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Preparing for tomorrow’s workplace

How MVNOs can capitalise on the work-from-anywhere trend

Ludwig Rydin, International Sales Manager, Dstny, is adamant that flexible, remote working is the future. Here, he explains the opportunities that this presents for MVNOs.


“Work from anywhere is here to stay. There are two factors that are driving this development. The first one is of course the post pandemic work environment.


Just over three years ago, almost none of us worked from home. And then suddenly, we were all forced to do so. For some of us, that worked out pretty well – and for some of us it didn't. But I think almost everyone enjoyed the flexibility and the possibility to work from wherever they wanted.


The next driver in this development is that more and more of the younger generations are starting to join the workforce. They are the future of the job market and they just won’t accept being chained to a desk. So, by offering a choice of where they work, companies are future proofing themselves.


Living with phones in our hands


Ever since 2007, which is when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, we’ve been living with phones in our hands. This is not going to stop. In fact, I think it's just going to get pushed even further.


Let’s look at behaviour at MWC by way of an example. If people weren't in a booth talking with someone, they probably had their phone in their hands – checking emails, or checking Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in order to keep up with what's happening around the world.


What does this mean for the market?


I think there are two crucial learnings here. First of all, companies need to buy mobile friendly products for their employees, and MVNOs and service providers need to provide mobile friendly and mobile first products to their customers.


But the next step will be to take a business phone number and make that a native service in your mobile. Because, quite frankly, soon, no one is going to accept anything other than being able to do all their work from their smartphone. And to do this, customers need to have all of the tools that they need within very easy reach.


Saying farewell to the 9-5 desk


If you go back a few years to before the pandemic, people used to work from their desks five days a week. When they got a call, it went to their desk landline. And if they weren’t there, it just kept ringing and ringing. But now, it’s a totally different environment.


I have a great example of how this can actually work in practice. A company started using one of our products a while ago, and not long after, one of their operators got stuck on a train. But, because of the product, she could start taking calls via her mobile – even on the train – and could transfer them and see who was available and who wasn’t. She didn’t need to be at her desk to do her job. It was a game changer.


Your smartphone = your business phone


This is a big opportunity for MVNOs and service providers, and they can accelerate with FMC. FMC stands for Fixed Mobile Convergence and it basically means that you get your business phone number into your mobile phone – it brings it in as an extension, but natively.  So the smartphone that you already have becomes your business phone.


The service that we offer around this is called Dstny Converge. In fact, it’s been a popular offering in the Nordics for quite a while now – for over 15 years. This means that we have a lot of experience in this space. But we’ve refined this proposition over the years, making it easier to onboard and easier for admins to add users.


Something that will also be critical is for users to be able to separate their work life from their private life so that they don't get business calls 24/7. With an FMC solution, the user has complete control over their business number and can choose to close it down when they need to and just use their personal cell as their personal cell with their private number and nothing more.


What’s more, you never need to place or receive calls via an app – this service is natively mobile. You answer and make calls as you would normally.


Keeping up with the big shark


Today, Microsoft is the big shark, and we all have to adopt to the changes that they are driving. Microsoft recently released what they call Teams Phone Mobile, which is a mobile-first solution. But working with Microsoft isn’t for everyone. Plus, they have only released Teams Phone Mobile to six operators worldwide and no one else and this will probably remain the case for some time, and our guess is that they won’t be adding MVNOs for many years to come. As such, if you are an MVNO, it will be a long time before you will be able to cooperate and work with Microsoft, unless you find a way to fill that gap – which is where we can help!


Coopetition instead of competition


Finally, something else that I noticed at MWC is that there are so many specialists around. And to be frank, you cannot be the best at everything. So instead of seeing everyone as competition, you need to cooperate with them.


As an MVNO, you need to decide what to buy, what to build and when to partner up. For example, if you're in the market for a billing system or a CRM system, you might want to just buy it from someone who provides it. But if you need a user portal for your end users that is specific to your offering, you might want to build that yourself.


A Teams integration or a mobile-first solution might be difficult to build by yourself, so why not just partner up with someone who can build it for you? This is what we call coopetition – cooperating with your competition.


So, in essence, as an MVNO, you need to find a good work from anywhere strategy; you need to build a plan for a true mobile first solution – making sure that it works for your customers and covers their business needs. And you also need to find a way to cooperate with Microsoft in order to make sure that you don't miss out.


Key takeaway: Work from anywhere is here to stay –  and in order to future-proof, businesses and MVNOs alike need to be building strategies that align with this new world of work. 


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