Your business may be small, but you want your customers to recognize you as a mighty force that provides customer service that can do anything that your larger competitors can do— and better. This often means that employees who are not specially-equipped for remote work need the capacity to handle company business away from the comfort of their in-office resources. So, how can you compete with big businesses that can afford to maintain a workforce that is dedicated solely to addressing customer needs while on the road?
When you run a small business, you probably hire employees who are capable of wearing many hats beyond their job definitions. They already have the skills and knowledge that you can count on at client sites — as long as they remain connected to company resources and information. This is when the right technology can help resolve three major challenges that can make or break mobile workforce effectiveness.
1. Managing a variety of devices and applications.
It makes little financial sense to purchase (and pay monthly bills for) company smart phones and tablets for employees who remain in the office more than they travel on company business. When they do go out, however, you can’t expect them to load their personal devices with company applications and data.
Enter the cloud. Employees can use the same Microsoft Office 365 software in and out of the office. They have no concerns about company software and data encroaching on valuable space on their personal devices because the software runs from the Cloud without requiring direct installation on remote devices. They also don’t need to load their devices with data because all work resides safely in the cloud, as well.
While you’re at it, all employees can benefit from an upgrade to Windows 10, which delivers a consistent user experience in and out of the workplace with touch-screen technology, built-in security features and even personal assistant support from Cortana.
2. Retaining consistent security standards inside your office and out.
Employees who use devices connected to your network may have appropriately-limited access to sensitive information that is also protected from viruses and hacking. But, what happens when they conduct business from personal devices? Individual security concerns might be handled in a haphazard fashion that can threaten your valuable company information. Since Microsoft uses the cloud to offer comprehensive Enterprise Mobility + Security, you have the tools in place to provide the right level of protection.
Whether your employees are using Windows 10 devices in the office or even when they’re using iOS or Android devices at a customer site, you have complete control over their access rights and security protection. You retain control over every byte of your company’s valuable data by limiting access on a user-by-user basis, while helping keep their personal devices safe from security threats.
3. Keeping it simple for mobile employees.
You shouldn’t expect employees who conduct remote business on an occasional basis to memorize a truckload of passwords, follow complex rules and learn inconsistently-designed software apps just to get their jobs done on the road.
Microsoft takes a holistic approach to all mobility issues through desktop virtualization, which simplifies their user experience through consistency. This means that one password gets them anywhere they need to be and provides remote access to the same Windows apps that they use in the office, while keeping it secure without forcing them to think about security.
You don’t have to pay big bucks to conduct business remotely.
When a customer needs sudden in-person assistance, you may not have the luxury of sending out a team member who is dedicated to providing remote support. You can send in-house personnel out, however, as long as they have good access to company data and communications without requiring expensive special equipment and training.
Good news: the costs of having the right technology are scalable. Whether you have a dedicated remote staff or not, you can afford to conduct business remotely, just like your large competitors. You don’t have to be big, as long as you have a major technology provider standing with you.
This article originally appeared on the Microsoft Enterprise blog.