Here at S-NET, we’re no strangers to eating our own dogfood. And before you raise your eyebrows at our strange dietary habits and conclude that we have all gone mad, let us explain: “dogfooding” refers to the business practice of using one’s own products and services. Relying on S-NET services in our day-to-day operations enables our team to better understand our customers’ perspective, thoroughly test new product releases and feature upgrades before they are introduced to clients, and not least, improve our efficiency as a company. Our communications technology is at the heart of how we work, whether individually, as teams or as an organization.
With years of experience connecting our in-office and remote staff using S-NET business communications technology, we have developed several collaboration practices that work well for our team. Below are just a few that continue to have a tremendous impact on our efficiency. We hope that this list will inspire you to find fresh ways to use your technology and give your team productivity a boost.
As technology nerds, we obviously enjoy using leading edge IP phones with a high-end design and expansion modules as much as the next person. But when it comes to efficiency, nothing beats a user-friendly app that allows us to create a drag-and-drop conference in seconds or transfer a call to another person or department with just a few clicks. The S-NET team loves to use the S-NET Connect Desktop application, whether we are at the office or working remotely.
With its Presence feature, S-NET Connect Desktop allows us to see when our colleagues are available, on a call or away from their computer. This shaves hours of telephone tag off our schedules and makes collaboration significantly easier. We often set personalized status messages, such as “Busy”, “At Lunch”, “Working from Home” or “At Client Installation” so that the rest of the team knows when to best reach us. And when a colleague is busy, we schedule a notification for when they become available with the Call on Available function, so that we can catch them before they hop on their next call.
Chat is another functionality that our team uses daily, especially if they need quick answers to short questions that would get lost in a busy email inbox. Unless a user’s S-NET Connect app is set to DND (Do Not Disturb), chat messages pop up on their screen right away, alerting them that someone needs their help. Available both on S-NET Connect Desktop and Mobile, chat makes it easy for our road warriors to communicate with the in-office team, whether our engineers share notes, images, videos and files during a client installation, or our Sales and Marketing teams communicate during a trade show.
To keep communication channels organized, the S-NET team uses numerous chat groups to coordinate with their peers. Some chat groups are project-specific and temporary, such as an installation project for a client, while others are departmental chat groups that allow team members to share information and coordinate their efforts. This quick and easy form of communication is present in every facet of our business and makes our team more efficient as a result.
Remote work has been an intrinsic part of our pre-pandemic lives and turned out to be a true business-saver when Covid-19 hit. While it was quite common for our staff to join meetings remotely prior to the pandemic, in March of 2020 working from home full-time became the norm overnight.
During most of 2020 and part of 2021, S-NET Connect enabled us to continue communicating with our clients, partners and vendors as if we were sitting at the office, using our extension and caller ID for a professional appearance. The Presence functionality provided some accountability for our team during an uncertain time, and with S-NET Live videoconferencing and screen sharing, we were also able to create some semblance of normalcy in our meetings.
With most of our staff back at the office full-time since June 1st, S-NET remote collaboration services continue to play an important role in our professional lives. They allow our team to work from the safety of their homes during bad weather or minor illness and enable our road warriors in Installations and Sales to manage their workdays more efficiently before, between or after appointments. When part of the team meets in the conference room, our Yealink conference room system and expansion microphones help ensure that all attendees, whether physically present or remote, are able to participate equally in discussions.
The S-NET staff has also been using S-NET Connect Mobile ever since it was first developed. Teams that are often on-the-go, like Sales and Installations, rely on mobile communications to stay connected to the in-office staff, get quick help when they need it most and use their driving time efficiently by participating in the occasional conference call.
When S-NET engineers are on call, S-NET Connect Mobile makes it easy to get notified of after-hours emergencies. It also enables our on-call team to connect with colleagues, vendors or upstream carriers involved in the emergency without having to provide their personal cell numbers.
As we add more members to the S-NET team, both in-office and remote employees, business communications technology will continue to be our best friend, connecting our staff and facilitating collaboration.