In this post, we’ll take a look at how the world of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) is changing, especially in light of the pandemic. Modern UC&C, an all-in-one platform that delivers meetings, video, chat, phone, file sharing, and other collaboration features, is now more critical than ever to ensure anytime, anywhere communications and business continuity.
For instance, in March 2020, online meeting participants increased from 44 million to 300 million.1 A Gartner survey reported that 74% of companies plan to permanently shift more people to remote work post COVID.2 Another study found that, post-pandemic, 43% of companies are making IT spending in employee communications technologies a top IT priority.3
But how enterprises are choosing to implement UC&C is changing. You’ll find it’s a mix of on-premise, cloud, and hybrid systems. We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each to help you decide what’s best for your organization. There is no right or wrong choice; it just depends on your organization, your vertical, business drivers, and preferred financial model. What is important to remember is that UC&C is key to staying competitive and connected.
An on-premise solution is one in which the UC&C equipment is deployed on site, and it is the traditional UC&C model. It follows a CAPEX model and requires an initial investment in equipment and internal IT resources to implement and maintain. But it also offers some advantages, such as customization and real-time internal control over updates. Organizations may choose an on-premise system for security reasons. Verticals such as finance, healthcare, or government may prefer to keep control of sensitive customer and patient data in-house. It also provides flexibility to handle seasonal traffic fluctuations.
This is a UC&C solution delivered as a managed cloud-based platform. It is also one of the fastest growing and most popular solutions today. According to Gartner, by 2021, 90% of all new UC purchases will be cloud-based Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)4. To put that in perspective, in a 2019-20 Nemertes Research Group Inc. workplace collaboration study, nearly two-thirds of 600 organizations surveyed said they are using UCaaS or hosted services for all or part of their UC needs.5
Managed cloud solutions are often attractive to organizations with limited internal IT resources, especially at remote locations. Managed UCaaS enables your team to work from across town, across the country, and around the world. Users can access all services via the internet no matter where they are.
UCaaS gives you the flexibility to scale the number of licenses and/or features up or down based on current business needs and number of users. Reliability is another critical benefit of Managed UCaaS. With applications and data stored in the cloud, organizations can ensure business continuity in the face of a disaster or a pandemic. In fact, 49% of organizations have a formal business continuity strategy and are actively digitizing business processes and/or assets.6
Cloud implementation is also fast. Managed UCaaS is easy to set up, doesn’t require extensive IT resources, and provides instant connectivity.
Moving from an on-premises system to the cloud means a shift to an OPEX model. With the cloud, there is very little upfront cost. You basically pay monthly “rent” for the software and cloud infrastructure.
The cloud streamlines IT management. By moving the day-to-day administrative responsibilities to a Managed UCaaS provider, you’ll free up internal IT resources to work on other projects. In addition, the responsibility for security is now in the hands of the service provider who has the resources and ability to protect your data and implement security patches quickly.
A Managed UCaaS system is also one of the best ways to ensure you’ll always have the latest applications and technologies. Cloud providers keep subscribers up to date so users don’t have to worry about managing upgrades.
A hybrid on-premises/cloud UC&C system gives you the best of both worlds. You can balance what to migrate to the cloud with what to keep on premises based on internal resources, costs, control, and security.
We know migrating to a new communications system can be a daunting task. As a leader in Unified Communications & Collaboration with a robust portfolio of solutions from best-in-class partners, we can guide you through what options are available and what will work best for you. Learn more about our portfolio here. For more information, call us at 855-324-9909, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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