In today’s world where normal communication challenges are often compounded by rapid environmental shifts (global pandemic, anyone?), it’s critical that companies understand how to become adaptable while also maintaining peak productivity. Doing so requires a multifaceted approach, knowledge of enterprise-level communication solutions, and commitment to maintaining a seamless connection between your team and your customers.
With the shift toward work-from-anywhere, connectivity is more important than ever, and it’s no surprise that companies are turning to cloud-based communication solutions. Improving agility while adhering to novel workplace protocols is a huge benefit to organizations looking to grow—especially at a time when the customer experience is paramount to building relationships and growing revenue.
Conversely, many companies have viable reasons for sticking with what they know and choosing to rely on a tried-and-true on-premise application. For years, traditional on-premise technology was the only option, and many organizations abide by the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, generally speaking, most IT professionals agree that, in addition to their legacy systems, they’ll need to leverage new cloud applications to achieve continued success.
Let’s review the key benefits and differences between on-premise and cloud communications.
To maintain critical communication functionality, organizations can deploy remote workers via IP connectivity of an existing phone system. Basic functionality such as extension-to-extension dialing and receiving and transferring calls maintains the business status quo. Teams can contact their colleagues just as if they were in the office.
Many times, on-premise phone systems also allow for UC features and functionality. UC features enhance business operations and enable colleagues to stay emotionally connected. Chat presence and multi-media interfaces help foster the collaboration that is inherently experienced when face-to-face.
From a customer service perspective, on-premise systems can easily maintain crucial customer-to-business interactions. There are a myriad of options for businesses, such as contact center functionality (CCaaS) as well as the use of UC and other collaboration tools.
Most of the time, if the options are not already a part of the system configuration, additional costs may apply. The price can vary greatly depending on the system, the add-on needs, and the current infrastructure.
But what if your business has a legacy phone system deployed? You will most likely find that it is too costly to make the upgrade, especially if an upgrade is not in the budget.
Cloud Communications (UCaaS)
UCaaS is the right option if a legacy system is too costly or would require too many resources and time to upgrade. UCaaS enables any employee to connect back to the virtual network on a softphone or hard phone via the internet. It is inherently easier to distribute and deploy.
With the vast array of collaboration services available, UCaaS provides multi-site companies with many options to enhance business communications. These include:
- VoIP for telephony
- Video conferencing to connect remote workers and off-site teams
- Enterprise mobility
- Instant messaging for real-time communication
- Communications platform as a service (CPaaS) for real-time cloud-based communications
- Customer relationship management (CRM) to analyze data and improve customer interactions
- Contact center features that allow users to request assistance through chat, messaging, email, etc.
As organizations migrate away from long-standing legacy systems, these features help to provide business agility and real-time functionality across multiple sites.
To ensure critical communication with customers and employees, you must decide whether to move to on-premise remote functionality or UCaaS.
The real question is, how easily and cost-effectively can your current system enable you to deploy remote workers? If the answer is within your current budget and within your existing resources, you can maintain mission-critical business practices with an on-premise solution. If your employees, and most importantly, your customers suffer because of the inability to communicate within your current platform, UCaaS is the best option for your business.
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