The work world has gone remote—or at least hybrid—and that’s not changing any time soon. This puts incredible stress on our IT resources, whether those resources are in-house or outsourced to a partner, to provide the right technology and user experience while also dealing with the risks created by remote employees. Just picking the right technology has created a minefield for many enterprises as they look to balance the need for employees to have access to customer data via the cloud as an example while also trying to manage the risk of that same employee being on home Wi-Fi, public networks and perhaps even sharing a computer.
Further, most technology doesn’t take into account the differences in human behaviors when people work remotely. This is where, in my opinion, the partner-led cloud evolution will be changing the game for remote work in the future, knitting together the technology that allows people to work with the technology that enables people to work well.
Depending on the industry, this opportunity to knit together solutions that truly work not just for remote learning or work but for true online education or career engagement will be massive. Let’s use education as an example, when the pandemic first reared its ugly head, many schools were forced to scramble and find a remote solution for students and teachers to use to ensure the students’ education could continue, as a result, many schools went with the simplest option which was to find a meeting platform like Zoom and have all teachers and students use it for the duration.
But there were multiple issues with this approach. First, remote is not the same as online learning; the latter encompasses a fully holistic approach designed to ensure the student excels, remote just delivers a class online. Secondly, tools like Zoom don’t really track student engagement by participant, and so teachers couldn’t ascertain which students were learning and who weren’t in any analytical way other than taking tally counts during the call, clearly less than ideal. Finally, none of the technology meeting platforms used for remote considered how the students were coping with the transition to remote using a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) approach as an example. They simply didn’t factor that variable into their technology, and as result, we saw a decrease in student engagement and an increase in psychological problems for students of all ages.
However, some educators used partners to take a different approach, they looked more holistically at the issue and developed inclusive online learning cultures designed to engage and empower students, support, and inspire teachers and create a community of learning opportunities to include parents, coaches, and other key stakeholders. These partners brought these educational institutions creative cloud solutions far beyond a Zoom meeting platform, cloud solutions like SEL curriculums like 7MindSet which is hosted in the cloud and designed to help children succeed and unique learning management systems (LMS) like Schoology to ensure everyone had access to the right content and support as well. These partners by designing a holistic cloud intended to create a true online learning environment changed the game on remote and as a result, create environs where students excelled, and everyone won.
Another great example is sales, how many enterprises saw their salespeople have to evolve to serve clients 100% remotely for the very first time? There were no events, no onsite client meetings, no executive briefings, and again the solution many partners and IT groups brought to the table were cloud solutions like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. While technically good meeting platforms, they didn’t do anything to help improve how these sellers sold in a remote environment – again these solutions merely delivered an ability to work things remotely not an engagement strategy to improve sales.
Partners who truly looked at the full requirements for a remote seller saw a different picture they designed solutions to help overcome obstacles that held sellers back when they were remote. They implemented cloud solutions like SetSail which enabled them to use AI to identify which remote behaviors were leading to sales and which weren’t and update their sales approaches accordingly – even enabling contests and rewards that encouraged the right closing sales behaviors. Further, for sellers who were new at sales or just new at remote presentations they enabled cloud solutions like Poised that use AI to give sellers live feedback on their presentation skills while on a cloud meeting platform. These creative partners changed the game for those remote sellers and as a result, raised sales for the enterprises they served.
This is where having the right partner makes all the difference in the world for our success in using cloud solutions for remote work. We can all learn from the approach these partners I noted above used to solve the issue and ask ourselves do we have the right partners to help us examine our true remote needs or simply suppliers of technology platforms? Reconsider your partnering journey for remote by reimaging success and then engaging the right partners to deliver the results you truly need to succeed.
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