Increasingly, Alaska businesses are leveraging a combination of technical solutions to enhance worksite communications, allowing employees to perform their duties anywhere and anytime.
Companies across all industries are using communication tools "in the field" to enable workers to conduct business whether they're in a conference room down the hall, across town, or in a remote region of the state.
GCI, Alaska's largest telecommunications system, offers an array of products to help workers stay connected while on the job. These solutions range from basic cellphones, smartphones, and tablets to mobile broadband devices like air cards and hotspots.
As an integrated communications provider, GCI offers the expertise to pull together solutions that fit customers' specific needs, says Senior Manager Commercial Product Marketing Gregory Schlabaugh. "Our specialists can find that perfect solution-whether it's software, hardware, a GCI-hosted solution, or a third-party solution," he explains.
Some businesses are still providing workers with basic cellphones, but that practice is becoming less common the more they realize the benefits of smartphones and tablets, Schlabaugh says. They're taking processes that are extremely paper-intensive, such as handwriting paper forms and filing them with a clerk, and replacing them with forms that can be submitted through apps. These apps allow mobile workers to enter the data electronically, so the business can act instantly on the information. Smartphones and tablets are cool tools, Schlabaugh says, but the bottom line is their ability to increase productivity: "The end goal is to make customers more productive."
In Alaska, in-the-field communications are frequently employed by transportation, construction, and utilities companies. But if more companies were to redefine what it means to be "in the field" (whether it's working outside or simply away from a desk), they would realize how technology could work for them, Schlabaugh says. Office workers meeting in a conference room still need the same processes and communication tools, such as email, as they do at their desk. Hospitality workers roaming throughout their facility to check on rooms need access to data to improve the customer experience. Likewise, healthcare workers must be able to communicate efficiently as they move from patient to patient. "It's about enabling that worker to be productive when...