If you know anything at all about tech, it’s that the last two years have thrown organisations of all shapes, sizes, and sectors head-first into the digital realm.
But just as much as state-of-the-art products and solutions have the power to revolutionise business, people are equally a key driver of innovation – not least when they’re industry-renowned professionals with bags full of experience and expertise.
Didn’t catch the commentary from our hand-selected panel of VIPs at our intimate event last week? Don’t fear. We’ve curated a list of the key takeaways that every successful leader should know as they continue to augment their own digital transformation strategy in 2022 – and beyond.
So sit tight, and delve in…
1. Don’t underestimate conversation around the 4th industrial revolution – it’s here
And our clients think of Vapour as the plumbing to the Internet and other applications. It just works.
2. By 2025, 27% of the global workforce will be Gen Zs
Not only are they an important talent pool in this industry – having grown up without a recollection of life with no internet – they’re also the future of every organisation.
With that in mind, do you understand what your employees need and want from the workplace, especially when it comes to the expectations they have on technology?
3. Intelligent automation is a key driver of innovation
As well as saving time, money, and headaches dealing with the ‘dumb stuff’ – much like RPA – intelligent automation on the other hand can also ingest, interpret, and think about data, work harder, and enhance the roles of people even further.
4. Automation can work 24/7/365
Not only this, but it’s also able to work three times faster than human processing and with 100% accuracy, plus infinite scalability.
Repetitive tasks are often one of the biggest causes of job dissatisfaction and wasted time, and according to Rob Dawson – principle consultant at Robiquity and one of the speakers at our event – clients save an average of 27,000 hours per year using their intelligent automation services!
5. McKinsey data states that IT budgets typically go over by an average of 45%!
That’s why it’s crucial to look for a partner that is vender agnostic, and will implement the solution that’s right for your needs – not the one they’re paid to implement.
Ask questions specific to your own IT scenario too, to validate their experience. Rob’s advice on this topic was to ensure the discovery stage of a project is thorough, to ensure true RPA readiness, and to ask for a partner’s typical speed to value time – 5 weeks should be feasible, on average (depending on the nature of the project of course!).
6. Many VoIP providers only work with 1-2 carriers
This means their disaster recovery lacks vital resilience.
On the other hand, Wavenet – one of the partners to feature on the event line-up – works with multiple carriers. This vastly mitigates the risk of any comms disruption for that client. If the connection goes down unexpectedly, the traffic simply flips to another in milliseconds.
Is it any wonder over a 12-month period, a busy 300-seat customer of Vapour’s had ZERO faults with Wavenet’s TeamsLink system?
7. Worldwide IT spending to grow 3% this year
Despite economic headwinds, IT decision makers are spending more on cloud services and the data centre.
And with inflationary pressures top-of-mind creating a degree of uncertainty, already high prices could rise even further. With that in mind, it’s no surprise enterprises are making a switch from ownership-based IT models to service-bases ones.
8. Tech adoption has risen exponentially – but there’s a renewed focus on people, and therefore employee wellbeing too, particularly in contact centre environments
Puzzel’s partner success manager, Alison Hogg, suggests that customer tolerance for slow service has diminished, and there’s an increasing demand to use whichever channel they want, when they want – with an unparalleled new focus on receiving a seamless, connected customer experience. So, Alison encouraged us to think about what that means for brands and how they respond.
It’s also important to remember that comms channel silos means team silos, which usually a bad user experience, as well as inefficient workloads as tasks require duplication.
9. Puzzel helps you serve micro-moments that drive engagement
With intelligent self-service for consumers, a seamless user experience for customers and agents, and automated scheduling that ensures you are always effectively staffed, the platform’s digital-first approach speeds up first contact resolutions to help improve customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
And if a customer wants to speak to a real person, chatbots can recognise this too! With a request for intervention and a full chat history, agents can easily pick up a customer conversation to enhance the overall service level.
10. Businesses will increasingly demand network connectivity via ground and air
The world of 5G is expanding at pace, fuelling pacy innovation for organisations reliant on smart devices and IoT, and providing ever-changing businesses with a quick and easy way to get connected – rapid deployment with a fixed cost, particularly great for firms with satellite/pop-up sites.
Still hungry for more insight? Download the full speaker presentations from the innovation forum, for free.
To discuss any of these topics in further detail, please contact Vapour on 0333 200 1142 or fill out our contact form.
Cloud technology disruptor Vapour has launched an SD-WAN solution – powered by Gartner Magic Quadrant leader Fortinet – to integrate endpoint and network security for the hybrid workplace.
Deployed as a software licence – with three levels of support available on a ‘price per user per month’ basis – the solution facilitates endpoint visibility and management, secure remote access for employees irrespective of location, and automated threat intelligence and response.
Mindful that IT leaders are seeking zero-touch provisioning, this technology is even simpler to roll out, as no hardware installation is required. The service has been 12 months in the planning.
With transparent visibility to each endpoint, the solution gives IT teams full control over individual compliance, and ensures that endpoint-borne risks such as firewall weaknesses or unsecure home routers will not pose a threat to corporate networks.
Security workflows are automated for proactive ongoing management, and dynamic controls mean the SD-WAN technology ‘fixes itself’, based on colleagues’ security posture, and the speed, performance, and traffic on the network at a given point in time. Potential security threats are also raised, and incidents contained almost instantly.
Commenting on the timeliness of the launch, Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer said: “We all know that the traditional 9-5 is long gone, with employees seeking increasing flexibility from their working day –especially when it comes to location. Many people are keen to remain at home, some are hungry to return to the workplace, and others want the fluidity to decide from one day to the next.
“Hybrid working is definitely the future, but this isn’t the easiest to manage from a network security perspective. This is exactly why we’ve launched this solution – it’s powerful technology designed to liberate businesses, as they move forward in a post-Covid world.”
Vapour’s market research revealed that most organisations are reliant on VPNs only, but the cost and time associated with managing this approach to network security means the solution is usually available for a limited number of senior colleagues alone.
Vapour’s senior network engineer Salim Ramzan added: “The beauty of our software-focused solution to secure hybrid working, is that it is technically brilliant, but operationally effortless. Even the ‘Lite’ version of the licence includes functionality that I predict 40% of IT leaders don’t currently have.
“That’s the benefit of investing in a security-first cloud architecture – security lies at the heart of it, rather than it being an afterthought. For example, a sandbox feature automatically identifies potentially malicious inbound content, sends it to Fortinet and explores its validity, in seconds, before allowing it to land in the recipient’s inbox. If the sandbox is dissatisfied with the outcome, the content is held and the IT director is alerted so that they can investigate it further, in a secure environment, if they wish.”
Further information on Vapour’s Lite, Premium and Pro licences, can be found at vapourcloud.com/SD-WAN-hybrid-working
It’s Carol McGrotty’s turn in the spotlight this month – find out what Vapour’s head of operations and compliance would change about the tech sector, why she couldn’t live without her Sat Nav and her thoughts on embracing female talent in the sector…
How did you first get into the world of tech?
It was fate that led me to a secondment role in January 2000 with NTL (now Virgin Media Business). I stayed there for 12 years and then the opportunity with Vapour Cloud came along.
And what is your earliest memory of tech in your life?
I’m not sure that this technology really changed the world, but when we got an electric typewriter in the house, we definitely thought we had moved with the times!
What’s the one quality you need to thrive in this environment (especially at Vapour)?
Innovation. At Vapour we are always curious – and looking for new ways to surprise and delight – as well as finding even better methods of doing things.
And what is the one thing you would change about the tech sector?
When it comes to embracing female talent in technical roles, there is still a way to go. The key for future generations is encouragement at both school and apprentice level.
Why do you think Vapour stands out in the channel?
We have a reputation for working closely – and becoming entwined – with our partners’ sales and marketing teams, which leads to great success rates. We also offer key tools, systems and workshops to third parties – making us different.
Complete the sentences:
The best piece of tech ever invented is... the Sat Nav. I’d be lost without mine – literally!
The next purchase on my (personal) tech wishlist is... a Fitbit Charge 3.
A tech firm that has really stood out for me in the last 12 months is... Spearhead Interactive. Its demonstration of the interactive experiences that virtual reality offers – witnessed at Vapour’s Innovation & Disruption events – was very impressive.
The biggest misconception in the channel is that... the industry should be avoided because it’s challenging. This should be a motivator for workers and not a deterrent – it’s why we are so passionate about what we do!
By the end of 2020, our tech will have made organisations far more... private and secure through cloud-based technology – the Vapour network ensures that customers have excellent end-to-end private connectivity.