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Chris Marlar, Vice President of Supplier Services from ScanSource

Communication and Collaboration are Key while Working Remotely

Recently, I was able to catch up with Mona Abou-Sayed—Vice President of Collaboration and Applications from Mitel. She brought me up to speed about how Mitel has answered the call for technology that keeps us connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some brief highlights of our conversation are below. For the full interview, click the link at the end of this blog.

Tell us a little more about Mitel and the solutions you provide.
Mitel is a global market leader in business communications powering more than two billion business connections worldwide. We help businesses and service providers connect, collaborate, and provide innovative services for their customers.

What resources are you offering that will help customers stay connected while working remotely?
Mitel has always been in the business of helping people work remotely, but with the shift now of everyone working from home, we have to step it up and act a lot differently. For our existing customers, we have pulled together a comprehensive set of technical resources and how-to guides on how to best leverage the solutions they already have during these unique times. These include set-up guides and best-practice videos and resources, because it is not only a challenge from an equipment standpoint, but there’s also quite a challenge for the people who are used to being in the office all the time.

We have solutions that make the mechanics easy, and we’re also launching a number of key promotions around remote work.

How have you empowered your own employees to succeed while working remotely?
We have a number of employees who regularly work from home, but it has never been at the level we have now. First, we immediately leveraged our tools and current infrastructure, including getting people the right equipment. Fortunately, we had just released MiTeam Meetings, and this video tool is in use across the globe now. I’m actually using it six to eight hours a day, and I don’t know how I would survive without having a video solution.

Our leadership team has stepped up their dialogue around the culture shift that we’re going through. As leaders, we have to be empathetic to our employees because not only are they shifting to working from a much different environment, they may be doing so with a child who is e-learning right next to them.

We also need to make sure that we disconnect. When working from home, it’s really hard to leave the office when it’s all in the same place. So, encouraging us to take those mental breaks, take the walks, and then re-establish the camaraderie that we get in the office.

What have you learned from the recent COVID-19 pandemic? How are you putting those insights to work for your customers and employees?
We’ve ensured business continuity. We know it really depends on solid communication and collaboration. It’s important to replace the social aspect of everyone working in the same building.

Moving forward, we’re going to continue to help our employees, partners, and customers build their infrastructure so that they’re prepared in case this happens again. I believe more companies are going to be a lot more tolerant of employees working from home.

What one device could you not live without during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I’m going to cheat and give you one device and one application. For my device, the speakerphone S720 helps me whenever I’m on a call—whether it’s a softphone or a video call. It does a great job with echo cancellation, so we’re not talking over each other. My number one application is MiTeam Meetings. Like I said earlier, I’m spending six to eight hours a day on it.

Do you have anything else to add while we’re talking about working remotely?
We’re seeing a significant increase in demand for our cloud-based applications as businesses implement new work-from-home strategies. We believe that this new way of working is really here to stay in many regards as businesses realize financial and productivity gains. Our Mitel partners are the lynch pin in helping us realize this transition and helping our customers seamlessly move in that direction.

Many thanks to Mona for her time, and we invite you to watch the entire video interview with her. Stay well everyone!