ConvergeOne Executive Exchange: Key Takeaways

 

A Discussion with ConvergeOne Customers and Practice Leaders

 

As businesses around the world manage an uncertain future, it’s crucial that companies create a new framework for how people work and embrace new technology and plan to boost security, collaboration and productivity. The ConvergeOne leadership team recently hosted a virtual Executive Exchange with over 50 key customer leaders to share ideas, best practices and perspectives to support growth strategies and drive future success, summarized here.

Looking forward into 2021, companies will need hybrid work models, flexible schedules and appropriate work setups, as well as comprehensive cyber security tools, employee education and cross-company collaboration. With the future uncertain, budgets should be focused on security, productivity and collaboration.

Key considerations:

  • 1. The future will require supporting new models of work:
    Companies have aggressively rolled out mobility capabilities during the pandemic, as well as new remote collaboration tools. Companies also doubled their cloud adoption rate. Going forward, organizations must continue to plan for an uncertain future, rethinking how and where people work. “The new rule is 60-20-20,” says Tim Femister, Vice President, Digital Infrastructure, ConvergeOne. That means 60% of employees may be hybrid, while 20% work entirely from home and another 20% are in the office full time.

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Keep in mind, however, that not every employee has the ideal work-from-home setting. A call center agent, for instance, may work from the kitchen table in a one-bedroom apartment with poor Internet bandwidth, says Kathy Sobus, who leads customer experience strategy at ConvergeOne. Businesses must equip employees with the right keyboards, monitors and broadband setups and add more flexibility to boost productivity. This may mean mandated time off to avoid burnout, staggering remote work hours into smaller chunks throughout the day or adding gamifying tools to motivate and keep employees engaged.

  • 2. An influx of customer inquiries requires new approaches to offloading work:
    About half of ConvergeOne’s customers have deployed artificial intelligence and virtual assistants, and the success has been mixed. Those who have benefited from self-service tools allow people to get information quickly without complicated decision trees and website searches and they meet customers where they are. Customers say it’s important to not divert all workload to one channel over another but to evenly distribute those inquiries to meet customers where they are. The key is to allow customers to self-serve whenever possible.
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  • 3. Security will become even more important:
    Ransomware attacks have exploded with the switch to work-from-home. As many as 94% of ransomware attacks come through phishing emails, and because most companies pay the ransom to reclaim data, it’s become a $20 billion illegal industry. In addition, as much as 70% of social engineering is coming through contact centers, in which thieves fish for information, gain access and change passwords. Businesses should train employees on these threats monthly and boost education via company blog posts and intranet pop-ups. Biometric authentication, such as facial recognition or thumbprint recognition, could also help remote call center agents protect sensitive data.

  • 4. It’s still possible to beat the cyber thieves with disaster recovery mechanisms:
    Cyber vaults can expand your backup landscape and cyber recovery solutions provide step-by-step recovery, reimaging, data analytics and more. Yet just 1% of companies have cyber recovery solutions in place. ConvergeOne customers rely on such tools as Cisco AMP +Umbrella, Arctic Wolf,  AlertLogic, Rapid7 and Cisco SecureX, which provides a dashboard for all your security products and forensic data. “The more inputs an organization has, the better they’ll be able to handle a breach,” says Chris Ripkey, ConvergeOne’s senior director of cybersecurity. “We also created a new reference architecture for cyber security recovery which helps prevent a wider attack.”
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By partnering with our customers and understanding their needs, now more than ever, ConvergeOne delivers progressive, innovative solutions that connect people with purpose.

ConvergeOne Thought Leader

Tim-Femister-Circle-2
  • Tim Femister

  • Vice President, Digital Infrastructure

  • ConvergeOne

Tim Femister is the executive leader for ConvergeOne’s Digital Infrastructure Group, which encompasses all functions of the national Cloud, Cybersecurity, Data Center and Enterprise Networking technology practices. Tim is fiercely passionate about helping organizations connect, protect and leverage their digital assets in a manner that drives transformational value. He is a frequent keynote speaker and presenter on topics related to digital, cloud and security transformation. Tim also authored the market-leading and widely adopted engagement methodology known as WAVES helping organizations better understand how to proactively improve the state of their environment through a structured, prescriptive process.

ConvergeOne Thought Leader

Chris-Ripkey-Circle
  • Chris Ripkey

  • Senior Director, Cybersecurity

  • ConvergeOne

Chris has 20+ years in the IT industry.  He is currently the National Practice leader of Convergeone’s Cybersecurity practice, one of the Top 10 Cisco Security Partners in the US.  Chris has been with Convergeone for almost 10 years.  7 of those years were with Alexander Open Systems (AOS), one of Convergeone’s acquisitions in 2017.  Prior to running the cybersecurity national practice, Chris was the Vice President of Design and Cisco Practice lead at AOS.  Chris has an extended background in Cisco Products and Services with expertise in design and implementation. 

ConvergeOne Thought Leader

kathy-sobus-circle
  • Kathy Sobus

  • Senior Director of Customer Experience Strategy

  • ConvergeOne

As the Senior Director of Customer Experience Strategy for ConvergeOne, Kathy Sobus leads a team with extensive experience in the contact center business and drives strategic alliances and partnerships with various vendors and providers. She is an expert in the area of customer experience and helps clients enhance their contact centers to more effectively respond to their customers’ ever-changing needs.

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