In a recent “Ask the Expert” webinar, Aciron’s CEO and founder, Puneet Gangal, answered frequently asked questions about cloud solutions. Watch the full webinar to learn the answers to questions like:
- How can migrating to the cloud reduce my organization’s costs?
- How can the cloud improve collaboration among my company’s workforce?
- How do I know if moving to the cloud is right for my business?
As management and technology consultants, we have helped many companies move to the cloud. We advise our clients on how to align their business goals with technology solutions, and increasingly, companies want these solutions to be cloud-based.
During the “Ask the Expert” webinar, Puneet talks about unified communications (UC) solutions and moving communications to the cloud. You probably have a general idea of how the cloud allows you to access data and applications over the internet. (If you want a refresher, check out our blog post “Understanding the Cloud”!). But where do communication systems fit into the cloud?
What are cloud-based communication systems?
Cloud communication systems are internet-based systems for voice and data communications, such as phone calls, web conferencing, and screen-share sessions. Skype is one well-known example of a cloud communications system — the consumer version is ubiquitous, but you may also be familiar with the enterprise version, Skype for Business.
Cloud-based systems can replace traditional business telephone setups by making use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. VoIP transmits all communication data over a high-speed internet connection, whether over a VoIP phone or a “soft phone” application on personal devices like laptops or smartphones.
With no need for physical infrastructure like phone lines, cloud communications can be implemented quickly, easily, and at a lower cost than traditional telecom networks. Cloud-based systems are also easily scalable as your business grows, since you only pay for what you use, and it’s simple to add users, lines, and extensions when you need them.
UC solutions go one step further than VoIP systems by integrating real-time enterprise communications (like voice, video conferencing, desktop sharing, and instant messaging) with non-real-time communications (like voicemail, SMS, and fax). Users of UC solutions enjoy a unified user interface for managing all of their communications, which provides a consistent, streamlined user experience. Having a platform for seamless communication helps improve productivity and collaboration, while also giving employees the flexibility to view and respond to messages anytime, anywhere, on any device.
How do you choose a cloud communications system?
Whenever you are selecting a new technology solution for your business, you should begin by evaluating your needs and the business goals you are hoping to achieve. For example, you should consider your company’s needs around cost, scalability, security, support/maintenance, and use on mobile devices, as well as any other unique “must-have” or “nice-to-have” requirements.
Once you have an in-depth understanding of your requirements for the system, you can begin evaluating potential solutions and comparing them against your decision criteria. If you’re not sure how to navigate the crowded UC solutions marketplace, consider reaching out to a technology consultant for assistance. At Aciron, we help our clients make well-informed, thoroughly researched decisions by following a structured approach and using tools like decision matrices to select the solution that best meets the client’s unique needs.
Once you have chosen the cloud communications system that checks all the boxes for your company, encourage company-wide user adoption by ensuring that you implement it successfully and establish a training plan for end users.
And if you’re still not sure how cloud solutions can fit into your business, our consultants would be happy to discuss your specific situation. Request a free consultation to get on-the-spot recommendations from a cloud expert!