Easy mobile integration and enterprise-class mobile device management make Samsung Hosted an ideal solution for today’s flexible working culture
The UK workforce is changing rapidly. Driven by the expectations of employees and customers, by the desire to cut costs and by the need to raise productivity, public and private sector organisations of all sizes have adopted flexible and mobile working practices.
In its report, Working Anywhere: A Winning Formula for Good Work, The Work Foundation at Lancaster University suggests that the proportion of organisation in which mobile working is normal practice will rise from more than one third in 2014 to over half this year and more than 70% in 2020.
Clearly, for these workers, a smartphone is an essential business tool. It is where people tend to store their contact details and it is how many prefer to reach someone with flexible, mobile working habits.
However, mobile telephony cannot be relied on completely for business communications.
In a recent survey of 1,000 office workers by Arqiva, 49% said that they had experienced poor mobile coverage in their office, including dropped calls and weak or no signal. Almost three quarters (72%) said that these problems occurred weekly, with 25% complaining that they happened daily: 43% said poor mobile coverage was impacting their ability to do their job properly, with 26% complaining that it caused extreme levels of stress and frustration.
For business managers, mobile-first tendencies can be both expensive and risky, freeing employees from the supervision that modern PBXs provide and creating gaps in communications records and reports.
Compared to mobile-only communications, fixed line IP telephony – hosted or on premise – provides reliable voice quality, greater management control and, for those who like desk phones with large buttons and handsets that don’t run hot, a familiar and ergonomic user experience.
As a leader in mobile devices and business communication systems, Samsung has made it a priority to integrate mobile communications and office telephony, so that its customers can experience the benefits of mobility, without sacrificing management, visibility and control.
For a number of years, users of Samsung Communication Manager (SCM) phone systems have enjoyed seamless integration of smartphones running the Samsung WE VoIP unified communications app.
This connects WiFi-enabled mobile devices to the office phone system and turns a smartphone, tablet or laptop into another extension, with access to the same resources (e.g. unified contacts lists) and the same management tools, including call logs, audit trails and call recording.
Because Samsung Hosted is effectively a cloud-based SCM system, users of the new hosted VoIP service also benefit from smartphone integration, including:
simultaneous ringing of a desk phone and mobile, and the ability to answer the incoming call on either device;
call transfer between a desk phone and mobile – and vice versa – in mid conversation, with no break in the speech path;
automatic hand-over of voice calls from WiFi to GSM when a mobile is out of WiFi range;
automatic routing over the mobile network or VoIP depending on the user’s location – the user just has to dial the number; and
the option of using SIM-less, WiFi-enabled Samsung smartphones/tablets as an alternative to DECT phones.
Wilfred Wood, senior product manager at Samsung Electronics UK, said: “Samsung Hosted is all about flexibility. This starts with the hosted model, which can quickly and easily be scaled up or down to meet a customer’s needs and easily accommodates home workers and other remote offices. This also extends to the types of handset people use. A business could standardise on smartphones or desk phones, or use a combination of both. Samsung Hosted supports all deployment models.”
Easy mobile integration is important due to the ‘mobile first’ mentality of many of today’s office workers, which can be costly and hard to control. However, if a mobile is integrated with Samsung Hosted, it doesn’t matter if someone uses it to make a call when in the office: the call will automatically go out over VoIP and the business will retain a record of it in their call log.
Samsung Hosted gives customers even more control over smartphone users through a Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) that enables them to track, monitor and control corporate mobile devices and, should they wish to do so, record calls made to and from them.
Call recording between mobile devices and between mobiles and landlines, as well as between landlines, is a big step forward, especially for financial services organisations that are subject to new MiFID II regulations requiring an audit trail for all financial transactions, including those made on mobile devices.
Call recording is also useful for training purposes or as back-up in a customer dispute.
As well as recording calls and SMS text messages, Samsung Hosted’s MDMS can capture photos and 10-second video clips taken on a smartphone/tablet, complete with GPS location details, time and date stamps and, with Samsung Note devices, digital signatures as well. These clips can be used to provide evidence of work done, deliveries made or sites visited.
Recordings are encrypted and stored in Samsung Hosted datacentres free of charge for six months from the date of capture, after which they can be kept in the cloud for a fee, providing an additional sales opportunity for resellers, or downloaded for archiving and storage by the customer.
Samsung Hosted’s mobile device management system isn’t just good for evidential purposes; it is also an extremely useful tool for managing mobile and remote workers, for example by tracking the location of devices or viewing call logs and the Top 10 numbers dialled.
“Managing a mobile workforce can be challenging for businesses. Samsung’s Hosted MDMS makes it a lot easier by providing detailed insight into a device’s location, movements, usage patterns and more. Authorised personnel can view this data through a secure web browser, enabling them to keep tabs on personnel. Or they could use it to enhance the service they provide to customers. For example, a courier company could use GPS tracking to track the whereabouts of a driver and give the customer an estimated time of arrival,” explained Wood.
He points out these features can also be used to ensure the safety of mobile workers, especially lone workers.
“By tracking the location of mobiles or requesting an alert if a phone hasn’t been used for a certain period, managers can monitor the whereabouts and activity of staff. This isn’t just to ensure employees are where they are meant to be; it can also help make sure they are safe – in an emergency, a remote worker can press three buttons on the side of their device to transmit an SOS signal and their GPS location,” said Wood.
Another very important function of the MDMS is to help protect mobile devices and the data stored on them.
As well as tracking devices, administrators can monitor how they are being used and, if necessary, control them remotely. For example, they can turn devices on and off; turn mobile data on and off; wipe a device; block SMS messages; delete unauthorised apps; and access telemetry information.
“Securing mobile devices is absolutely critical, especially in organisations with large numbers of mobile workers equipped with smartphones and tablets. The Samsung Hosted MDMS gives administrators access to a range of tools that they can use to secure data on lost or stolen devices. In addition, tools to control the types of app installed and used on users’ devices can help protect a company’s own systems from malware and other threats,” explained Wood.
Businesses today – your customers – are more mobile than ever. In order to gain maximum benefit from flexible working methods and to minimise the risk of data loss, many will need to take a more active role in the management of employees’ mobile devices. Samsung Hosted gives them the tools to do this, whilst also providing a flexible platform for business communications that can scale up and down to meet changing needs.
Samsung Hosted is the hosted IP solution that resellers and end users have been waiting for. To find out more about the product and becoming a reseller, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Easy scalability from 1 to 3,000 extensions per site
No capital expenditure on equipment, just a monthly usage fee
No requirement for on-premises equipment – all that’s needed is a handset and/or Samsung smartphone
Easy integration of remote workers and other offices
Automatic maintenance and upgrades, with no need for site visits – everything happens in the cloud
Future-proof – users automatically enjoy the latest system features
Big system security included in the monthly fee
Resilience – instead of having to install two systems on your premises with two separate network connections to different BT exchanges in BT, everything is dealt with in the hosted environment
Certified security – giving you piece of mind that your communications are secure and any data held is secure and controlled under UK law.
Expandable platform – in the future, Samsung will be launching Samsung Contact Centre as a hosted option, giving customers the opportunity to streamline call handling, with automatic call distribution, skills-based call routing, self-service options, call monitoring/recording and automatic diallers.