Building technology partnerships

As we’ve seen from this and past reports, organisations today are facing new and wide ranging demands, in fact more so than ever before. We’ve seen many leaders, in your position, that are experiencing incredible change within their organisations. It’s both exciting and daunting because ultimately how you respond to that change will define your future success.

Many organisations are facing the pressures of meeting the expectations of increasingly demanding customers and suppliers. They come to us looking for new ways for technology to enable the people within their organisations to be more effective, innovative and nimble.

At its heart, Vodafone is an incredibly flexible organisation, given its size and presence. We’ve achieved that not just through the use of technology, but by addressing our processes, our people and how we use our office space first and foremost.

We know that the way your organisation communicates both internally and externally is vital to your performance. Successful modern teams need to operate more efficiently and effectively than ever before. Communication tools need to facilitate better collaboration between colleagues, give seamless access to the right information at the right time, all the while connecting you wherever you are, so your customers can easily and quickly contact you. You want to empower, inspire and support your staff to get their jobs done, in the best way possible, with all the tools they need at their fingertips.

Vodafone Enterprise Services is arguably one of the more mobile of divisions within the business. We have a high percentage of employees on the road, commuting to our office locations and client sites across the country. But that doesn’t mean to say we have to cut corners, in fact, my team and I are continually focused on results. Whether I’m sitting in my home-office collaborating with my team and customers, sharing files via our intranet, doing my annual performance review with my boss over video, chatting with colleagues using instant messaging – my own performance and that of my team is paramount. I simply don’t need to be in the office all the time. I can work from wherever I want. Whether I’m at home, hot-desking in the office, out with customers, in the UK or abroad, I’m productive, efficient and available.

And the key is we practice what we preach. More and more customers are coming to visit us and take a tour of our Newbury campus to see this in action. At the core of establishing a framework for Better Ways of Working for our customers we ask questions like… Do your processes mean people have to come into an office, are your people free to work remotely or is there an expectation that they are present in the office, and do managers need their own offices? Technology will act as a great enabler to allow organisations to collaborate more effectively, but with it must come a mind-set to change the way you work. We’re only likely to see more and more of these behavioural changes, the traditional boundaries in a Fluid Society continue to break down. As this report demonstrates, we’re at an exciting time where organisations can still be productive, responsive and deliver great service no matter how dispersed and mobile their workforce is. A small business run out of the UK can trade, interact and collaborate with customers and suppliers on a global basis. Whilst, I believe, it’s still important to meet face-to-face for the first time to establish a relationship, there’s no reason why subsequent meetings can’t be conducted over video, saving on the transport costs, time and helping meet the green agenda.

And the pace of change will continue unabated. Look at any teenager, multitasking and communicating by text, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and whatever the next big thing is. As they enter the workplace, the concept of being stuck to an office with an email inbox and fixed desk with be a total anathema. To attract the talent of tomorrow, businesses need to offer the flexible working environment and collaboration tools that Generation Y have come to expect within their personal lives.

So, in a Fluid Society, collaboration will become second nature, it will just become the way business gets done. Better for customers, employees and suppliers – A Better Way of Working.

REPORT: The Fluid Society. Working without boundaries
Download the full report which takes you through the research methodology, commentary from our contributors and advice for businesses looking to work more effectively in changing times.
  FIVE TOP TIPS: Working without boundaries
Guidance and insights from our experts and contributors to help you and your employees use flexible working more effectively to aid your business.
INFOGRAPHIC: Why working together adds up
The key statistics explaining why shared services in the Public Sector have proved to be a success.
INFOGRAPHIC: Business without barriers
The advantages of flexible working beyond question. So what will it take to make the switch?