On March 17, the Cavell Group hosted day one of the Cloud Comms Summit Europe. Todd Carothers, EVP of Corporate Strategy at Alianza, moderated a panel for the CCA's Thought Leadership Forum on the topic of the Mobile Cloud Communications World. The panel included Hilmer Rivera, Global General Manager at Honeywell and Scott Hoffpauir, Managing Partner of True North Advisory. It was a concise and insightful discussion that focused on the frontline worker opportunity.
The UC market is typically discussed within the scope of the Knowledge worker, which only represents 20% of the addressable UC market. The other 80% is made up of Frontline Workers – split between service workers and task workers. Service workers spend their time performing client facing activities (retail, hospitality, finance, education, healthcare). Task workers spend their time performing operational activities (manufacturing, logistics, constriction, agriculture, freight)
This panel discussed how to support these workers with a UC solution that prioritizes mobility. Here are some key takeaways from the session:
1. Frontline workers are first with customers, first with operations and products, and first to represent the brand
The needs of frontline workers are different to those of knowledge workers. Frontline workers are often isolated and remote, having limited access to reliable communications and certainly collaboration. Frontline workers face constraints in keeping up to date with the latest corporate information, but they still have a strong desire for engagement and a sense of community.
Main frontline worker functions include communicating internally and externally, managing employees, tracking working hours and employee locations, scheduling shifts and jobs and enhancing professional skills.
2. A frontline worker UC solution must take into account the needs for messaging, calling and proximity (location)
Frontline workers desire internal and external messaging (one to one, group chat, company broadcast), internal and external video calling and PSTN calling, and push-to-talk in order to broadcast on the move.
Once these functionalities are built into a UC solution, it can be integrated into applications across verticals such as retail, healthcare, manufacturing and construction.
3. Frontline worker solutions require quality, security, simplicity and flexibility
When it comes to devices, mobile is definitely the best solution as 80% of the global workforce is deskless. Leveraging emerging mobile technology such as Multi SIM, eSIM, 5G, private networks is most promising. Organizations should provide wearables and purpose-built devices for frontline workers. Gartner research shows that up to 70% of new mobile and endpoint investments over the next five years will be for frontline workers*.
Last year, CounterPath partnered with Honeywell to create a UC solution for mobile devices and handheld scanners. CounterPath and Honeywell then demonstrated the solution at the NRF tradeshow. Since the company's acquisition by Alianza, the CounterPath retail communications offerings have been absorbed into the Alianza product suite.
Recently, our CEO Brian Beutler sat down with Telecom Reseller to discuss Alianza's acquisition of CounterPath, as well as Alianza's new full stack cloud communications platform and the frontline worker opportunity. Listen to the podcast here.
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