Collaboration in the enterprise is becoming a competitive essential, with cloud technology playing a major role in delivering it. UCaaS (Unified Communication-as-a-Service) allows for transparent management, easy setup, lower operational costs, and improved user satisfaction levels, and offers the capability for sharing of information. This promotes flexibility, resilience, and creativity. Public cloud offerings have matured to support the bandwidth, security, and availability that enterprises want, thus making the move to collaboration in the cloud the future of workplace.
Many types of enterprise collaboration tools are available, and the growth for this market is expected to be 43 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next five years. This gives resellers an amazingly lucrative opportunity for UCaaS sales. Some of the requirements triggering the growth in this market include:
- Mobility is imperative – Employees, especially millennials, want to be able to work wherever they are and however they want. Companies that provision mobile solutions in the cloud benefit from enterprise-wide access while their provider executes all the requirements of mobile connectivity and device support. Enterprises need a secure, flexible solution that allows employees and associates to bring their own devices (BYOD) and remote workers. Cloud services can provide the best means for enabling mobile and seamless communication across the entire business.
- Enterprises require video – Dynamic companies want all of their employees to have access to video, whether in the office conference room, on their laptops, or on their mobile devices, thus allowing secure connectivity from anywhere. Consumers, especially millennials, are driving demand for video, not IT. Video capabilities that used to be expensive and hardware-intensive are now in the cloud at a much lower cost. IT professionals, however, will require business-class features, availability, security, and support.
- Conferencing and document sharing allow for continuity – With conferencing and document sharing in the cloud, local and remote users share the same, consistent interface, thus making it easier to work together. Employees are able to concurrently view presentations, share documents, and see other participants. Event recording allows others to view meetings as needed, and training can be conducted at any time, in any location.
- Enterprise social media improves team collaboration – The cloud supports enterprise social media platforms that help businesses meet their objectives. Team members can update their personal profiles to show current skills, interests, and requirements. Users can post emails, links, documents, videos, and other items of possible interest to other knowledge workers in the organization. Keyword tags can be used to help others find who and what they are looking for.
- Cloud based collaboration improves innovation – Collaboration tools are now more ubiquitous due to cloud-based UCC solutions. With more innovative employees connected to others, more connections are made and better ideas are realized that are more likely to get to the right decision-makers.
- Ease of management and initial cost reduction – Cloud-based UCC systems are easy to use and simple to manage. Most of the provisioning and maintenance executed through a UCC service provider, lessening the workload off the in-house IT group. UCaaS can provide compelling savings, both in finances and manpower. The reduction in complexity and the reduced requirement for capital expenditures make cloud-based UCC solutions ideal for many businesses.
- Expansibility – Cloud UCC services are optimal for companies that need the capability to scale quickly during peak periods. An example of this would be seasonal businesses and contact centers that have busy periods. UCC service providers can easily turn on or off supplemental services when needed, then turn them back off when the season has ended. This prevents companies from paying too much for equipment and services when business is quiet.
Collaboration is a major requirement for most organizations, and cloud-based systems can help companies utilize business applications better, which provides elevated decision making, improved learning, and enhanced innovation. UCC tools such as mobility, video, conferencing, document sharing, and enterprise social networks can be profitably provided in the cloud for many organizations. By offering cloud-based services or UCaaS, VARs can help clients implement their UCC strategies with the benefits of becoming the customer’s trusted advisor, the generation of monthly revenue, and the possibility of selling additional UCC services in the future.