Connecting C&C: Removing Costly, Ineffective Silos
To stay ahead on UC and collaboration, enterprises must consider migrating to open, private cloud-based platforms.
As CIOs develop and revise their digital strategies to align with evolving enterprise needs, they must simultaneously consider how to support communications and collaboration (C&C) across unified IT infrastructure. That's challenging today given that a typical enterprise C&C environment often comprises disparate silos of different technologies from multiple vendors. An enterprise may have desk phones, conference calling, video conferencing, mobile phones, and collaboration services from different vendors, for example -- and these may or may not interoperate.
As large enterprises grow, CIOs face several challenges with their C&C infrastructures. These include the inabilities to scale quickly and efficiently, support newer technologies, and meet employee and customer needs, as well as difficulty in integrating different infrastructures that may result from acquisitions. These challenges directly impact an enterprise's ability to provide consistent and unified communications services to employees and customers, and could result in lost business opportunities, lost revenue, and more.
In an effort to solve these problems, many large enterprise CIOs have implemented UC systems. The problem is that a UC system, while potentially eliminating some of the challenges, actually introduces more problems of its own. Some of these are lack of interoperability with existing or legacy PBX systems, the introduction or perpetuation of technology silos, the inability to use or integrate third-party apps, and the failure to integrate with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. What's more, having a single vendor for all of the communication technology locks an enterprise into a proprietary solution. All of these contribute to reductions in productivity and efficiency, along with increasing costs.
What the enterprise needs is a new C&C approach that enables it to take advantage of advances in technology and best-of-breed communications solutions, as well as to reduce costs. Large enterprises should consider replacing their existing PBX systems, audio conferencing equipment, soft clients, and so forth, with a software-based private cloud platform.
This platform must have the ability to integrate openly with soft enterprise clients, desk phones, and applications, as well as provide full PBX features (including global routing, session management, and full-featured communication services) through one communications backend. The platform should use open APIs and SDKs to allow faster integration with existing applications or the development and deployment of new applications and services.
Being able to evolve a large enterprise IT infrastructure so that it can take advantage of the on-going advances in communications requires that CIOs have control of the entire technology infrastructure. They can do this by migrating from proprietary, single-vendor technology to an open, private cloud-based platform.
This type of platform allows C&C to be treated as services that can be embedded into any business application or connected device. This also frees the CIO from waiting for vendors to develop and deploy new services, as the enterprise can now either develop required services in house or take a best-of-breed approach and use readily available third-party applications. An open, private cloud-based platform will support new technologies as they are created, integrate with existing legacy infrastructures, and quickly scale to meet large enterprise requirements.
By migrating to a private cloud-based platform, a large enterprise can:
- Take back control of the communications infrastructure
- Manage the infrastructure to deliver C&C services that employees and customers need and want
- Take advantage of new business opportunities or market conditions as they arise
- Eliminate dependence on technology vendors
- Reduce or eliminate technology silos
- Reduce costs
A cloud-based communications platform can significantly improve how employees and companies interact and perform by addressing all enterprise users' communications requirements. To accomplish this, CIOs must shift from a single focus on cost savings to how they can better enable business processes with speed and ease of user adoption.
To achieve a truly flexible and future-proof communication and collaboration, CIOs must leverage a cloud-based platform that will allow business and applications direct integration with the platform through standard APIs and development tools to facilitate interoperability with suppliers, partners, and customers.