So, moving to the cloud will save you money, right? Well it might, but perhaps ask yourself: is that your only objective?
Consuming unified communications from the cloud is a bit like having a company car – you get to choose your model from a wide(ish)variety, there’s no deposit required, it’s delivered brand new, has all mod cons (DAB radio, on-board satnav, hands-free and Bluetooth), you don’t need your own insurance policy and when there’s a problem, someone else deals with it.
This means that if you get a flat tyre, the tyre company will come to your place of work or home and replace it, if the windscreen cracks you simply take it into Autoglass, and if you accidentally reverse it into the river, then fleet management will come to your rescue. The best part? When the car needs a service, all you do is book it in and everything is taken care of.
This is a complete contrast to buying your own car. Here you get to choose the exact make and model that suits you, along with the colour, gearbox, fuel type and accessories. You have complete freedom of choice. What’s more, it’s all yours – you are the outright owner. However if you happen to get a flat tyre, if the windscreen cracks or the cam belt needs replacing, it’s down to you and you alone to source a new tyre, book the mechanic or claim on your insurance.
You might be wondering where I am going with this. Well, cloud UC is the company car – the options are slightly more limited (but only marginally), but everything gets done for you.
Different companies take differing views on the important of UC: some see it as a strategic differentiator, whilst others view it as a necessary cost. But regardless of how strategic it is, having the option of scaling user numbers up or down and not having to employ your own people to look after it is a benefit that enables companies to be more agile, so they can focus on their core business better.
So if you’re looking at cloud as purely a cost saving exercise, you might want to re-think. Going to the cloud can indeed reduce your costs, particularly when you include all the people you can redeploy. But what it will really do for your organisation is deliver a well-planned, stable and predictable service, better support of the digital services and applications your employees rely on, pervasive connectivity and a user experience that is consistent for your workforce wherever they are working, so that they can get on with their jobs better.
Ultimately, people opt in to the company car scheme because it’s less hassle and enables them to travel to where they need to go. As with cars, UC from the cloud is all about enabling you to what you do best.