Despite the proliferation of digital technologies over the past decade, the old school PBX phone system remains a fixture in some small and medium-sized enterprises around the country. Others have switched to unified on-premises communication systems in recent years. It’s a step up but still several steps behind what’s fast becoming the gold standard here and globally –unified cloud communications.
Essentially, cloud communication means an end to the need for employees to stop work and switch to a different app, each time they want to change their mode of communication. The minutes and seconds wasted each time that occurs add up over the course of a week, month and year – to a significant productivity drain.
Cutting the cost of ownership
Another thing that adds up is the cost of maintaining that suite of on-premises communication solutions – patching them, upgrading them, supporting them and managing the licensing agreements that govern their usage. So too do the telephone bills, for a service that could be delivered reliably and more cheaply another way.
So much so that the typical business customer can expect to see their total cost of ownership drop by 30 per cent over three years, when they migrate from siloed, on-premises communication solutions to a unified cloud platform, according to research carried out by 8×8.
That’s no small saving. In fact, it’s a compelling justification for your business to invest in migrating its communications to the cloud, even if you’ve already resolved to put ICT projects on the back burner this year, in response to challenging economic conditions.
The big data advantage
But the benefits of unified cloud communications go beyond the opportunity to save time and money by reducing licensing fees and outsourcing the administration and support for your platform to a well-resourced vendor.
Switching to a single cloud platform makes it possible to collect a wealth of data from across all your communication applications. That data can be aggregated and analysed to extract insights that you can use to optimise operations and performance across the enterprise. In challenging economic times, finding and actioning those opportunities to improve can be the key to financial viability in the short term and profitability in the long.
Enabling business continuity in an uncertain era
And then there’s the question of how well your current communications infrastructure could support the business and enable employees to continue to work productively, should significant disruption occur.
To paraphrase Jane Austen’s famous opening line, in the wake of last year’s nationwide COVID lockdowns, it was a truth universally acknowledged that businesses which were operating in the cloud found transitioning to remote working far easier than those that were not.
As a result, many enterprises are, very sensibly, accelerating their cloud transformation programs, so business-critical applications can be accessed by employees, from anywhere that has an internet connection.
Businesses that don’t take action run the risk of being caught on the hop – again – should an unexpected incident or major disaster make business as usual an impossibility.
Laying the foundation for a better-connected future
In 2021 Australia, the ability to communicate rapidly and effectively with employees and customers isn’t a luxury; it’s one of the essential planks upon which a successful business is built. That’s why upgrading to a unified cloud communication platform that enables you to do so smartly and cost effectively, in all sorts of circumstances, isn’t an unnecessary expense. It’s an investment in business continuity and productivity that will pay for itself many times over.
Brendan Maree, Vice President Asia Pacific, 8×8 Inc