Looking at the State of Cloud Communications

The use of cloud-hosted communications capabilities is a relatively new phenomenon within the enterprise, comparatively speaking. That's to say, while an enterprise's reliance on cloud-based compute and storage resources or cloud-delivered software likely dates back a decade or so, its use of cloud communications probably started only a few years ago, at most. But there's no stopping now.

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As No Jitter found in its second-annual Cloud Communications Survey, companies of all sizes are turning to the cloud to fulfill their communications needs. Nearly half of the 255 enterprise IT respondents whose organizations have adopted cloud-hosted communications services have between 250 and 10,000 users. And, No Jitter found, companies with 1,000 or more employees are even likelier than the overall survey base to be using cloud communications services. For example, 30% of enterprises with more than 1,000 employees are getting PBX functionality from the cloud, compared to 28% of the overall survey base. And 41% of larger enterprises are using cloud UC services, whereas only 34% of the overall base is doing so.

Use of cloud communications is on the upswing, with the two-thirds of respondents already using cloud-hosted communications signaling that their organizations intend to bring on additional services within the next 12 months. When comparing 2015 and 2016 results, the survey shows rising interest in and use of cloud communications in four particular functional areas: cloud PBX, mobile applications (video calling and team collaboration, for example), unified communications (IM/presence, conferencing, and voice and video calling), and contact center services.

When asked to identify why their organizations consider the cloud communications a compelling opportunity, respondents cite a wide variety of advantages. The top three among them are reduced total cost of ownership compared to premises-based solutions (24% of respondents); agility, with the ability to add features, functions, and/or users quickly to respond to business needs (19% of respondents), and system resiliency/disaster recovery (14% of respondents).

Motion Recruitment, a RingCentral customer, can attest to the importance of agility. "Provisioning new recruiters on our legacy PBX system required running lines, and took a fair amount of time," said Bill Corwin, VP of IT at the company. "With RingCentral, we can get a user set up quickly and easily regardless of where he or she is working around the world."

In particular, Corwin pointed to the value of a service like RingCentral CloudConnect, a direct-to-cloud access ramp introduced in September. "RingCentral CloudConnect provides us with greater stability and better visibility into and oversight of what's going on across the network than we had before," he said.

Motion Recruitment's experience mirrors the overall positive attitude No Jitter survey respondents shared about cloud communications. Fifty five percent of enterprise respondents said they believe the benefits of moving to the cloud are either clearly identified or underestimated. That figure bumps up slightly, to 57%, when looked at from the perspective of respondents working at organizations with 1,000 or more employees.

Overall, No Jitter Research's findings reflect what RingCentral is seeing in the marketplace, noted Praful Shah, SVP of strategy. "Mid and large enterprises are realizing the tangible benefits of shifting to the cloud, particularly for their increasingly distributed workforces, citing reduced complexity and lower total cost of ownership. This No Jitter report reinforces the significant gains enterprises are seeing in the agility, scalability and interoperability of cloud communications architecture."

Indeed, he added, "UCaaS is disrupting the communications industry by setting a new precedent for workplace productivity and mobility."

For more results from the No Jitter 2016 Cloud Communications Survey, read the RingCentral-sponsored whitepaper, "The State of Cloud Communications" (click here to download).