Shifting collaboration to the cloud: can the right UC&C solution help futureproof your business?

The way in which we work has unarguably changed beyond all recognition in recent years and of course has accelerated in recent months with so many more of us working from home.

It's clear that organisations offering flexible and mobile working capabilities are likely to be better placed to adapt to the challenges presented by the global pandemic. In the longer term, we also see that flexible and mobile working is actively sought out by millennial employees, and these facilities are increasingly vital to staff productivity and job satisfaction.

For organisations using solutions such as Cisco Call Manager, or other on premises voice technologies that are reaching end of life, it’s time to decide how UC&C will be delivered effectively across the organisation in the future.

The reality is many enterprises are wrestling with a Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) environment that is a jumble of products and services from various vendors both within and across different regions. This makes providing a consistent performance level and user experience across global locations a huge challenge.

How can the right collaboration solution help your business overcome the challenges it faces?

Needing a solution that’s simple and straightforward to use

If UC&C technology isn’t useful, relevant or easy to adopt, organisations will struggle to get end users to buy in. A lack of a modern UC&C strategy also runs the risk of ‘shadow IT’, with individual departments making their own choices on collaboration tools, often with little consideration for security concerns or wider integration.

Combined with people increasingly working remotely across different devices and different communication preferences, it’s vital that any new UC&C technology is easy to use and versatile across the end users within your organisation.

A single client for communication and collaboration that is simple to use and makes a real difference to workers’ lives –means happier employees who get more done, and fewer headaches for the IT department!

Wanting easy management

With swiftly evolving UC&C technologies, we know that maintaining the expertise to manage a platform in-house can be difficult and expensive. It can create a reluctance to invest in new technology, or a reticence to launch a comprehensive new solution because of the limited internal resources to support it.

Working with an expert 3rd party partner, businesses can achieve consistent performance end-to-end without the headache of managing the solution in-house.

By choosing a cloud solution from a partner who can also combine it with an extensive global network, users can receive the same consistent experience and performance irrespective of their location and without the complexity for the IT team of managing multiple suppliers. Crucially, this then frees the IT team to work on other strategic business priorities.

Lowering Risk

When moving to new collaboration solutions, there is often a genuine concern about the number porting process, and all the myriad of challenges this can present.

CenturyLink's Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution can integrate with existing WANs and SIP trunking meaning that number porting isn't automatically required. This not only reduces the risk, but it also simplifies the process.

Needing to have predictable, transparent costs

We know that migrating to Cloud based solutions can come with cost concerns, as the nature of the cost and billing model changes. However, with a subscription model it can allow for greater flexibility to scale the users (and their requirements) up. It means that costs are predictable, and crucially can also move away from making substantial capex investment in new on-site equipment.

CenturyLink offers a simple, predictable subscription model, and it’s easy to accommodate changing business needs, as users and applications can be scaled up as required.

Shifting collaboration to the cloud

Cisco HCS delivered by CenturyLink provides comprehensive collaboration-as-a-service with the same capabilities as in-house Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) deployments. This allows mobile and virtual employees to collaborate seamlessly together with each other and with customers and suppliers, wherever they're located.

Cisco HCS provides a flexible foundation to introduce elements of the wider Cisco Collaboration portfolio, allowing the organisation to bring in valuable capabilities as and when needed, such as video conferencing, IM and presence and file and screen sharing. It's also backed by CenturyLink's robust and intelligent network-based security that stops threats before they reach the organisation.

So, what could Cisco HCS do for your business?

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