Mobile work solutions haven’t always been at the top of every VAR’s “must sell” list. Even 10 years ago, implementing them required a lot of difficult technical work, a customer who was committed enough to put up with flaky performance and a remote employee who felt more remote than part of the team. For these reasons, many VARs haven’t made mobile work solutions a large part of their line cards. But today, not offering such solutions is a missed opportunity.
The maturation of an industry
What’s changed? First, and most importantly, technology and infrastructure have improved. All those capabilities we wanted decades ago are now both realistic and easy to implement—we’ve gone from a high degree of difficulty to extremely low.
For example, instead of relying on physical phones and expensive VPN hardware, we now live in a world where employees can use the devices they already own. Everything is done via software, the cloud and BYOD, eliminating hardware-, on-premises- and capital-expenditure-based investments. And today’s mobile work solutions can be implemented quickly — even the same day the job is requested.
Tech improvements abound
Collaboration tools have improved, allowing remote workers to easily remain a part of the corporate team. When users log in, they have access to chat, video, files and more. There’s no island to be secluded on as workers can be seamlessly connected at all times.
Technology’s capabilities have gotten better as well. For instance, videoconferencing used to require a separate application and hardware. Now, with WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), users can harness the power of standardized communications protocols to participate in videoconferences from within a standard web browser. And gone are the days of requiring Windows-based machines for deploying such solutions—today, Mac works just as well for these powerful browser-based tools.
Finally, bandwidth and codecs have improved. In the past, bandwidth limitations meant voice was the sole method of communication. Today, video is everywhere, thanks to faster internet connections and improved codecs that handle data transfers more efficiently.
Combined, these factors illustrate how an industry has both matured and benefited from advances in related technologies. Performance has improved, costs are reasonable, and in nearly every vertical, there’s a desire to enable employees to work remotely. In short, if you’re not selling mobile work solutions, you’re missing a huge opportunity.