Yesterday, I spoke to Christopher Hytry Derrington, Co-Founder and CEO of Rural America Onshore Sourcing. The firm offers outsourced services in 13 states. The difference between Rural and many outsourcing firms is that much of its workforce is home-based and rural.
The keys are that broadband and unified communications tools now are available. Derrington says that broadband is reaching rural areas today, and in a note accompanying the podcast, writes that connectivity will grow to an even greater degree as the government connectivity push bears fruit:
The tricky part is in the connection. The Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan will allow high broadband penetration in these rural areas, which, in turn, will allow employees to work from home. Without a widely available connection, people cannot be hired. It is as simple as that.
Once the connection is made, UC and UC-related technology is the key enabler. Writes Derrington:
The tools of the trade, VoIP and SharePoint and other cloud-based tools and processes, are scalable.
In some ways, this is the other side of UC: Instead of a corporate office in which sophisticated platforms enable highly functional presence- and escalation-based operations, folks living in small and remote areas are being given basic UC tools – and a greatly increased opportunity to earn a living.