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How Will Your Enterprise Move Toward the Cloud?

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Illustration of man, and an arrow pointing to lots of clouds
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Last year will likely be seen as a watershed for cloud-based communications services. It’s easy, and accurate, to put much of this down to the effect of the pandemic, as enterprises required infrastructure and applications that could better support home-based workers. But the trend toward cloud was already under way, and with the industry’s largest strategic vendors rolling out cloud communications services at scale, it was just a matter of time before it came to dominate.
 
Still, WFH accelerated the pace at which enterprises adopted Microsoft Teams and, to a lesser degree, Cisco Webex, while adding Zoom to the mix for video. Now, as analyst Diane Myers of Omdia reports, this triumvirate is pushing to the top of the UCaaS leaderboard. At the same time that this challenge was emerging over the last couple of years, the formerly pure-play UCaaS providers like RingCentral and 8x8 have been expanding their footprints through partnerships and/or product development, to include CCaaS and video, among other capabilities. No Jitter has several recent stories in this space — in addition to the Omdia report, there’s 8x8’s latest platform announcement and Mitel’s partnership with Five9 to combine formerly pure-play UCaaS and CCaaS.
 
So how should your enterprise evaluate the state of cloud-based communications, and what’s the best strategy for your migration to a heavier balance of cloud-based communications/collaboration services?
 
For Enterprise Connect Orlando 2021 this Sept. 27-29, we’re going to tackle this question from a number of angles. We’ll be announcing the majority of the program sessions next week, but there’s one session in particular I want to preview now, because I think it’ll be useful to you no matter where you are on your cloud communications journey.
 
Robert Harris of Communications Advantage consultancy will present a session I’m especially excited about, entitled, “UCaaS and CCaaS as Part of a Whole Cloud Strategy.” Robert will show attendees how to get a holistic view of the cloud and their enterprise — he’ll help you ask the right questions to understand how a prospective cloud provider optimizes for real-time performance; what their global infrastructure means for resiliency, latency, and other key factors; and where your data resides.
 
In addition, Robert will discuss ways that your cloud communications strategy may become less of a silo, for example by integrating cloud communications into your enterprise backup and storage strategy.
 
The broader enterprise move to the cloud is more than just a rent/buy decision or an outsourcing play. Advanced capabilities like AI in areas like the contact center rely on cloud delivery; they simply wouldn’t be feasible on a premises model. Also, the low-code/no-code movement in application development is tied to the cloud, which is why it’s no surprise that companies like RingCentral, Vonage, and 8x8 have made CPaaS a critical part of their end-to-end strategy for offering cloud communications.
 
AI and application development are relatively new concepts in a communications world that only a couple of years ago spent a lot of time worrying about how to extend the life of PBXs. (Though that will still be a concern at many enterprises, and we’ll have a session on that in Orlando, too.) But the last year has taught us that our industry has to be responsive and agile, and the cloud is generally the best way to attain those qualities.
 
I hope you can join us in Orlando for all of our sessions — our expert speakers will go in depth on everything from collaboration platforms to video to cloud, contact centers, and much more. You can check out the website here. See you in Orlando!

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