With the cost of communications infrastructure today, it can be difficult to know what the best solution for your business may be. Should you stay on-site, jump into the cloud, or implement something in between?
You should consider several other factors besides cost when making your decision to ensure you get the solution which truly works best for your business: current equipment investments, future growth, business goals, user adoption, and customer needs.
Unified Communications – Not in The Cloud
If you’re wary of using cloud-hosted telephony, a solution that uses your existing equipment while enabling centralized IT management and improved member communications may be best for you.
Your first step might be to replace any incompatible on-site phone systems in your separate locations. After all, you don’t want several different system brands which work differently and don’t pair well together. Next, install a Unified Communications (UC) solution to connect all of your offices. IT may have to work around office schedules, but this type of deployment should run fairly smoothly by putting one or two offices into service every couple of weeks.
Using a simple web-based application, your IT team can centrally manage the system, ultimately saving you support costs. Also, more analog endpoints and users will reside on one switch, streamlining maintenance and operations. In addition, you would be able to reconfigure any previous cloud-based phones to work with the new architecture.
Serving the Public Cost-Effectively
Perhaps you need to upgrade your aging phones. A communications solution that is both cost-effective and future-proof is your best bet.
You could simply upgrade to a UC structure that uses your existing telephony and integrates with your current network. But to determine what you’ll really need, first identify your call flow requirements.
This type of system uses the most up-to-date Internet-based technology, so when your business is ready to move services into the cloud your infrastructure is already in place. With this new upgrade, you ensure your system will be viable in the future while also being able to understand and accurately forecast your costs.
Room for Growth
Another need you may want to address is business growth. If you have more than one location and/or a steadily increasing employee base, you’ll need a communications system that will improve communications quality and provide data to effectively manage staff. Essential to this system is scalability.
You’ll also need a way to manage call volume and timing to better coordinate your staff. With a new UC system, your managers will have the metrics to do so. Up-to-date, up-to-the-minute analytics on call volume, productivity, and wait times can help you adjust your staff to meet variable demands while maintaining quality service.
As part of this kind of upgrade, you may need to make a few other infrastructure improvements such as switching data center providers and phone carriers or updating on-site servers. In the end, you’ll be better poised for the future while simultaneously meeting today’s growing business needs.
Is On-Site Deployment the Way to Go?
If your organization is facing any of these challenges, you should carefully assess your needs before moving forward. Gather input from stakeholders and decision-makers, review budgets, and keep an eye on the future.
Furthermore, you’ll want to keep these points in mind when evaluating a technology partner:
Sees the big picture: Your UC vendor should help you plan not just for your current requirements, but also for what is coming. An on-site deployment may make sense today, but the vendor’s solution should also position your infrastructure for cloud deployment when the time comes.
Protects your investment: Buying a whole new phone system may not be in the budget. A good partner works with your existing infrastructure and integrates your on-site hardware with third-party applications that add functionality.
Collaboration and connection: The true power of UC is its ability to connect your employees and customers. Be sure that your on-site deployment provides collaboration tools, mobile connectivity, conferencing, phones, and integrated call center solutions that work with your CRM for better and more responsive customer service.
Flexible and secure architecture: It may go without saying, but what use are all these features if the system isn’t secure – with redundancies and backup?
The Bottom Line
You don’t have to move to the cloud to take advantage of its benefits. A UC solution working with on-site deployment can reap many of the same advantages giving you flexibility, scalability, and control.
Source: by the experts at Mitel, Oct. 2018