The advantages of the cloud are hard to ignore, especially with so much noise being made around the technology these days. It’s not just cloud companies generating all this hype either – early adopters have reported lower costs, easier maintenance, and greater agility, to name just a few benefits.
More specifically, here’s where businesses have seen the most value from cloud-based UC:
- Lower upgrade costs
Time is money, and the time spent upgrading technology systems is money that could be spent on better serving customers or innovating. Cloud-based systems don’t rely on physical infrastructure (like phones), so upgrades are both cheaper and faster.
- Reduced support and maintenance costs
Savings from cloud extend beyond seamless upgrades. With less infrastructure to maintain or on-premise systems to monitor, man-hours for support and maintenance drop significantly, which means costs do as well.
- Real-time scalability
Most businesses are highly seasonal. Take travel companies, which see a flurry of activity ahead of summer vacations and Christmas but often have lower call volumes at other times. Cloud-based UC can easily be scaled up or down in line with demand, with no need to spend time setting up additional devices.
- No need for deep technical expertise
It takes a relatively high level of expertise to implement and manage on-premise UC systems, which puts pressure on IT teams to learn new skills and adapt with the technology. By taking infrastructure out of the equation, cloud-based UC reduces the burden so IT can focus on core business functions.
These benefits are undeniable, but this still begs the question of whether Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is right for your company. The answer is yes… but there’s also no need to rush.
Enterprise communications are moving to the cloud; there’s no doubt about that. We’ve seen first-movers enjoy positive results to date and adoption is certainly on the rise. However, every company’s cloud journey will be different. Some will want to revamp their entire approach overnight. Others may decide it makes more sense to keep elements of their operation on-premise and transition to the cloud in a calculated way over time.
There is no single type of business, so how can there be a single right approach to adopting UCaaS? Here are just a few valid reasons companies have to keep elements of their UC on-premise for now:
- Convenient integrations
It’s common for companies to have integrated their UC system directly with other on-premise systems to make life easier for their employees. For instance, healthcare institutions will often have their UC integrated with medical records for speedier decision-making.
- Inconsistencies between markets
Companies operating internationally may find that some countries aren’t suited to a cloud-based system. This tends to happen in markets where it’s difficult to get consistent service from a single cloud provider.
- 911 limitations
Cloud-based systems may not support certain emergency requirements, which becomes a major issue in schools, hospitals, law enforcement organizations, and even stadiums.
Legacy is inescapable. A majority of businesses are still on maintenance or support agreements with their on-premise UC providers or have existing PRI/SIP contracts that complicate their move to the cloud.
Some of these factors can be addressed today, but others will take longer to tackle (or unravel in the case of legacy issues). Helpfully, the imperative to adopt UCaaS is stronger for large companies than for growing businesses. According to Gartner, the sweet spot for cloud adoption is between 750 and 2000 users, giving small and medium-sized organizations some breathing room before they need to take the plunge.
At Stack8, we believe there’s no one-size fits all approach to Unified Communications or the cloud. Every company has different needs, different priorities, and different timelines for its evolution. UCaaS can (and will) deliver tremendous value to your business, but it’s important to separate the facts from the hype, which is why we advise businesses to move at a pace that makes sense based on their specific ambitions.
We recently become the first Cisco UC provider in Canada to achieve Customer Journey Platform Certification, which means our customers have the flexibility to choose between the latest on-premise and UCaaS systems for their needs. Click here to find out more.
And if you’re considering UCaaS, check out Parlay, our cloud-based UC solution for Cisco and Broadsoft users.