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What to Do When Your Free Licenses Expire?
When lockdowns first started, companies had to quickly get workers out of the office and working remotely. As everyone scrambled to adjust to the new normal, cloud collaboration tools usage skyrocketed, and different suppliers offered free or reduced-cost offers service. Now, those free/reduced-cost license offers are expiring, and you’ve had a chance to see how these tools work in your environment. So, it’s time to decide whether the quick-response solution is the right tool for your organization going forward.
How does a cloud collaboration offer compare to a full-scale enterprise solution? Typically, a cloud collaboration tool works alongside your existing environment, rather than integrating within it. If you need reporting and analytics data from multiple tools, there is no central data repository or source of truth. You will have to pull data from multiple sources and try to ensure that it all matches. In addition, separate tools may have overlapping features. This means that you may be paying twice for the same capabilities. Worse, it can cause problems when users don’t know what tool to use when.
Finally, with an add-on application, you are subject to finger-pointing when things don’t work. It’s difficult to find the root cause of the problems in many cases.
However, a full-scale enterprise solution can mean that you lose some flexibility and can make it difficult to take a best-of-breed approach. In theory, an enterprise platform solution should provide a single source of data for analytics and reporting. However, be aware that some platforms are composed of separate components on the backend.
With a platform, users may still need to use various tools, but they are typically able to access them from a consistent interface. There’s little overlap, and once they learn the platform, it’s typically easier to learn how to use additional applications within the framework.
From a support perspective, the integrations between tools are done for you. There’s typically one central admin tool. And security is usually included as part of the overall solution, so you don’t have to audit and secure each separate tool.
So, how do you go about evaluating your rapid response solution to ensure that it’s the best choice moving forward?
Attend my session “Reconsidering Your Cloud Strategy in the Wake of the Pandemic” at Enterprise Connect Digital Conference & Expo 2020. In it, I will provide an evaluation process roadmap. I will also help you understand the financial impact going forward and weigh the pros and cons of moving fully into the cloud vs. a hybrid (or on-premises) deployment.