If you’re like most companies, you’re probably considering replacing your communications systems with a cloud hosted solution soon.
The benefits of cloud are unquestionable, proving to reduce complexity, lower total cost of ownership, increase availability, and improve productivity and mobility for the increasingly millennial and distributed workforce. Cloud apps innovate more rapidly too, something on-premise apps simply can’t do.
Whether you’re a CEO, a small business owner, a manager running a business unit or part of the IT team, the thought of transitioning to the cloud may seem overwhelming. The last thing you want is to disrupt your business. One thing that crosses everyone’s mind is “how will we keep our workforce productive and minimize disruption to our workflows during this transition?”
Keep it simple. Focus on small groups at a time. Prioritize based on the strategic relevance of how, when and with whom they communicate and collaborate with both internally and externally.
Your sales teams are likely to be a high priority group within your organization. They interact daily with customers, prospects, and colleagues. They need quick and easy access to experts and tools. They need workflows to remain intact, to avoid unnecessary distractions. They’re probably mobile most of the time, which means they need access from anywhere and from any device.
Other groups to consider are marketing teams responsible for product launches, campaigns and event planning. Product development teams, especially if they’re geographically dispersed, and anyone involved in strategic, customer or partner facing projects should also be prioritized.
Move them to a reliable and secure cloud-based unified communications solution. With UC-as-a-Service (UCaaS) you have the flexibility and agility to migrate small groups of people at a time, at the pace that’s right for your business. You can add new features when you need them, and leverage your existing endpoints and applications which reduces hardware and maintenance costs.
During this transition, to maintain business continuity and competitive advantage, it is very important that your UCaaS have the following characteristics:
1. It must be easy-to-use. This sounds mundane, but if it’s not easy to use, it will impact productivity and people simply won’t use it. To minimize disruption to daily workflows and avoid costly end-user training, make sure the solution’s UI is simple and carries forward comparable usability.
2. It must be mobile. The UCaaS solution should include a mobile version that’s designed with the mobile experience in mind, and provides the same native user experience on a smartphone or tablet as it does on a desktop. It should also support one phone number with the ability to stay on a call as you transition between fixed and mobile networks. This will keep mobile productivity levels high and ensure maximum user adoption.
3. It must enable multi-modal communications. Mobile and dispersed teams should be able to effectively communicate and collaborate in any modality they want, including voice, video, chat, conferencing, and screen-sharing.
4. It must be open. It’s very important the UCaaS not be silo’d from the multitude of other cloud business applications you’re already using. A key benefit to integrating the UCaaS with your business apps is the ability to associate the person who you are communicating with, with the relevant artifacts (docs, presentations, emails, shared files, social posts, etc.) stored in those apps. In this way, the UC solution enables a smarter, contextual, more informed communications experience that leads to faster decision making and problem solving.
5. It must be reliable. Communications is a critical part of keeping your business running. To avoid performance, employee and customer satisfaction issues, make sure the solution comes from a trusted, reliable, and experienced leader in cloud and UC.
Evolution to the cloud is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be painful and it doesn’t have to happen all at once. A graceful migration where cloud UC can be overlaid to the premise solution can help keep your business running smoothly and your workforce productive.