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Resolve For Hosted UC In The New Year

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It is getting to be about that time of year when people start making New Year's resolutions. While a good deal of them are generally personal in nature, maybe it is time to start resolving to make change at the enterprise level. For a lot of businesses, a good place to start is probably the communications infrastructure.

It should come as no surprise that the way people communicate is changing. More often than not, legacy circuits have aged to the point where simple upgrades are not going to accomplish much. In this day and age, it is commonly accepted that the next system will not be a physical replacement but one that is hosted in the cloud.

Additionally, channels are no longer siloed. Having to leverage multiple devices and platforms to contact one person is increasingly seen as a barrier to productivity. The name for this phenomenon is unified communications, and having a UC system that can be utilized remotely through the cloud is starting to be considered a modern necessity for companies.

As more organizations adopt hosted UC for their employees, it will be critical for their competitors to do the same. The new year will bring with it new requirements - especially when it comes to business agility. The kind of productivity that unified communications can unlock is fast becoming an essential way of streamlining operations.

Hosted UC Solutions Must Feel Natural

One of the most important things to consider about new communications networks has to do with the potential user experience. UC is not supposed to be a part-and-parcel replacement - it is meant to be a completely new way of collaborating.

"Communications should be part of our work, but should not be work," wrote Unified Communications Strategies contributor Marty Parker. "As we have said from the outset at UCStrategies, the future will be about how communications is used in the work that people need to do, also known as their job, their workflows and their business processes (i.e. 'communications integrated to optimize business processes')."

Parker goes on to state that inefficient communications mean wasted money. This is not only true in terms of productivity, but also telecom budgeting. UC is able to bring all platforms together under one roof, removing the need to work with multiple providers and eliminating possible redundancies. Hosting these systems off-site also means that IT staff will not be tasked with maintaining the hardware. Not being burdened with the requirement of ensuring uptime means that IT will be free to innovate and look for new ways that this technology can be leveraged to fulfill company missions.

Fostering The Remote Workforce

One trend that is likely to remain prevalent in 2015 is the remote workforce. Now that so many professionals have found personal success using smartphones and the cloud, they are expecting their employers to support newfound abilities. Working from home, for example, is not as much of a stretch as it used to be. Rather than having to invest in an entire home office set-up, employees can plug into the cloud via their mobile devices and get a full day's work done as if they were in physical workplace.

But this is not possible without the right channels in place. Cloud communications are an important tool for the remote workforce to have. While some might consider this a frivolous reason to invest, it can ultimately be the smartest. Empowering remote staffers can make them more productive and satisfied. Helping them to better balance their private and professional lives is a great way to boost morale, which has a positive subsequent effect on the quality of work.

The Importance Of Cloud Communications In 2015

It should be clear by now that traditional telecom is generally not geared toward modern needs.

"Moving toward a cloud-based system can provide a number of important competitive advantages for your firm, like easily connecting remote offices together," wrote TMCnet contributor Michelle Amodio. "Callers can remember one number but be directed to employees around the world without any extra effort. These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg."

Amodio cited recent research from IDC, which found that cloud communications adoptions are being driven by factors like cost, ease of integration and flexibility. These are benefits that a growing number of companies are starting to experience, and the ones that have yet to join them should do so before it is too late.

There is only one thing that is certain in enterprise communications, according to Parker: change. As systems and employee understanding continue to evolve, the need for effective, modern communication will only increase. It is likely that 2015 will be filled with businesses that choose to make the switch. This means that other organizations that have not yet considered a change should make a New Year's resolution to do so now. There is no time like the beginning of a year to decide that enterprise telecom needs a boost, and businesses are seeing results when making these moves.

"Cloud communications isn't just fancy tech-term used in the industry," Amodio wrote. "Cloud communications is a real thing, which has helped a lot of organizations when it comes to using data and keeping costs down. With the cloud being a highly secure, location-independent solution, it offers options that far outweigh traditional IT services, and thus it makes for an attractive option for computing and communications needs."