UC For You: The IT Worker

By Brian Ferguson

Every job role within your organization has unique challenges and obstacles to overcome. Taking advantage of the right tools can make a big difference in helping your staff reach their goals, and in growing the business. Unified communications (UC) is one of those tools (or platforms filled with tools) that enable employees to deliver quality results through collaboration, mobility, visibility and much more. As part of our blog series, UC for You, we first took a look at how UC helps the office manager. This time, it’s all about another key staff member – the IT specialist or SysAdmin.

It’s pretty obvious that an office would be in serious trouble if they didn’t have any of those friendly and genius IT guys and gals on their team. (Yes, I said “genius,” and I’m really hoping our “genius” IT staff is reading this right now.) The IT staff is the key to keeping all the essential systems and pieces of technology working so the rest of us can do what we need to do. These unsung heroes save us when the printer jams, and rescue us from the ‘blue screen of death’ on the PC or the ‘spinning beach ball of severe frustration’ on our Mac. They swoop in like Sir Lancelot when we forget our system password (for the third time this week). Of course, these routine tasks are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an IT worker’s job. They have to maintain the Internet connection, the internal and external networks, web servers, email servers, CRM connectivity, phone system, and much, much more. In fact, go hug your IT person right now.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a look at some of Hollywood’s most famous, (and infamous) IT guys:

First we have the most famous IT person in the history of the Universe, R2D2! When the hyperdrive is broken and can’t get the Millennium Falcon to hyperspace, who are you going to call? When you need someone to fix your X-Wing on the fly, while you’re single-handedly destroying the Death Star, who do you need? When you’re a Princess and you need a projector to play your call for help, who’s your man…er, droid? R2D2!!!!

R2D2 IT guy

“Beep Boop Beep, Beep Boop”      – R2D2 Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

IT people have the reputation, right or wrong, of being a bit snarky and sarcastic. That stereotype is perfectly demonstrated in the extremely funny Saturday Night Live clip, Nick Burns, Your Company Computer Guy. Jimmy Fallon, in his pre- Tonight Show days, is extremely funny as Nick Burns the IT guy who harasses his technically inept co-workers – often insisting it’s User error and not the technology that causes the problem. Oh, we know, Nick, we know.

IT Guy from SNL

Lastly we have the IT Crowd, the critically acclaimed British television show about the comedic adventures of a rag-tag group of technical support workers at a large corporation. The hilarious characters, Roy, Maurice and Jen, really put the ‘IT’ in ‘wit.’

IT Crowd IT guys

While these IT guys and gals (and droids) entertain us with their humor and heroism, the real world IT workers are essential to the success of all businesses. But even they need the right tools to get the job done. When it comes to your phone system, a Switchvox UC system not only improves business communications for the entire office, but it also provides several key benefits and tools to help make an IT specialist’s job a lot easier. Here are a few of the benefits:

Ease of Use- Switchvox is widely known for its simple and easy-to-use interfaces, especially for the IT staff.

  • Simple- The GUI uses simple drop-down menus and quick links to maneuver through the system.  No longer do IT workers have to worry about scripting or coding to do the simplest task.
  • In-line help- The in-line help menus offer easy access to help provide users with information if you’re not sure what to do next, or are unfamiliar with the terminology. This means individual users may not have to ping your IT guy quite as often for support and IT guys no longer have to keep manuals on-hand or search vendor websites for help.
  • Permissions– Your technical staff has complete control over who has access to what features and menus, giving you the ability to completely customize your system.
  • Power­- Powerful administrative tools like IVR, call rules and network administration are easy to configure and deliver powerful results.  Now your IT staff can deliver the call flow and messaging your company needs without taking all their time and driving them insane due to frustrating menus and commands.

Customization- IT staff members can deliver useful integrations with other business tools like CRM, ERP and more.

  • Robust and simple API- Switchvox provides the tools for your group to make those important connections.
  • JAVA API for Digium Phones- Now, with Digium IP phones paired with Switchvox, you can write your own applications for the handset. Imagine getting emergency or other notifications from other systems right to your desk phone!

Mobility- Switchvox provides several mobility tools to keep your IT staff connected from anywhere in the building or away from the office.

  • Switchvox Softphone for iPhone- Your IT staff has to handle problems all over the organization.  The Switchvox Softphone for iPhone gives your IT staff complete call control from their mobile device, giving them the ability to be everywhere at once. Make and receive, record, transfer, conference and more from anywhere, ensuring your IT staff is available when you need them.
  • Fixed Mobile Convergence- You can easily transfer calls from your desk phone to your mobile seamlessly. We know that you’ll end up having to go to the user’s desk to help them; now you can transfer the originating help call to your mobile device and quickly go to the user (without jumping off the call). You’ll be standing over the user’s shoulder before they finish explaining the problem to you on the phone.

As you can see, Switchvox offers a great deal of benefits to your IT group, and the rest of your employees as well. Take a closer look at Switchvox and arm your IT staff with the tools they need to succeed.

As for those lovable celebrity IT guys, who is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below (and feel free to give your own SysAdmin or IT Guru a shout-out here, too!)

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