This year many businesses ramped up their digitisation strategies which are changing the ways that businesses operate altogether. Remote working drove big changes in how we communicate, collaborate, and work together. And technology is at the core of how business owners are adapting.
The one thing about shifts such as the global pandemic and technology in how we work is that they bring with them a multitude of ways that businesses can adapt to be better. Warren Bonheim, Managing Director of Zinia, a leading ICT and telecoms provider, shares six essential technologies that businesses can affordably implement to adapt.
Telephony – enter the cloud
As the pandemic shifted us into a remote working scenario, many companies using traditional telephone systems - PBXs - did not have the flexibility to shift quickly. Hosted PBX enabled remote working in a massive way. The PBX is hosted in the cloud at a telecom provider’s premises, your telephone network runs through the Internet Protocol (IP) versus traditional phone line infrastructure and is fully managed by a provider.
This gives your employees the same telephony functions as if they were in the office, and your customers a professional experience with your company. Employees can receive and make calls professionally from anywhere as long as they have access to the Internet or mobile data. Via an app on a mobile device, their phone becomes an extension of the company PBX and employees can make and receive calls as if they are sitting at their desk.
Cloud business software – hello remote working
Your employees need to continue using business office technology that they are highly familiar with. They need to access these systems wherever they are on any device. With software such as Microsoft 365 in the cloud, employees are able to stream all their applications, data and tools – including their personalised settings – from the cloud to any device whether it is a laptop, computer, iPad or mobile phone. Employees can work from anywhere, provide a consistent customer experience, and they can do their work productively.
Virtual meetings became the norm enabled by technologies like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype and Google Meet. One thing we saw companies embrace are integrated systems like with Microsoft, where work, collaboration and communication happens within one business ecosystem; with Teams for example, employees can share files, organise meetings from their calendar and sync with other office apps.
Productivity – data for managers
The productivity of your employees is the driving force of your business. And in the fast-paced new world of teams working remotely, and in the office, making sure everyone is achieving their full potential is a challenge for most companies.
Productivity technologies have emerged which provide workforce analytics to help you understand your people and how they work on their computers. Innovative employee monitoring software allows managers to gain real-time insights via easy-to-understand dashboards, graphs, and reports to know how their team is doing and when to take action if needed.
Virtualising almost everything is definitely here in a big way. This means that your company can use a virtual - instead of an actual version of something – for example a server, network, operating system, or storage device. Some of the benefits you can take advantage of is having quicker backups and easier disaster recovery if something should go wrong – you can literally move say a virtual server quickly and be back up and running in no time. Also, virtualising your environment means lower costs because you don’t need expensive hardware.
Managed Services – outsourcing to specialists
As managing costs become key in a downturn, looking for ways to ensure accurate budgeting or reigning in IT costs is key. Through managed services, which means outsourcing parts or all of your IT to a specialist, you can focus on your core business while saving on high IT resource costs.
These companies have invested heavily in smart systems which allows them to provide a host of services for SME’s at an affordable fee. From IT support, anti-virus protection, backups, cybersecurity, network management …you name it, these days most managed service providers can take care of your IT, while you focus on growing your company.
Artificial Intelligence – let’s go automation
Automation is one of the biggest breakthroughs in business today essentially allowing you to use tech to deliver or get services without any human intervention. From an IT perspective, a human can only do so much in the time they have. You can now automate 1000s of routine IT tasks, plus using AI tech you can now anticipate, diagnose and fix any issues that crop up before they become a problem. This kind of proactive approach to tech means that your IT environment is not constantly breaking down which can be very costly.
So, there you have it, the 6 technologies businesses are using to take full advantage of digitisation and to adapt to the new world of work.
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Founded in 2009, Zinia is a forward-thinking company focused on providing Internet, Voice and IT solutions that underpin business success. Zinia’s goal is to provide decision-makers with solutions they can depend on, taking away the headache of managing technology and enabling them to focus on the business. In its twelve-year history, Zinia has grown into a formidable force, from humble beginnings as a wireless ISP to today’s position as a leading Telecoms and ICT company with over 80 staff, a national footprint and a service culture that customers rave about.
Warren Bonheim, Zinia Co-founder and Managing Director
Warren is the quintessential self-made entrepreneur with the drive and humour of Richard Branson and the wisdom of Jack Welch. Despite multiple challenges over the years, his resilience and passion for constant improvement have led him to become the impressive leader he is today.
At 40 years of age, Warren is the MD of Zinia, a highly profitable multi-million rand business that continues to grow year on year since its inception in 2009. Zinia is focused on delivering the best IT, Internet and voice solutions for business with an unparalleled service experience - a positioning that has resonated with the market, fueling the company’s growth even during tough market conditions.
When he started Zinia at the age of 29, his experiences as a twenty-something entrepreneur had matured and shaped his business acumen. Zinia from the outset was run like a big business with tight controls, a strong management team, statistics to inform decision-making and a process methodology that revolves around simplicity and innovation.
With a strong leadership team in place, Warren enjoys the freedom he has to develop and execute growth strategies for Zinia, which is a role that matches his energy and drive 100%. With a passion for seeking “what’s next” and constantly improving, Warren is the perfect leader to drive the future of Zinia.
Warren’s early story is a compelling one. Starting out at 19 he navigated the ups and downs of being a rookie in sales, working for various companies including Kirby, Health & Raquet Club, Red Devil Energy drink and Nashua. Working at a small telecoms company was a turning point for Warren, where he was taken under a sales manager’s wing and taught an effective sales methodology which saw him go from zero to hero in a matter of months.
After achieving great success where he broke company sales records, his passion for entrepreneurship had grown and at the age of 22, he started a PABX and Premicell business in the telecoms industry where he made his first Million in one year. With no support other than his and a business partners’ own money, in the early days he talks about how they scraped through the day eating very little, were on the road five to six hours a day and worked from a dingy office above a curry manufacturing business. While this time of his life was challenging, it became a driving force fueling him forward – he never again wants to sit on a pavement sharing a cheese roll and juice box between two people or smell curry at 6 am in the morning!
In the next seven years, he grew his business to a staff compliment of 50, billing a couple of million per month. He learnt a lot about running a business in those years and cites the following as his biggest learnings, “you can never assume tomorrow will be great, never lose sight of who you are and what got you there, and always keep your fingers on the pulse of the numbers.” These were the reasons he threw it all away at a young age and had to start again with not so much as a rand in his pocket or a business card.
The idea had formed in his mind to create a Wireless Internet and Voice provider with a difference. He made the business a reality and Zinia was born. This time Warren’s drive and vision were backed up with almost a decade of ICT knowledge and 7 years of business management experience. With the understanding that you need to sacrifice in the beginning to build a profitable business, Warren and the team he brought in initially sacrificed salaries and heavy expenses to focus on creating a smart, innovation-driven business that would be sustainable, well-run, efficient and profitable. Zinia has since grown into a leading ICT and Telecoms company offering IT, internet and voice telecoms solutions company that underpin business success. In its twelve-year history, Warren has grown the company into a formidable force, from humble beginnings as a wireless ISP to today’s position as a leading Telecoms and ICT company with over 80 staff, a national footprint and a service culture that customers rave about. There is no doubt that Warren will lead Zinia to further heights in the telecommunications space.
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