In this series of articles explaining what the benefits of a leased line can bring to your business, FlexFibre examines how it can open up access to a global talent pool for so many business functions, and how collaboration on projects can now be half a world away rather than limited to the same office. It also looks at how some technologies are allowing new markets to be developed, disrupted traditional industries.
Accessing skilled talent can be a headache for all types of businesses. For most, their potential pool of candidates is limited to a set geography around where they base their company. The opportunities to hire the best staff is therefore extremely limited when viewed from a global perspective.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
All companies have certain activities that aren’t necessarily dependant on their location: these will be back office functions, such as marketing, design, accounting, and in many cases programming. Outsourcing these activities is becoming more and more commonplace amongst business owners who aren’t necessarily big enough to swallow the overheads that having a full time, in house business unit would cost. And in the era of the leased line and equal speeds for uploading voice data and files and downloading them from the other end, this outsourcing now includes many countries around the globe.
There are two main ways that having a leased line can give you access to this wider pool of talent: the first is it gives a company the ability to engage a freelancer or service provider from nearly anywhere in the world at prices which represent a considerable cost saving from finding a local supplier. This is exceptionally useful for one-off projects that need skilled staffing. The second is that it enables collaboration to take place in real time via sharing documents and communications through the Cloud, taking advantage of one of many work share platforms available.
How a leased line can give you access to a global marketplace of freelancers and service providers, and how it can give your SME business the means to collaborate on key projects.
The online world is now awash with websites offering freelance services. From individuals offering their services for micro-projects, such as Fiverr to People Per Hour, to more high end, skilled providers on industry specific sites. But recruiting the right talent is still important, and managing that talent is more important still. Having a leased line that gives you fast access to the Cloud can enable you to take advantage of key software platforms for project management that can help you monitor work progress and make collaboration far more efficient between remote workers. Features include live screen sharing, online conferencing, Voice Over Internet Protocol, and content sharing. With many supported by mobile apps, these Cloud based solutions are powerful tools for managing remote workforces and keeping large scale collaborations on schedule.
How having a leased line can open up new markets and product opportunities for the connected SME:
As well as opening up the business to collaborate on new projects and to outsource certain business functions that don’t necessarily need to be so local, a fast and stable connection can also open up new opportunities for your products and services.
This has never been more apparent than in our current era, as we embark on the Internet of Things way of business, where devices from our homes will be connected online to feed data back to the Cloud about room temperatures, energy use, and, in growing cases, telemetric data from our cars and health data from our phones. In a connected world where, very soon, there will be more devices than humans online, the scope of a business to deliver its services and to augment its products has never been greater.
Having a leased line with equal upload and download capabilities therefore doesn’t just open you to new opportunities based on geography, it also opens up new opportunities in the way you compete and what products you sell.
A case study in collaboration: Saving lives via collaboration.
Collaborating over distances goes beyond finding freelancers and service providers to outsource the non-vital aspects of your business. In the world of fast connectivity it is now genuinely life saving. In 2001, the first transatlantic operation was carried out by surgeons in New York on a patient in France, via ‘telesurgery’ as it has now become known. Now, in 2018, there are thousands of Da Vinci robotic units throughout the world, allowing a skilled surgeon to disseminate their skills and knowledge to a wider patient base that can be treated closer to their homes, usually with a more junior surgeon in attendance should anything go wrong. And it all depends on stable connectivity that is fast enough not to experience any lag in the upload and download times.
This is an example where the skills of the users actually go out to meet demand: it is not just a case of working on a shared file from users in different locations, nor of recruiting a freelancer or service provider to develop a program, marketing campaign, or to act as a book keeper. It is allowing the business to extend its reach to new clients that would have once been well beyond their means.