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Moving unified communications (UC) or contact center (CC) infrastructure to the cloud can open the door to innovation for enterprises around the world. A well-planned, migration can also improve the employee and customer experience, according to Bob Camel, senior marketing manager, Avaya.
“Organizations will get more and more involved with the cloud to take advantage of innovative applications like AI,” he said. “While change can be uncomfortable, doing nothing can be risky.”
In his talk on “Premise to Cloud: Is It the Path to Innovation?” at Avaya ENGAGE 2023, Camel said there is no right or wrong answer to the cloud versus on-premise question. “Every organization is different and has its own requirements that influence the choice of a deployment strategy,” he said. “But one of the most important issues to consider is innovation. Is it important for you to have access to the latest functionality and applications?”
For example, moving UC systems to the cloud can results in better collaboration and productivity, while empowering work-from-home and other remote employees. One of the clear benefits is smoother integration with third-party applications like Microsoft Teams, Camel said.
On the CC side, the cloud provides the same types of benefits to work-from-home agents, along with real-time support when assisting customers. “It also makes it easier to give your customers more personalized service, self-service touch points, and a choice of contact channels,” he said.
Perhaps most importantly, moving to the cloud can align communication investments with business strategies – a top challenge for IT and telecom teams, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan survey. It can also address the ongoing shortage of IT talent, Camel added.
“When planning your cloud journey, take the time to think about what innovation you need,” he said. For instance, you may need to add new customer experience (CX) features to stay competitive in your market sector, or simplify your current infrastructure. “We all use multiple applications, vendors and technologies,” he said. “One key to modernization is combining or integrating UC applications in the cloud. That way you can always stay current, and enjoy increased agility, reduced complexity and greater connections.”
Camel noted that many large organizations continue to rely on-prem systems for a variety of reasons, including reliability, investment protection, internal control, security, compliance and less disruption – at least in the short term. “It’s important to keep what you love,” Camel said. “Don’t replace things that are working, but be sure you have the ability to innovate when necessary.”
Camel added there are several signs that an organization may have outgrown its on-prem systems, including:
• Missing or obsolete functionality
• Difficult to scale or expand
• Lacking interoperability and agility
• High total cost of ownership
• Significant financial and human capital requirements
However, an integrated UC and CC cloud platform can deliver significant financial benefits, said Camel. He cited a recent Metrigy Research survey that showed increased employee productivity, higher customer experience (CX) ratings and increased revenue due to CX initiatives.
“We believe you should embrace cloud migration in your own way without disrupting current operations,” Camel said. “But technology continues to advance and it’s always time to consider opportunities for innovation.”