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Why—and How—to Make the Move to a Hybrid UC&C Approach Today, Part 2

Posted by Diane Lai on Mon, Dec 15, 2014

In Part 1, we explained why organizations are trending toward a hybrid approach to unified communications and collaboration (UC&C).We mentioned the many benefits, such as reduced operational costs and better allocation of resources to other areas of need. In this second installment, we will look at a real-life use case of an enterprise customer’s transition to hybrid UC&C—a mix of premises- and cloud-based solutions. The example is provided from Esna in conjunction with Google partner SADA Systems. We hope this provides a map for implementing a hybrid approach to UC&C in your organization.

Teaming with Esna, global market intelligence firm IDC conducted the research to demonstrate the effectiveness of integrating a cloud-enabled platform (in this case, Esna’s Officelinx) with real-time communications services inside business applications on desktop and mobile devices. Officelinx facilitates Google Apps (among other platforms, such as Avaya and Cisco) as a live communications hub by enabling information workers to access UC&C services, such as presence, IM, click-to-call and voice and Web conference scheduling from Google Calendar and Google Drive.

 

The Case Study

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Topics: case study, business phone systems, unified communications

Why—and How—to Make the Move to a Hybrid UC&C Approach Today, Part 1

Posted by Diane Lai on Thu, Dec 11, 2014

What is a “true” unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) environment for the enterprise? And, based on this definition, why is there a growing customer interest in software- and cloud-based offerings vs. premises-based integrations for improving the economics of UC&C for many companies?

In a true UC&C environment, human and device communications are unified in a common context and experience. Business processes are optimized to enhance collaboration among workers by reducing latency, managing flows and eliminating device and media dependencies. For example, by seamlessly integrating communication components (e.g., IM/chat, presence, document sharing, audio conferencing and videoconferencing), an enterprise can facilitate all sorts of collaboration.

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Topics: case study, business phone systems, unified communications

Re-evaluate Voicemail to Position Your Sales Team for Success

Posted by Lee Ho on Thu, Oct 23, 2014

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, then you likely know how much of an emphasis we at Esna place on improving sales with collaborative tools and technologies. Changing customer behaviors, preferences and buying patterns have forced sales teams to either shape up or ship out. But communications technology can help drive sales processes toward betterment, leading to increased revenue generation, as our very own EVP Davide Petramala explains in the State of Collaboration Technology and Sales

The sales process has become the art of personalization. It embodies a more focused approach as opposed to mass-market positioning, and there’s a multitude of features and collaboration tools to help get the job done.

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Topics: business phone systems, sales communications, voicemail

Work Smarter in Google Apps with Maven Wave and Esna

Posted by Lee Ho on Tue, Oct 14, 2014

There’s a distinctive chill in the air and we’re already seeing Halloween candy on shelves, which can only mean one thing—autumn is upon us.

The season is off to a great start for us here at Esna, where we just this month revealed our new alliance with fellow Google Apps partner Maven Wave, a cloud solutions developer and business intelligence firm. This partnership will enable us to enhance the effectiveness of Google Apps users within their critical business processes. Benefits can include: better streamlined communication with browser-based Gmail, seamlessly synched meetings through Google calendar, improved project management with Google Docs, and bolstered brand awareness via Google Sites.

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Topics: business phone systems, Google Apps, cloud computing

Manage Your Organisations' Communications Needs with Confidence

Posted by Jacqueline Frankish on Thu, Aug 28, 2014
We don’t like the word ‘inevitable’ when it comes to technology. There is nothing inevitable about innovation. But when it comes to hosted or cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions, we’re speaking to more and more organisations who accept the future is in off-premises, third party-managed business communications.

Those companies still working with premises-based communications solutions are getting fewer, and will soon be limited to new start-ups in low-tech sectors, where collaboration is limited, and the benefits offered by cloud-based applications are a nice-to-have, not a necessity.

Certainly, cloud-based communications have transformed business, leveling the playing field and allowing smaller organisations to compete with market leaders without significant investment. Innovation is now the key, not capital expenditure. And those still clinging onto premises-based services are limiting themselves in terms of return on investment, and competitive advantage.

Organisations are migrating to the cloud at different rates, and Esna is working with its clients to assess the best way to maximise value from existing on-site hardware investment, while leveraging the benefits of cloud-based services.

This is known as a hybrid model, and offers companies the chance to experience cloud-based services whilst maintaining the comfort of their existing technology. It’s a transition, but most importantly it still allows a business to prepare for the future without significant up-front investment.

So while the future may be in fully hosted or cloud-based solutions, there is a strong argument for companies wishing to maintain some in-house control and security in the business.

The argument, though for some degree of transition to off-premises solution is compelling when you consider the immediate benefits:
  • Reduced overheads
  • Reduced operating expense
  • Increased business capabilities
  • Increased ROI on existing technology and hardware

Regardless of the ratio between premise-based and cloud-based, a hybrid approach will offer all businesses the opportunity to become more strategic, and more innovative.

And working with a third party service provider such as Esna will enable your business to start benefitingnow.

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Topics: case study, business phone systems, unified communications

A Hybrid Approach to Future Proofing Your Business

Posted by Jacqueline Frankish on Wed, Aug 13, 2014

Supply and demand is the oldest market measurement tool. In the world of business collaboration, tradition meets cutting edge, as customer demand drives the supply of hybrid  communications and collaboration services.

Once a primarily hardware-based model, increasingly companies are recognising the value of software and cloud-based solutions, products and applications. The reluctance of businesses to invest in a complex premises-based integrated communications solution is leading to a transition in the market, and Esna is leading the way in delivering these new-look business communication models.

As well as reducing capital costs, a third party managed hybrid communications and collaboration solution helps to reduce operational and staffing costs, and of course offers a lower carbon footprint compared with physical solutions.

For Esna clients however, all these are simply a bonus. The real benefit comes from the new communication and collaboration capabilities offered by cloud-based applications, leveling the playing field by allowing smaller organisations to adopt a model previously only afforded by market leaders.

In a recent IDC study on hybrid unified communications solutions, results indicated that hosted or cloud-based communications models have started to widen their grip on the sector, with 45% of respondents showing either current or planned collaboration strategy of this nature.

Perhaps more interesting to most businesses, however is the hybrid model, which utilises existing on-premises investment, combined with operational expense (opex) benefits of cloud-based services.

While most organisations accept the inevitability of business communications being primarily off-premises in the future, for the time being many Esna clients are more comfortable with a transitional approach to the adoption of hosted or cloud-based offerings.

Esna can equip your business with a model that suits your existing needs, whilst also allowing you to focus on the future. Speak to us today.  

The aforementioned IDC study is available to you for download and can be quite helpful when deploying a UC&C solution. To access your complimentary copy of this IDC report on a successful approach hybrid unified communications, click below. 

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Topics: case study, business phone systems, unified communications

Study: 84% of Companies Want to Lock in Unified Communications This Year

Posted by Lee Ho on Tue, Apr 29, 2014

Are You One of Them?

Unified communications makes daily responsibilities and tasks unbelievably simple for a ton of great reasons—something that has driven 84 percent of decision makers to deploy the technology within their own organizations. Combining all of today’s top communications channels into one centralized hub, employees have access to a one stop communications shop without having to migrate between different hardware or software when communicating and collaborating with customers, partners and colleagues.

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Topics: business communications, business phone systems, better collaboration

Voicemail Doesn’t Have to Drag Down Your Collaboration Strategy

Posted by Lee Ho on Mon, Mar 17, 2014

With texting, instant messaging, tweeting and more, many are quick to say that voicemail is “so last century.” Sure, these options have taken communication to exciting new levels, but you know what we say? Voicemail is far from obsolete—it’s just taking a new form, especially at the enterprise level.

Voicemail still remains a viable form of communication within the workplace; however, it needs to evolve to meet growing needs and demands within the corporate world. We may hate checking voicemails outside of the office but, during work, voicemails are crucial to getting business done.

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Topics: business communications, business phone systems, better collaboration

IT Can Deliver More in Google Apps with Unified Communications

Posted by Lee Ho on Tue, Jan 29, 2013

Most businesses would agree that communications is the single most important aspect of conducting business effectively. Any positive tweaks of streamlining communication services produces positive results in efficiency across the enterprise. Think of the countless different communication platforms from email, voice, chat, video conference, fax and many more. Imagine merging all these platforms into a single management interface and integrating them utilizing current business phone systems. As many enterprises update their traditional PBX systems, Unified Communication is the natural evolution to meet the demands of an ever changing workplace.

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Topics: business phone systems, Google Apps, unified communications

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