The Cloudy State of UC
It’s clear that customers are looking to migrate to the cloud for enterprise voice.
It's no secret that the UC market is constantly evolving. Throughout the years, there have been many significant inflection points within the industry when big changes have occurred. At the recent Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando, there were three recent trends in particular that were prominently on display. Here's a breakdown:
- Hybrid Computing: While many enterprises are hesitant to jump head first into the pool of cloud computing, others find that it's not the most appropriate option for their organization's needs. For this reason, the "hybrid" approach has become very popular. While the term is fairly subjective depending on who you ask, most commonly, "hybrid" refers to a UC environment that features both cloud-based and on-premises equipment.
This combination of equipment can range from cloud-hosted voice and on-premises PBX to cloud-hosted conferencing and on-premises enterprise voice. Regardless of how an enterprise has defined hybrid UC, it was evident at Enterprise Connect that very few enterprises have fully migrated to software-powered voice, even with their on-premises infrastructure.
It almost goes without saying that embracing hybrid can be in a company's best interest. As essentially the training wheels for an enterprise's UC environment, deploying a hybrid approach is a simpler and less overwhelming transition from on-premises to cloud.
- Simplifying the Complex Cloud Puzzle: It's easy for customers to become overwhelmed by the puzzle that is their UC network. With multiple vendors offering solutions to simplify enterprise UC, determining the best fit for a business's needs seems to be the ultimate challenge. With hopes of building the perfect cloud/hybrid UC deployment, enterprises require knowledgeable and helpful partners with best-in-class tools to provide the necessary guidance to support their UC needs.
It's imperative for UC vendors to do their part to simplify the UC puzzle. Vendors need to tell the market which pieces best fit into the managed service provider's respective model and the customer's UC network to help enterprises navigate through the overwhelming UC traffic.
- The Need for Diagnostics: Whether a customer's enterprise UC infrastructure is on-premises, hybrid or 100% cloud, there is still a consistent need for diagnostics and troubleshooting. The demand for real-time diagnostics and root case analysis for hosted calls becomes magnified the further enterprises move away from on-premises solutions. Given the common existence and nature of multi-vendor environments, visibility of the enterprise's UC ecosystem allows service providers the ability to differentiate their cloud delivery support models.
It is essential that tools are in place to help users monitor, diagnose, and resolve any issues that will undoubtedly arise. Maintaining a view of the entire UC delivery environment -- including the network and servers -- and staying in front of any enterprise issues that will inevitably occur, allow problems to be identified and isolated in real time, leading to faster resolution of service.
It's clear that customers are looking to migrate to the cloud for enterprise voice. While all of the necessary elements to facilitate this transition are available, the task is still proving to be daunting. By adopting a hybrid approach, working with knowledgeable and helpful partners and implementing diagnostic tools into their UC environments, enterprises will find that the transition does not have to be so overwhelmingly cloudy.