How Can Multi-Location Businesses Adapt to Changes

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Challenging Business Environment

Distributed, consumer-facing enterprises are grappling with an uncertain economic landscape buffeted by a once in a generation health crisis.
We thought this is the right time to launch Interface’s blog – Making IT Happen, to bring in clarity and help our customers navigate this uncertainty. All these challenges translate into two critical questions for enterprise loss prevention and IT leaders: How do we secure our people, customers, inventory and assets? How can we upgrade our connectivity and collaboration platforms to adapt to changes in our operating business model? These questions are particularly difficult for our restaurant, retail and hospitality customers who are already going through significant changes to their business models.
These questions are particularly difficult for our restaurant, retail and hospitality customers who are already going through significant changes to their business models.

Retailers who are closing down are facing the need to increase security for their vacant premises. Others, such as grocery stores, are finding it hard to get staff. Some customers are already adapting to the situation by changing their business models — offering such services as curbside pickup, home delivery, and more.

As necessity is certainly the mother of invention, these changes are requiring our customers to think differently about their security and networking needs and adopt new business models.

For instance, those who are offering curbside pickup must now also widen the areas they monitor, secure new areas, and observe comings and goings (a remote monitoring option would be a great choice in these scenarios). In addition, enterprise employees are being asked, where it’s feasible, to work remotely and collaborate using online applications. IT teams are having to make sure that employees have secure remote access to all their corporate applications, that their voice applications and help desk services are seamlessly ported over to work from anywhere.

It’s these scenarios and more that drive Interface Security Systems to be the very best at what we do.

We work closely with our customers in the retail, hospitality, restaurant, and financial markets to help them combat various networking and security challenges and loss on a daily basis. In fact, Interface offers Managed Network, VoIP, Asset Protection, and Business Intelligence solutions that maximize our customers’ ROI. It’s something that we’re good at — we’ve been doing it for more than 25 years.

Business Voice Over IP for Better Collaboration and WFH

If an enterprise has not yet converted to Voice over IP, it should certainly look into doing so. VoIP solutions deliver simple, powerful and cost-effective calling services for distributed enterprises.

Most of the business VoIP solutions include features such as unlimited local calling, free long distance on network, four-digit enterprise-wide dialing and voicemail and ‘find-me-follow-me’ to make it easy to be contacted no matter where you are physically.

For essential businesses, having a cloud cloud-based auto attendant that comes with VoIP solutions can be game-changing. The value here is that when someone calls a store or business, the phone is not actually ringing at the location. It’s ringing a cloud-based auto attendant which presents the caller with clear options from there.

For instance, if the caller is looking for directions or for business hours, there’s no need for the call to be transferred to the store or business location. Those kinds of questions can be answered with a recording. If the customer really wants to speak directly with someone at the location, there’s an option for them to transfer.

With this solution , businesses can reduce between 50 to 60 percent of the call volume for employees and free their time to be used for other important tasks.. And while there is some management involved, such as updating information like store or business hours, the customers that we’ve deployed it for absolutely love it, especially when they’ve asked us to manage and maintain the information as it changes throughout the year.

Customers also appreciate the ability to define ring groups and call flows that can be used to dial specific phones in a specific order or in response to different conditions. If no one is available to take the call in a store, for example, after a certain number of rings, the call can automatically be routed to a call center to be handled by the next available agent. Or it could be routed to a cell phone. Or to another store.

There are many possibilities.

Additionally, there are business continuity/disaster recovery options for VoIP that, in the event of a disaster, can reroute calls from one location to another all from a cloud-based console.

What’s Ahead for Essential Businesses

There are many other interesting emerging technologies on the horizon. Some we haven’t covered yet but look forward to announcing soon such as cameras that can detect people with fevers and cloud-based mobile text messaging for handling customer support at scale. We already have some of these in our labs being studied, tested and assessed.

In this blog post, we’ve looked at a number of technologies that have been making serious inroads in various businesses and are currently being deployed. Many are directly making a difference in our current climate.

A managed service provider such as Interface, with years of deep networking and security expertise, can help business, IT and security professionals make the right choices when deciding which technologies are ripe for deployment. We then work closely with them to design, integrate and support custom solutions to meet their unique challenges.

About the Author

Steve Womer has experience designing and deploying WAN/LAN infrastructure for distributed enterprise clients since 2008 and has served in various engineering, sales engineering, and operational roles for industry leading managed services providers.

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