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Seven Trends Driving Enterprise Collaboration in the Cloud (UCaaS)

April 23, 2017

Seven Trends Driving Enterprise Collaboration in the Cloud (UCaaS)

Collaboration in the enterprise is becoming a competitive necessity, with cloud technology playing a major role in delivering it. Collaborative organizations can connect with employees, customers and suppliers to make decisions, resolve issues and accommodate or create new approaches. UCaaS (unified communication as a service) provides simpler management, quicker setup, lower operational risk, better user satisfaction rates and a platform for exchange and information sharing that promotes flexibility, resilience and innovation. Public cloud offerings have grown to support the bandwidth, security and availability that enterprises expect, making it easier and more cost-effective to move collaboration to the cloud. Many types of enterprise collaboration tools are supported. In 2015, cloud-based collaboration revenue will reach more than $10M. Some of the trends driving this growth include:

  1. Enterprises Need Video – Many progressive companies are moving towards putting video not only in every conference room, but also in the hands of every knowledge worker. Employees can securely meet over video from wherever they are, using their laptops, tablets or smartphones. These lower-priced, very scalable cloud-based video solutions will not only support employees in the boardroom but will deliver a connected experience to all employees. The demand for video communication is being driven by consumers, especially millennials, and not by the IT department. Video functionality that used to be driven by expensive, in-house hardware now exists in the cloud at a fraction of the cost. However, IT professionals will still want business-class features, support and security.

  2. Mobility Is Crucial – Secure connections to mobile applications allow people to work wherever they are and however they want. The cloud makes delivery of mobile solutions across the enterprise simple while the cloud provider handles all the complexity of mobile connectivity and device support. Enterprises need a solution that is flexible and securely accommodates employees and associates who bring their own devices (BYOD), as well as those who work outside the office. With today's mobile workforce, cloud services can offer the right tools for enabling seamless communication across the enterprise.

  3. Social Media Makes Team Collaboration Easy – The cloud supports social media-like platforms that are designed to support business objectives. Team members can amend their personal profiles to show current skills, interests and requirements. Users can post documents, videos, emails, links and similar items of possible interest to others in the organization. Tags based on keywords are used to help others find who and what they need.

  4. Conferencing and Document Sharing Provide Consistency – By enabling meetings in the cloud with remote participants and using a consistent interface, employees are able to simultaneously view presentations, share documents and see other participants. The ability to record events allows others to review meetings when needed. Training can be delivered to any location in any time zone.

  5. Cloud-Based Collaboration Stimulates Innovation – Thanks to cloud delivery, collaborative tools are now more pervasive. As a result, more innovators can be connected to others who may be more process-oriented. As more connections are made, better ideas germinate, with greater chances of reaching the right people, like decision-makers.

  6. Ease of Use – Cloud-based UCC systems are extremely simple to use and manage. Most of the maintenance and technical management are done by a UCC service provider, taking the load off the in-house team. Outsourcing can provide significant savings in terms of manpower as well as fiscal resources. Cloud-based enterprise telephony and UCC solutions are growing because they reduce management complexity and do not require significant capital investments in order to realize a return to the business.

  7. Scalability Considerations – For companies that need the flexibility to scale quickly during peak periods, for instance – at call centers during holidays – cloud UCC services can be helpful. UCC service providers can normally just turn on or off additional services as needed. This keeps companies from overpaying for equipment and service when business is slower.

Collaboration is a key competence area for organizations using cloud-based systems. Collaboration linked to business applications and actions allows for improvement in decision making, augments learning and cultivates innovation. Tools like video, mobility, conferencing, enterprise social networks and document sharing can be successfully provided in the cloud for many companies. By selling cloud-based services or UCaaS, VARS can successfully enable the UCC strategies of their customers while becoming their trusted advisor. Per user monthly revenue is also a benefit to VARS that sell UCaaS.