable (i.e. far less risk of human errors) to execute any given task, respond to any given problem, or scale to support new services or higher headcount. A digital workplace management platform means that your digital workplace can be fully flexible, agile, and customizable with a centralized management view across the entire organization. Role-based access control means that the central IT team can control everything (design, asset limits, etc.), but individual business units - or agencies - can retain full autonomy for the day-to-day management of their environment. A digital workplace with automation delivers a greater level of user productivity, at a lower overall operating cost (a win-win).

Why is Digital Workplace Management Necessary?

  • The digital workplace is here to stay. As the workforce gets used to being hypermobile – working from any location on any day – your workforce must be able to access the tools they need to carry out their tasks, easily and efficiently.

    The cost to install and manage a truly agile digital workplace can be prohibitive. Digital workplace management technology takes the complexity away, saving organizations considerable amounts of time and money.

Who Needs Digital Workplace Management?

Digital Workplace Management - Integration

Your digital workplace platform should be fully integrated into wider business processes and IT functions, to give you a single view of your digital landscape and performance. With a single point of integration, organizations can achieve much higher rates of automation, while empowering the IT team to optimize UC & collaboration tools, improve end user adoption, monitor usage, and much more. A highly agile digital workplace management platform comprises:

  • Zero-touch provisioning

    Synchronization between business systems can be extended to support flow-through, zero-touch provisioning and automated workflows that configure subscriber services

  • Northbound integrations

    The digital workplace management platform synchronizes subscriber data with other enterprise IT systems providing near real-time updates on subscriber services, simplifying internal billing and cost allocation

  • Service request systems

    REST-APIs offer two-way integration with service request systems such as ServiceNow, allowing service tickets to be actioned and the results fed back

  • Notification systems

    Workflows can be readily extended to send emails and provide event updates

  • Identity management

    Integration with other administration portals gives single sign-on capabilities to administrators, allowing integrated access to all management systems from a single log-in

  • Inventory tracking

    Enterprise can track all assets and devices, to streamline expenditure and optimize resources

Demand for an agile framework to manage your digital workplace

  • Traditionally, UC management tended towards standardization as this is a way to introduce automation: the rationale being - by standardizing on certain business processes, automation could be introduced. However, standardization does not promote agility, flexibility, or mobility. And, there are a number of factors that are contributing towards a trend for enterprise organizations to desire agile and flexible UC.

    The digital workplace is here. And. traditional communications are nothing like the collaborative environment that we operate in today. Organizations must adapt to suit the evolving requirements of their staff, and must provide a consistent and reliable communications framework during and after intense times of change.

    The increasingly diverse UC & collaboration infrastructure coupled with the ever-changing parameters to support remote working, hot-desking, flexible employment contracts, and fixed mobile convergence, is complex. Basic or homegrown management tools just are not up to the job of catering for the demand that is being put on them.

    Management tools need to be flexible enough to change, agile enough to respond quickly, and resilient.

    Enterprises want best in class, and therefore need to successfully mesh an array of multi-vendor technologies into a seamless collaboration experience. This requires a highly intelligent management solution that allows technologies from disparate vendors to coexist and cooperate.

    Further reading:

Delivering the digital workplace with Microsoft Teams

In recent months, organizations have had to be highly flexible and dynamic to survive, including being forced to adopt remote and home working. In turn, this has dramatically increased the demands on workplace collaboration tools – keeping organizations productive and efficient.

Organizations that have been successful in delivering the Digital Workplace are now agile, mobile, remote working and fully connected – at any time and from anywhere. For many, Microsoft Teams has become the underlying foundation supporting this – delivered as part of the Microsoft 365 suite of products (and licenses) and having firmly established itself as part of the digital IT ecosystem. Organizations have become highly dependent on Microsoft Teams and this has placed new demands on the service delivery function for partners, providers and enterprise organizations alike. These demands stack up as follows:

  • Reliability

    Measuring the service in real-time, identifying trouble spots and rapidly resolving issues, having an element of self-healing in the service to deliver what is, in effect, a utility service out to users. Gone are the days of poor audio, dropped calls, and frozen displays. Collectively, users work without a break and the service needs to support that.

  • On demand

    Also long gone is the call into the service desk to register a ticket for a service change that is processed manually, such as adding new users or amending service parameters. Organizations now expect to be fully self-service from order through delivery through to day-to-day management – accessed via a straightforward, non-technical portal with suitable security controls in place; automated and efficient.

  • Enterprise voice with Microsoft Direct Routing

    How do you use the Microsoft Teams client for making and receiving calls to the public telephone network? And, is it in a way that allows an organization to keep its numbers, has suitable call and dial plan controls, makes use of the native dialer (encouraging usage), and allows on-net calling with existing systems?

  • Adoption and usage

    Insight into the performance, user experience and feedback from what is a public (internet) cloud delivered service, coupled closely with additional systems that provide facilities such as telephony break-out, call recording, contact center and conferencing. Here, an end-to-end view is critical, and measuring performance from a remote public cloud can prove challenging.

    Solving the above involves having a comprehensive view of your UC, and digitizing service delivery and management. You will hear this coined under the term #DigitalServiceDelivery and I will be exploring this theme in more detail in subsequent blog posts over the coming weeks.

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