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What a Global Crisis Reveals about Working from Home

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

“Microsoft, Google, Slack, Zoom et al struggling to deal with a spike in remote tools thanks to coronavirus”, reads a headline from tech news outlet, The Register. This came on March 12— just when companies in various European countries and most of the US started an all but mandatory work-from-home policy. More than a week after the initial tidal wave of users hit the big, centralized unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions, some of those are still crashing.

And then what? On March 18, Cisco revealed they were patching their Cisco Webex Meetings software after attackers were allowed to “exploit vulnerabilities by sending a malicious ARF or WRF file to a user through a link or email attachment and persuading the user to open the file on the local system.” Successful exploitations could allow those attackers to execute arbitrary code on the affected systems with the admin privileges of the targeted user. This occurred just as workers in Latin America started with home office. If UCC has a time to shine, then this is it.

After all, remote working has been commonplace in offices for years now, with reports even claiming that two thirds of the global workforce do home office at least once a week.

Following the urgent recommendations of the World Health Organization, in order to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus disease, companies around the world asked millions of people to work from home. As a result, effective communication immediately came to rely much more heavily on home-based meetings, calls, and video conferences. Thankfully, remote working of some form or other has been commonplace in offices for years already, with reports even claiming that two thirds of the global workforce do home office at least once a week. Why, then, when we finally need to rely on unified communication in a moment of crisis, does it constantly fail? Even if the faulty service was reported only from a minority of providers, those few bad apples are spoiling the whole barrel and shaking the reliability of unified communications and online collaboration solutions.

There is no doubt about the benefits of unified communications and collaboration (UCC) in times like these. Businesses being able to secure effective project and team collaboration while letting their employees maintain a safe distance from one another is one of the core advantages of UCC in the coronavirus crisis. Nevertheless, UCC providers must be up to the challenge of offering a reliable, secure and trustworthy platform for their users in order for their solutions to work properly.

If UCC has a time to shine, then this is it.

We at ECT are convinced local carriers have the opportunity to offer what no global company can offer at this time: a UCC service tailored to the needs of local markets; one that stores personal data within that same country, and that guarantees service to every user, even if they are all working from home simultaneously. And we can prove it by taking a look at our customers’ services: Fully operational and fully available, even now. Because, regardless of the reasons for failure, a patchy service is always unreliable and there is no trial period long enough to make up for the man-hours lost during down time.

ECT believes carriers are of the utmost importance not only to day-to-day communications but to extraordinary situations and emergencies like the one we are currently facing. We will discuss in a later post how they can help both with value-added services only available through them, and by providing complete solutions unavailable through OTT providers. If you are interested in learning more, we will be glad to hear from you.

ECT Editorial Team