Technologies to Be Thankful for This Year: 2020 Edition

A man in dark clothing holds and points to the surface of a tablet, which has symbols representing the cloud, AI and other technologies in a connected web superimposed over it.Thanksgiving is just a few days away, so the Stratosphere Networks team is continuing our annual tradition of reflecting on the technologies we’re grateful to have around.

The IT solutions included in our list for 2020 have all made this challenging year easier for us as well as many other people around the world. They’ve enabled remote work during the pandemic, enhanced cybersecurity, helped healthcare providers safely provide treatment, and otherwise improved our lives during these stressful times.

From our perspective, here are six technologies to be thankful for this year.

1. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).

When many office workers transitioned to remote work arrangements earlier in the year, UCaaS platforms (also known as cloud phone systems) became extremely popular with companies looking to ensure their staff members could communicate and collaborate with clients and colleagues from anywhere.

With a cloud phone system in place, end users can reach out to coworkers and customers using various channels (e.g., email, videoconferencing, voice calls, web chat and more) from desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices. These cloud-delivered UC solutions have proven incredibly useful as a way to stay connected and productive while everyone works from home.

2. Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS).

Cloud-based contact center platforms have also emerged as an excellent option for businesses looking to empower remote agents. Customer experience (CX) remains a high priority for organizations across all industries seeking to stand out from the competition, and CCaaS solutions offer all the features needed (e.g., omnichannel communications) to deliver a memorable CX from any location and any device.

Many CCaaS platforms go beyond multi-channel communications and also leverage CRM integration, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to help contact center agents deliver highly personalized customer service. The right contact center solution can make all the difference when it comes to succeeding in the digital age.

3. The Internet of Things (IoT).

The smart devices that constitute the IoT have proven themselves incredibly valuable as tools for fighting COVID-19. They allow healthcare providers to treat patients while minimizing their staff members’ chances of becoming infected themselves. For instance, drones can deliver medical supplies and carry out disinfecting efforts. For more information on the IoT and the pandemic, check out our previous blog post “How Internet of Things Devices Are Helping Healthcare Providers Combat COVID-19.”

4. Thermal imaging solutions.

Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance for businesses seeking to prevent the spread of COVID-19. One of the suggested health and safety measures is daily health checks (either virtually or in person) for symptoms of illness before anyone enters your facility. Thermal imaging solutions that can determine the surface temperature of a person’s skin have risen to prominence as an effective way to screen for fever from a safe distance.

There are various types of thermographic imaging technologies available, such as metal detectors with thermal imaging cameras built in, hand-held thermal cameras, and mounted thermal imaging cameras. Although these solutions can be helpful screening tools, it’s important to note that they can’t definitively diagnose COVID-19, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

5. Zero-trust network architecture with a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).

The shift to working from home also complicated cybersecurity for businesses, as they faced the need to address new vulnerabilities created by remote work infrastructure. With older tech like virtual private networks (VPNs) making headlines because of security issues, zero-trust network architecture has come to the forefront as an effective way to minimize your company’s risk level in the age of COVID-19.

To learn more about zero-trust networks and why so many companies have turned to this next-gen cybersecurity solution, take a look at our previous blog entry “COVID-19 and Zero-Trust Architecture: Why This Framework Makes More Sense Than Ever Post-Pandemic.”

6. The Microsoft Office 365 suite.

Even before the pandemic, the Office 365 suite was a hit with all kinds of businesses because of its flexibility and accessibility. It’s now more popular than ever, as apps like Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint make it easy for distributed teams to stay on top of their work. If you’d like to learn more, check out this blog entry: “How Microsoft Office 365 Makes Life Easier for Remote Workers.”

If you’d like to learn more about any of the technologies listed here, our team of trusted technology advisors can answer any questions you have as well as offer expert guidance. We have experience working with all of these solutions and can connect you with leading suppliers in our extensive partner network. For more information, give us a call at 877-599-3999 or email sales@stratospherenetworks.com.

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