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The Emergence of the Distributed Workforce

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Business operations for many of today’s companies have spread far beyond the four walls of the ‘main office.’ Innovative strategies that leverage the latest technology have created a prolific trend toward small and medium-sized businesses with multiple locations and a widely-dispersed workforce.

From remote employees who work in a home office to “road warrior” executives and a traveling sales force, today’s small and mid-sized business can literally extend its presence globally, establish multiple locations to serve local markets, and tap into a wider labor pool to attract the most talented employees nationwide.  The question: How does your business create the technological foundation to prepare itself to take advantage of this opportunity?

The Distributed Workforce

The trend toward a “distributed workforce” holds tremendously positive implications for small and mid-sized companies.  In the past, managing multiple offices, warehouses, remote employees and tapping into opportunity beyond the local business community was better left to large enterprise with deep pockets.  But today’s small business can operate just like a large company while at the same time remaining nimble and keeping overhead costs in check.  Communications and Access to Information are two of the most important aspects of successfully decentralizing operations.  The ability to operate as if everyone were in the same office with access to the same information, anywhere and anytime, is a key component of leveraging the benefit of a mobile or distributed workforce.

Communications

Just like email that reaches its recipient regardless of where he or she is located, your telephone communications infrastructure must make it easy for customers and vendors to reach the intended contact within your company.  Web-based Virtual Phone systems and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provides technology that can easily route incoming calls to a home office or mobile phone just about anywhere in the world…a task that is tremendously more difficult with an older land line telephone system.  The cost of internet telephony is often significantly less expensive than traditional phone lines, offers a wider range of features, and requires minimal equipment.  Most importantly to your customers, it appears as if they are calling your main office and are seamlessly routed to the appropriate personnel within your company … wherever they may be located.

Access to Information

With multiple locations, remote employees, field service personnel and a sales force that is perpetually on the road, quick and easy access to information in your business system becomes vitally important to ensure that those remote and/or mobile employees remain efficient and productive.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM (http://www.socius1.com/solutions/crm/microsoft-dynamics-crm/) is built on technology that will support this objective.  Not only is it accessible through the Outlook client and a Web client, enabling users to access it via the browser and location of their choice, but it also has a mobile application coming soon.

To learn more about the benefits of Mobile CRM like Microsoft Dynamics CRM for your distributed workforce, download the whitepaper “Why Go Mobile? Six Strategic Objectives You Can Conquer with Mobile CRM” at http://www.socius1.com/mobilecrm/.

By Socius, a CRM Partner in Ohio and Kansas (www.socius1.com)

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