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Three Things to Consider When Moving Unified Communications to the Cloud

Staff Writer's picture

This article was originally published on TelecomReseller

Taking advantage of cloud-based systems for unified communications is a smart choice for businesses for several reasons. It is cheaper from a cost perspective, can scale up or down based on business needs and enables enterprises to deploy new communications features to users across multiple locations.

While there are several business cases for moving to the cloud, businesses need to ensure that moving from an on-premises model to a cloud-based model makes sense for them before making the switch. It’s not effective to settle on a cloud strategy if it cuts operational costs, but incurs others by reducing productivity or losing profit as a result of poor performance. Ensuring that your business has the correct infrastructure in place before migrating completely is essential. In particular, below are three considerations to take into account before making the switch.

User Experience

While small changes to the user experience may seem insignificant at first, they can have a dramatic effect on productivity and performance. To avoid this, it’s important to prepare your employees for a potential switch by discussing potential changes in communication and identifying specific priorities for groups that will use these tools. By doing so, your business will be able to assess whether or not certain solutions make sense to implement for future use. For example, certain applications and services might make sense for one department, but not necessarily another.

In general, consulting employees ultimately helps develop a stronger roadmap for the longer-term development of your unified communications solutions. Understanding which applications make the most sense for your business will be helpful when making your decision.

Application and Integration Challenges

Successful cloud-based unified communications models enable users to access all of their applications and services through one single interface, ensuring that operations are streamlined and efficient. While critical, delivering on this is not always easy when working with more than one service provider or vendor. The rise in the number of vendor solutions available leaves many unsure of which one is right for their business, which can present major integration challenges. As a result, managing this can take up time that could be better spent growing your business.

Before selecting cloud-based unified communications solutions, it is important to assess individual services and applications to identify how or if they can integrate with other platforms. Choosing the best solutions from multiple vendors will only be effective and deliver the benefits your business is looking for if they can meet these needs.

Security and Compliance

Choosing a cloud solution can present additional security risks that your business should be mindful of. Using a cloud model means that data, voice and video from users are passed back and forth over the same channels at any given moment, which is something companies do not need to worry about when using a VPN. Security has to be not only application and data focused, but also comprehensive without disrupting the user experience. To mitigate this potential problem, there should be additional protection between the cloud and the enterprise network as well as around the unified communications application.

While the benefits of a cloud-based unified communications deployment can yield dividends both in reduced costs and increased productivity, enterprises need to make sure the migration from the on-premises data center to the cloud is as seamless as possible. Ensuring that you have the appropriate infrastructure in place will be incredibly beneficial down the road. Additionally, a phased approach can be beneficial to gauge and address user issues early in the process, as well as provide a fallback in case issues with critical legacy applications arise.

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