Then vs. Now: With Cloud Service, I Like Now Better
Going back to the 'good old days' is hard to imagine.
When it comes to communications choice, control is a common decision factor over time. Today we question whether we want to give up control with a move to cloud telephony. In the Big Iron days when we rolled PBXes into enterprises, we asked, "Do we really want to be the phone company?"
Huge differences between then and now have altered our view on control. Then... we underwent regulatory upheaval that granted competition. Now... we face a regulatory environment that's not keeping pace with technological change. Then...some of us will remember taxes on our telephone bills that made it seem as if we were still helping pay for the Spanish-American War. Now... we are fighting -- and still hopeful -- that the Internet doesn't become a free-for-all as Congress levies taxes and stifles competition.
The situation we find ourselves in today is one of network complexity and dependency on bandwidth for which the business demand, I believe, exceeds that for dial tone. Whether this is accurate doesn't matter as much as understanding that today's network is different, and that the always-on and always-available mandate is of paramount importance for the modern, agile business.
My hosted service provider isn't perfect, and if, you're in the camp of not wanting to cede control to the cloud, you could argue that I am too forgiving or overlooking of cloud issues. But let's look at this from a then vs. now perspective.
When logging in to a portal for reviewing customer PBX reports I at times have received the message: "Couldn't Connect. Too many Connections." As such, I was unable to review call reports.
I tried different browsers, logging in and out, rebooting -- the typical Tier 1 stuff that the help desk suggests -- to no avail. Next, I opened a chat session (while successfully logged into the console) and asked for help. The agent escalated my request, and in a couple of hours I received an email stating the issue had been resolved. For the quick attention I needed for this type of problem, chat provided a great communications option, even if I was left in the dark as to the root cause of the problem.
For help in solving problems that don't affect service, the hosted provider has given me the luxury of having someone with whom I can discuss operations or configuration issues via a channel of my choice and without lengthy call queues or repetitive IVR entries. This is now -- and the "then" isn't a memory I want to hang on to since dealing with a telco was typically not too pleasant.
With collaborative tech support within our virtual reach, it's hard to imagine going back to the good old days. This industry is changing, and with those changes come for the good, with heightened expectations.