Increasingly companies are relying on contractors and consultants to reduce costs and bring in specialized skill sets, among many other reasons.
While the trend helps, in order to get the most out of the cost benefits, companies need to provide contractors and consultants with access to their internal networks. Organizations then need to equip these workers with communications and collaboration tools, like UC clients, so they can do their jobs just as though they were regular employees.
But unfortunately, IT can’t simply provide network access and collaboration tools to these external workers and sit back thinking that their job is done. For starters, IT needs to be sure that by granting access, they’re not increasing security risks. They also need to make sure that they’re not doing anything that will increase support costs down the road.
To enable contractors to do their jobs, IT must “on-board” contractors and consultants, as if they are regular employees, into their Active Directory (AD) and network services, such as VPN. They must also provide them with corporate apps and tools.
For real-time collaboration, this means supporting UC clients like Microsoft Skype for Business or Cisco Jabber on non-corporate PCs that IT does not control. It also means getting stuck supporting those devices when they have problems down the road. This problem gets even more exasperated when the contractors are remote.
As a result, most IT organizations either do not allow contractors and consultants to get plugged into their corporate UC environments, or they choose to provide them with corporate laptops. Both options are quite expensive.
When contractors can’t access corporate networks, they can only communicate with employees within the enterprise using email. This, of course, is extremely inefficient—especially when contractors are working from remote locations. On the other hand, giving contractors corporate laptops is not only expensive, but also adds to the company’s support costs.
One solution is to put your contractors on a third-party messaging service. But you’ll first have to figure out which service to use. Then you’ll have to figure out who pays for it, your organization or your contractor. And finally, you’ll have to decide who maintains the federation to your UC environment.
Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of messaging services on the market these days, this is often easier said than done. But thanks to a new messaging service from NextPlane called nCore, that’s no longer the case.
nCore is a cloud-based real-time communications and collaboration service that allows users to exchange instant messages and presence information, engage in group chats, launch voice or video calls and share files and desktops—from anywhere they happen to be.
In addition to serving as a secure business messaging service, nCore is a turnkey service, which means users can communicate and collaborate with their colleagues who use any of the Microsoft platforms, such as Skype for Business, as well as those who use any XMPP-based UC platform, such as Cisco Jabber, without requiring IT to setup federations.
By getting your external contractors and consultants to sign up for nCore, your company can reap the benefits of real-time collaboration without having to compromise on their security. On top of that, they don’t have to grant contractors access to their networks or provide them with laptops, and they don’t add more burden to their IT department by requiring those folks to support those devices.
And here’s the best part: if you are a UC Exchange customer your consultants and contractors can sign up for free to nCore by going to www.ncore.io.
To learn more about nCore and nCore Federation, please click here.