A Gaggle of Clouds on the Horizon
The work of reviewing/comparing many leading UCaaS solutions has been done for you. See the results at the Cloud-Based UC Services RFP at Enterprise Connect.
Cloud-based communications stands out as one of the very bright spots in the communications industry. Operators of these services continue to report double-digit growth nearly across the board. One could justifiably ask, "Are these all the same, or are there unique differentiators that are important?"
My research is showing surprising differences among these services. And these are not just differences in the services, but differences in "the why" behind the customers' choice of a particular service.
The November 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for unified communications as a service (UCaaS) listed a number of service providers and sort of ranked them into groupings. This quadrant approach is an excellent start. Now what is needed is to go into the details of "why" these services are different.
To do this, I have prepared a 60-page RFP for cloud-based UC services. Four of the companies listed on the Leader/Challenger portion of the Magic Quadrant--Thinking Phone Networks, ShoreTel Sky, 8x8, and Verizon--have responded. In addition, three of those not listed on any quadrant--Avaya, NEC, and Siemens--have also responded.
Thus we have an excellent respondent mix consisting of new young cloud communications companies, a major carrier, and three traditional communications providers that are betting big on the cloud. I have prepared an independent, non-sponsored case study on each solution that answers "the why" behind the reason for companies adopting cloud-based UC solutions.
I'll present the findings from this effort in a session at Enterprise Connect, "Cloud-Based UC Services RFP," in which we discuss differentiators, and contrast and compare solutions. This will be an excellent forum for anyone considering cloud communications for their organization. In addition, during the session time slot, we will have four panels that discuss key cloud communications topics including:
1. Cloud Communications Services: Selling Value Versus Selling on Price
2. Differences in the On-Boarding Process Between Cloud and On-Premises Offerings.
3. The Cloud Buyer's Bill of Rights: A Discussion of What The Customer's Rights Should Be When Buying Cloud Services
4. Cloud Security and Uptime: A Closer Look at Whether Cloud Solutions Are Really Secure and Reliable
If you cannot attend the entire session on Tuesday, March 19 at 2:30 p.m. in room Osceola B, you should plan on attending at least part of it. The session agenda is shown below. See you in Orlando!