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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

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

Cost Savings Case Study Around Cisco and Google’s UC&C Solutions

Posted by Riordan Maynard on Tue, Aug 27, 2013

This article was composed by our Partner Riordan Maynard, the CEO of Touchbase. At the end of this article you will have the opportuntity to download Touchbase's case study supporting real cost savings with Cisco and Google Unified Communications and Collaboration. 

 

As the CEO of a company that partners with two of the largest technology innovators in the world, Cisco and Google, I find myself constantly preaching about how significant the potential return from the right investment in Unified Communication & Collaboration (UC) technology can be. If you have heard it all before then I apologize, but this is an area where Touchbase is extremely focused, and where we continue to find amazing value for our clients.


Those of you who have read our articles before will know that Touchbase is putting a great deal of time and money into its UC Transformation Program. This program is fairly wide ranging and involves us looking at a client’s current situation around UC & Networking and then comparing it to our Best Practice model based on Cisco and Google’s Unified Communication and Collaboration solutions.

The comparison allows us to go back to our client and give them a very accurate understanding of what the financial, operational, technical and user benefits of moving to a modern UC architecture would be. For companies that want to look at the whole picture around UC and need to justify the very significant investment required, this is absolutely the best way to approach it. The outcome is always considerable and surprising with reductions of at least 50% to your current operating costs and the complete transformation of the user experience being consistently achieved.

Organizations who are already heavily invested in new UC technology, or who do not have the appetite to look at the whole picture, should still be looking at specific initiatives which can save money or improve the user experience. A perfect example of that can be downloaded in our simple, easy to read, Cost Savings study.

 

Our client in the study, was conscious that years of high growth meant that their users were not being provided with the most up to date and valuable communications tools, and that their costs were probably out of line with where they should be. Touchbase was engaged to help Reduce Operating Costs, Transform the Users Communications Experience, and Simplify their Technology Environment. To achieve this Touchbase used its UC Transformation Program which is designed specifically to help organizations with these objectives in a quick and cost effective manner. The engagement identified several areas where hyper growth had driven inefficiency in spend, technology, operations and the actual experience to their end users.

Touchbase recommended 8 initiatives to drive out $14.5m of existing cost per annum, move to one virtualized central UC Platform, and deliver all communications tools to every user within a single user interface - all accessible from any device, anywhere.

All companies should be interested in how they can deliver better communications tools to their people. Better tools will lead to higher productivity and happier customers. The challenge always is where to find the money to afford the tools. In every single engagement, Touchbase has found significant operational expense reduction, which can then be used to invest in the newer technology required to deliver better communications tools.


For more information, make sure to download our Cost Savings Report in order to help your company Reduce Operating Costs, Transform the User Experience, and Simplify Technology.

 

Learn more about Touchbase:

Touchbase works with its clients to meet their needs from a Unified Communications, Collaboration and Contact Center perspective. Our engagement with clients varies from delivering large scale, global and fully managed transition programs, to helping them with a small problem on their existing systems anywhere in the world. We view every engagement with a client, big or small, to be valuable in extending the relationship we have with them and proving our value. 


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Topics: case study, Cisco, Google Apps, better collaboration

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