How to Achieve UC&C in the Cloud with Leadership’s Backing
An IT Director’s Quick Guide to Harnessing Collaboration Tools
By Otto Sanchez, Director, Post-Sales Engineering – Collaboration at InterVision and Daniel Lassell, Content Writer at InterVision | February 1, 2019
The flexibility and accessibility of the cloud, ever since it emerged, has been one of the biggest reasons why companies have leveraged it for their IT operations. As we enter the new year, these same reasons will be a catalyst for companies in assessing their existing collaboration tools—such as voice, messaging and video conferencing—to increase employee communications and productivity. Therefore, cloud will be more appealing than ever when it comes to Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C). But how do you ensure executive leadership’s buy-in along the way, to secure the best solution for your business? Begin with Opening a Dialogue Connect with the C-level leadership in your business, as a group or individually, to establish communication with them as a common occurrence. If regular meetings aren’t an option, this could mean joining one or two for lunch occasionally. During these interactions, ask questions that get to the heart of what their goals are, and ask how you can help achieve them. No doubt your role in the IT department will have an influence on the execution of competitive objectives, since so much of modern business now relies on technology. Your leadership may have lofty goals in mind, and it’s your responsibility to listen to these goals—as well as carefully set expectations for what is achievable with your current staff and resources. Communicate the Market Trends for Your Industry You don’t have to look far to see how much digital technology has become an ingrained part of the modern human experience. Credit card transactions now rival carrying cash. Wrist watches can now pair with smartphones. People rely on video streaming services more than ever. What is common throughout these examples? Consumer convenience has driven these technology adoptions. Likewise, widespread cloud adoptions have arisen out of a focus on business convenience, which in turn has reset technology expectations for consumers. Indeed, people now desire their workplace to reflect how easily they can perform tasks in their personal lives. As a result, businesses seeking to retain talent must match the level of convenience enjoyed in the general populace. Ask your executives whether your customers and employees now expect cloud – and if so, how can you best leverage it? As an IT person, you have a unique perspective compared to others within your business of what technology innovations are coming to the forefront, which ones will be a fad and which ones will be sticking around. As it relates to technology, you also have the eye to assess which experts to bring in, if necessary, for a consultation of your IT systems. Explain what you’ve been seeing recently that’s caught your eye and connect it back to modern expectations. For example, you could explain that the emergence of cloud hasn’t just up-ended traditional expectations of digital accessibility and storage models for data. It has also enabled uninterrupted communications between workplace personnel and faster customer interactions. As reliable mitigation for technology disruptions is now easier to accomplish with cloud, it’s no surprise companies are increasingly moving their operations to leverage the benefits and failover capabilities of cloud—so your company may benefit by giving it a closer look. What’s Your End Goal for Company Communications? Once you understand what your leadership envisions for the future, connect your desire for UC&C in the cloud to those goals. When given the chance, explain what UC&C is and how it might relieve some of your existing operations-based burdens. UC&C, for example, has risen out of demand for modernized workplace collaborative tools – it’s meant to streamline burden and increase productivity. But more importantly, UC&C in the cloud allows for the same seamless communications people now seek in both their work and personal lives. UC&C meets the demands of staff while accommodating customers with avenues they are already used to. On the question of technical specifics, collaboration tools that leverage the cloud enable companies to achieve the same business-critical functionalities as legacy on-premise solutions, except now with more reliable, cost-predictable and easier-to-deploy models. This collaborative approach also substantially decreases burdens on IT staff in managing day-to-day employee communication, which frees up time for more revenue-driving projects while also fostering the agility needed to embrace new challenges. Don’t talk only in terms of what budget you need – UC&C is all about the ROI, which may not always mean directly in the form of money. Talk about time-to-market, talent retention, efficiency in accomplishing core business goals. It’s with this lens that most UC&C solutions will not only show their full value, but also pay for themselves. Explain UC&C in the Cloud Versus On-Premise As your business looks to gain an edge on competition and retain a skilled workforce, you’ll need to have the technology that not only facilitates collaboration but also enables flexibility to meet ever-evolving challenges. Explain to your leadership that UC&C in the cloud is a safe step toward the future, embracing the wide accessibility of cloud in a model that drives clear communications and productivity. The variety of options, from messaging to video conferencing, allows employees and clients to connect in a medium that suits their preference. Connect the need for UC&C back to the marketplace. Note that the accelerated pace of businesses shifting their on-prem solutions to the cloud won’t be slowing down. Vendors are focused on providing bridges, so that the shift to the cloud is seamless for their end users, business operations and IT budgets. Once in the cloud, companies will be able to leverage a broad set of additional capabilities that were otherwise limited, non-existent or intended for large capital investments in their legacy environments (e.g. pervasive video services and meetings, omnichannel contact centers and workstream collaboration, among others). All of this means that if your company doesn’t begin shifting toward a more flexible model for IT delivery, it could face big challenges in the future. Can InterVision do UC&C? You bet. InterVision’s Hosted Collaboration optimizes communications in the cloud, pairing the convenience of accessibility with the reliability of Cisco-based collaborative tools. Companies searching for robust video conferencing, crisp voice and easy-to-use messaging have all found an additional set of benefits using InterVision’s solution suite and managed services—such as the enablement of a more mobile-driven workforce; reduced technology complexity and increased resiliency; and increased employee productivity while preventing an increase in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Companies have accelerated their cloud journeys with InterVision’s efficient implementations and ongoing management, which we offer as a subscription model to better allow our clients to translate predictable spending and re-allocate their internal resources for business objectives. All clients can scale up or back their enterprise functionality as needed, as well as adopt new technologies as they emerge.