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As enterprises move away from the on-premise PBX model of communications to a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) model, many IT/telecom decision-makers are increasingly asking themselves—and asking us as well—why they should move to the cloud.
Concerns about security top the list of issues, although we also hear that companies are not ready to “give up” on expensive PBX systems that were purchased not all that long ago. These are legitimate concerns, and because there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, Continuant often works closely with organizations that plan to transition to a UCaaS solution, helping them make the change on their own terms and according to their own timeline.
Here’s the bottom line: In addition to offering more functionality such as mobility, switching to a UCaaS model saves the enterprise money and time, while adding many operating efficiencies.
Moving from a traditional, on-premise PBX model to a UCaaS solution can equate to significant savings. Not only will you save big by not investing in a rapidly depreciating asset, but you will also save staff time that formerly was devoted to installing, maintaining, upgrading, and problem-solving. Another benefit is that the UCaaS model allows you to deploy on your timeline, keeping your existing communications system running as you methodically roll out the new solution across the enterprise.
Staffing is also a factor. Because enterprise unified communications is becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex, if you do opt for an on-premise solution, you must continually invest in your staff to keep up with the industry. Relying on staff to add new features and upgrades while maintaining the infrastructure can become both burdensome and costly. UCaaS allows you to off-load most of this complexity to an experienced UCaaS service provider. In doing so, you can have access to the latest versions and features—ensuring that your team is as productive as possible.
A move to the cloud gives you the flexibility to quickly increase or decrease your capacity without the need for additional capital or staff, taking advantage of on-demand resources from the provider.
Examples include acquiring or adding new locations and quickly assimilating them into your communications environment, or hiring seasonal employees around the holidays to staff up your contact center.
This model also delivers redundancy: Because system recovery is built into the UCaaS solution, in the case of a disaster or system failure, the built-in redundancy of the platform makes it possible to keep your communications system going no matter where in the world you are located.
No doubt you are cautious, and rightfully so, about putting your data in the cloud. However, most research studies show convincingly that UCaaS providers, who have had to achieve compliance through SAS-70/SSAE-16 audits or ISO 27001 certifications, are better positioned to combat a security breach and are more likely to have discipline around redundancy of data. Any data center and network architecture built to meet these standards will provide security, without the upfront costs of implementing that security in your own data center.
Even if you are not ready to develop and implement a cloud strategy, an experienced managed services provider can and should be able to offer objective guidance based on what your business needs. The right managed service provider is not focused on selling a product, but rather on implementing a solution that is properly managed, with a continual effort to optimize and improve the entire experience.
As Director of Microsoft Solutions and Services, Mike Hanks leads the Continuant team in program management and sales of solutions and services for Microsoft Intelligent Communications. While at Continuant, Mike has worked in many key areas, including Cloud, Strategy, Sales, Customer Service, and Operations, where he...