"Rise of the "Cloud Worker"
Come on, how many of you have made a call on WhatsApp? Pretty good quality right? A bit like Skype, it gets the job done. How many SIP trunks did you need for that?
For those looking to offload the cost and complexity of maintaining legacy on-premise telecom infrastructure, you will be happy to know, that the Unified Communications (UC) market has matured a lot, as have the masses of providers supporting all types of UC services.
In the olden days, previous implementations of UC and hybrid implementations were called “integrated offerings” integrating business applications and business processes with the communications infrastructure. This was seen as critical to delivering any form of value from UC.
As such, the systems integrators took a very active role in the deployment and support of UC and drove consulting, managed services, and integration capabilities. This guidance was often costly.
But the data about UC benefits was pretty well known – greater efficiency, productivity, workflow integration “worker connectedness” and there was a theory that, half of all enterprises are engaged in the deployment of, or are using, unified communications (UC), while most of the others were still in the evaluation process.
That was then, and this is 2018
Whilst the evolution of UC has led to the integration with cloud services, the “Cloud Worker” has emerged and this group of employees really expect to access company information and services they need, “at the speed of life” without barriers.
For most tech managers today, that's hard to do, because they need to shift away from managing devices and focus more on what can bring real value to this group of employees.
Critically, and this is something to really think long and hard about, the quantity of cloud-based apps that businesses rely on is only increasing. In 2018 about 53 per cent of apps are in the cloud.
But just wait,
Because by 2020 it’s estimated that figure will be above 80 per cent!
How are you going to integrate and manage all of them?
With this increase in cloud and app adoption, many businesses have had to rethink the technology and tools they need to ensure their workforce is “tooled up” efficient and effective. IT sprawl is a huge problem and very costly.
Office workers are no longer behind a desk full time, field teams need to constantly connect and remote workers need to collaborate and they prefer technologies that give them the freedom to choose where and how they get their work done.
The results of this confluence have led to Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
So why should enterprises include UCaaS in their evaluation and decision-making process?
Here are 5 reasons, cost is a major factor, but so is supporting the cloud worker who, according to Forrester, “Spend, on average, 4.6 hours working in browser-based business apps across multiple devices and regard the freedom to access company resources from any location as fundamental to their work/life balance.
- UCaaS removes front-loaded capital
With traditional TDM infrastructures and even IP PBX, CIOs are faced with substantial up-front capital requirements, cumbersome business cases, high expectations, and a struggle to quantify or demonstrate return on investment.
UCaaS has radically altered the equation and removes the barrier of front-loaded capital costs and greatly improves the bias for action within the CIO’s office. Speed matters in business, so when you have a choice, you should choose action over inaction.
- Standard software on a per-seat basis
UCaaS today offers Simple, easy-to-understand, all-inclusive plans and packages for a single monthly price. Standard features included for free include conference calling, fax, virtual extensions, video conferencing, online meetings, call reporting, toll-free numbers, advanced integrated team collaboration, unlimited international calling to certain regions, Some providers even offer international minute bundles including calling to landlines and mobiles in select regions.
The cost benefits of cloud PBX versus on-premise kit is undeniable. Today, businesses do not need, SIP trunks, PBX hardware, licence and maintenance fee’s, PRI’s ISDN, separate web conferencing/meeting software, conference call subscriptions, with UCaaS, it’s all included in one standard monthly price and often on one APP.
To see if UCaaS is right for your business, consider a 2-week cloud consultant engagement to discover the savings that can be made and to help with a strategy.
- Consistent service delivery
Since these capabilities are provided in the cloud, consistent service experience and business continuity are intrinsic. UCaaS provides UC capability via a cloud-based, standardised, and predictable model of cost and delivery. Leading industry security, >99.999% availability and QoS is a common feature in todays UCaaS products. Lets not even discuss Ai and Business Analytics. All included – Ill save that for another time.
To build this capability yourself, would be almost impossible and very costly. You just don't.
- A broad range of services in one app.
Every company uses these on a daily basis, but often have a been built siloed in-house and the sprawl and lack of integration has resulted in poor end user experience Today, HD Voice, Business messaging, Fax, Audio Conferencing, Video Conferencing, Screen Sharing, Contact Center, Team Messaging, Team Collaboration, Open Platform and & Integrations, Global office communications, Presence, Analytics, SaaS App integration is all available in one UCaaS app. As the number of apps grows inside your business, so does the cost and complexity of integrating and managing it internally.
- UCaaS offers Hybrid Environments
When the need to leverage existing platforms is present, integration is fundamental. Your hybrid environment, while not fully cloud-based, can still be complemented through a UCaaS environment and this provides the CIO with the assurance that previous investments are fully leveraged. Which option the enterprise chooses varies based on the speed and reach of their vision and their desire to fully enable business applications.
In choosing a UCaaS provider, keep your “Cloud Workers” front of mind, look for a robust developer friendly platform with open API’s and out-of-the-box integrations with Salesforce, Google G Suite, Office 365, BOX, Skype for Business, OKTA, ServiceNow etc. This is the least costly, least complicated way to support your users.