Fixed/mobile integration: a better work-life balance thanks to FMC
Accessible any time? That’s been a lot easier since the internet came along - and definitely since the mobile phone. Customers can call you and send emails and messages at any time of the day. Accessible anywhere? Just as easy. Regardless of whether you’re just sitting in the office, your sitting room or your garden shed, or are on the move by car or train: anyone who has something to tell you can do it immediately. It’s handy, especially since the coronavirus has been pushing us more and more towards teleworking.
But easy accessibility does have its downside: customers who call you when your working day ended half an hour before, for example. And of course you don't want to just leave them hanging, or say straight out: ‘Thanks for your call, but call me back again tomorrow’. In short, if you don't watch out, your work-life balance will suffer.
There’s a simple way round it with fixed/mobile integration. Fixed/mobile integration or FMC (Fixed-Mobile Convergence) means that you get one fixed landline phone number for all your devices, fixed and mobile. You're then always easily accessible, but you decide for yourself when you're available.
That’s handy for us at Destiny as well. Picture this: our colleague Thomas travels to the office at eight in the morning, but he sets the status of his number so that he’s not available till nine. If a customer calls him at twenty past eight, that early bird hears a voice message; his call is automatically diverted to the phone of a colleague of Thomas’s who can take it. The colleague helps Thomas’s customer, or takes a message and sends it to Thomas via chat. When Thomas arrives at nine o’clock, he reads the message and returns his customer’s call – that's handy.
Another example: Hylke is talking to a customer on her fixed device, but notices that she has to head out for a meeting. No cause for alarm: she can just switch over smoothly from her fixed phone to her smartphone to continue the conversation on the move, without her customer noticing a thing. When she goes home in the evening, she sets her number’s status to private - calls to her fixed number will then be diverted to the Destiny office.
The advantages of FMC? You can draw a clear line between work and personal life. Your friends and family can reach you on your mobile number as always, but you don’t need to share it with customers, because they call on your fixed number. So it's immediately clear whether you’re available or not. You yourself set the rules and save them in an app on your phone. And your customers? They always get someone on the line.
It’s mega-efficient, then, but how does it actually work? Well, via a switchboard in the cloud of course. But wait: what if you don't have a switchboard in the cloud? No problem: thanks to Destiny’s FMC (Fixed-Mobile Convergence) technology, you’ll be able from now on to benefit from fixed/mobile integration via an ‘old-fashioned’ telephone switchboard. And it doesn't matter who the cloud operator is: FMC is compatible with a lot of switchboards. It boils down to this: you can configure - let’s say camouflage - all your mobile devices with FMC in such a way that they’re perceived as one fixed device. So your switchboard sees, as it were, two fixed devices for every user: one fixed and one mobile. Every user states to which of the two a call can be sent at any given time of the day.
You register your FMC tenant – a server that acts as liaison between your switchboard and your mobile network – on your telephone switchboard. When a call comes in there, it diverts it to the tenant's IP address. The call then goes to the mobile network and the user’s mobile phone, or directly to the fixed device. When your user makes a call with his mobile, the mobile operator will pass the call to the FMC tenant. It forwards the call to the switchboard, which decides - on the basis of the user's settings - to send the call out with the user’s fixed or mobile number.
And even better: you can get all these benefits of fixed/mobile integration into your business very quickly, because most of the process is automated. All your organisation has to do is make a list of your users’ mobile numbers: your cloud com operator will transfer them automatically. That's followed by some configuration work on your switchboard, when you have to decide exactly how you want to set up your telephony - in other words: who receives a call first, who takes over if the first number is busy, whether there will be an on-call service etc. Have all these questions been answered? Then you can get started.
In conclusion, a glimpse of the future: you’ll soon also be able to integrate your FMC telephony into the MS Teams environment. Then you can make (video)calls, chat, email and collaborate with your customers via the telephone switchboard. So it's not only good for your work-life balance, you’ll also get even more freedom to work the way you yourself choose.