Given the recent challenges facing several on-premise PBX and contact center systems integrators, it is no wonder that companies are left asking what the future of on-premise looks like, can their current vendor survive the current market conditions, and is now the right time to migrate to the cloud?
But, cloud migration considerations should go beyond the headlines of the day. Moving your communications environment to the cloud can also bring strategic, unforeseen business opportunities. That is why BroadSoft partnered with Enterprise Connect and UBM to deliver a webinar “5 Simple Steps to Migrate Your Communication Systems to the Cloud” to help shed light on those opportunities and more.
As expected, the presenters Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research, and David Rosenthal and Arnab Mishra of BroadSoft did an excellent job laying out a very practical and pragmatic approach to migrate to the cloud, its requirements and trends – which we will summarize later in this post.
But, the interesting take-away was that the more the presenters interacted and discussed the topic, the recurring theme became that the move to the cloud is an opportunity to improve the business and its business processes, not just a migration of communications infrastructure. They pointed out that moving to the cloud created an opportunity to:
• Focus on what we can do better: As David said, “don’t just focus on what we do today but focus on what we can do better, just because the PBX developed 20 years ago supported certain features does not mean that is the way we should be working today”.
• Revisit Unified Communications functionality needed based on personas: Understand the business needs of your teams from the front office, back office, mobile workers; the agents, supervisors and administrators in the contact center; and your external partners and customers and make these communications more productive and effective.
• Look for ways to improve contact center business performance: Arnab pointed out that there are always weak spots in legacy contact center systems and that moving to the cloud creates the opportunity to focus on improving sales conversions, customer satisfactions scores and other key performance indicators.
The team also discussed some of the key benefits of moving to the cloud such as:
• Adding new features more frequently: In this mobile world, we have come to expect innovations in our applications on a regular, at least annual basis, which the cloud offers.
• Moving IP Telephony teams to more strategic initiatives: Including user adoption, partner management and relationships with business units.
• Integration of PBXs into applications: For example, adding telephony to CRM systems.
Some key requirements they outlined for cloud-based PBX, UC and contact center systems included:
• Network options: There is more than one option and you should consider them all.
• Migration tools required: How can the provider make the process smooth and so it does not interrupt business as usual?
• Importance of APIs to integrate existing systems: It may not be feasible to migrate your entire current communications environment at once, so these APIs make it possible to do a phased approach moving different teams, sites, functions, product lines or systems over time.
• Importance of APIs to import historical data: This is particularly important for contact centers needing the data to benchmark and improve their customer service.
Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research shared some valuable industry data from his research including:
• A succinct definition of migration:“Transitioning communications applications like telephony, conferencing, and contact center from the corporate data center to a service provider, accessed via the Internet or direct cloud connect services and billed on a subscription basis only for the resources needed”.
• Movement to the cloud data: Showing significant growth of the percent of IP telephony, video conferencing and contact center communications moving to the cloud.
• Market for the cloud: The Cloud is not just for SMBs anymore, large enterprises are also adopting the cloud.
And of course, they went into detail on the 5 Simple Steps to Migrate Your Communication Systems to the Cloud:
- 1. Assessment: Evaluating your current environment and determining business requirements.
- 2. Solution Selection: Choosing the right carrier-grade solution with integrated UC and omni-channel customer engagement capabilities.
- 3. Migration Tools: Using the right platform with built-in migration tools (e.g. network assessment, open APIs, plug & play setup and activation, and integration capabilities)
- 4. Blueprint Creation: Building timelines, activation methods, and contingency strategies.
- 5. Trusted Partner Selection: Selecting a service provider with migration and support resources to ensure a smooth cut-over process and post migration support.
It was an excellent webinar for those who are thinking of migrating to the Cloud and who are worried about what the future of on-premise UCC holds. To learn more, we encourage you listen to the full recorded webinar.