SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Beth Schultz
Beth Schultz is editor of No Jitter and program co-chair for Enterprise Connect. Beth has more than two decades of...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Beth Schultz | April 09, 2018 |

 
   

Why Anything but Cloud Communications?

Why Anything but Cloud Communications? As our Enterprise Summit panelists shared at EC18, the world we live in today leaves little room for anything but the cloud.

As our Enterprise Summit panelists shared at EC18, the world we live in today leaves little room for anything but the cloud.

During the Enterprise Summit at last month's Enterprise Connect 2018, conversation among our four IT executive panelists centered on cloud communications of various sorts. That's not necessarily surprising, given the transformative power of cloud.

As you plan for or dive deeper into your own cloud-based approaches to communications and collaboration, perhaps you can find some wisdom in the insights shared by these thought leaders: John Herbert, EVP & CIO, 21st Century Fox; Ron Sattan, VP & CIO Americas, Mott MacDonald; Michael Sherwood, director of technology and innovation, city of Las Vegas; Jason Kasch, CIO, Structural Group.

Enterprise Summit panelists, left to right: Jason Kasch, Stuctural Group; Michael Sherwood, city of Las Vegas; Ron Sattan, Mott MacDonald; John Herbert, 21st Century Fox (for video replay, click here)

The World We Want
No question, cloud communications has taken on strategic importance within each of these organizations. As Herbert said, "There is no world in which we could actually do what we're doing or about to do without cloud being core to our strategy."

Herbert is speaking about the world of content creation and distribution in which 21st Century Fox operates as a global media company. The company has tens of millions of film and TV assets, which it distributes in 90 countries, in more than 60 languages. Quite simply, legacy architecture doesn't scale for digitization of this scope, he said.

Among the cloud collaboration services 21st Century Fox relies on are Slack for team collaboration and Zoom for video conferencing -- not only among its 25,000 employees but with external partners, too, Herbert said. Bringing everybody onto the same cloud platform was a "pivoting point," he added, because it enabled a consistent experience for all.

The Scale We Need
Mott MacDonald, a global engineering firm, sees the value of cloud for scale, as well, Sattan said. That was a key factor in the company's decision a few years ago to align itself with Microsoft and its Office 365 platform. Particular to the communications piece, he added, the company is about halfway through the migration from a premises-based Skype for Business platform to Skype for Business Online for its 16,000 employees.

As Mott MacDonald has transitioned to a cloud-delivered software-as-a-service model for its business and communications applications, it's also done away with its enterprise WAN, Sattan noted. That's not without its challenges, he admitted, but said the company believes the Internet itself is all you should need when using cloud services. "When you go all in, go all in," he added.

If eliminating legacy infrastructure doesn't seem reasonable for your organization, you'll want to take heed of some advice from Structural Group's Kasch, who has been using cloud voice services from UCaaS pure-play RingCentral for about six years (even before it migrated business applications like CRM off premises) at this 3,500-strong global engineering services company. Pay attention to your circuits, uptime, and bandwidth, and "don't underestimate the strain on the infrastructure that going all-in on cloud produces," he said.

The Agility We Gain
While cloud may tax your infrastructure, it should open the opportunity to free up IT and business resources for more productive work, panelists said. Sherwood, with the City of Las Vegas, put it this way: "Really, if we're not number one, number two, or number three, we try to avoid those lines of business... and I don't think anybody in the audience, or even myself, would say you've heard of Las Vegas as being the best cloud provider or the best service provider."

While Las Vegas isn't as advanced in its cloud migration as other organizations represented on the panel, it is incorporating cloud-based communications and collaboration capabilities via Cisco Spark into its smart city initiative, Sherwood noted. The city may only have 3,500 employees, but the 20,000 sensors it's installed around the city are becoming communications devices, he said. If a sensor detects a problem, for example, it'll open a Spark channel and send snapshots from its camera that allow stakeholders to see what might be happening on the street or in a park, he described.

"We're not just using [Spark] for human collaboration but machine-to-machine collaboration, so the operator or handler can actually see what's happening and make decisions ... and they can pull in the teams they need in real time," Sherwood said.

Like Sherwood, Kasch likes to avoid getting his IT team involved on projects better serviced by cloud providers. "If you're in the world of cloud today ... you really should be thinking, 'Can I buy it?' 'Can I buy it and tie it together with these microservices-type capabilities?' And, as a last resort, 'Can I build it for my organization?'"

And at Structural Group, that last resort build decision is really just an interim. With that "very first line of code that goes down, I start looking for another company that I can buy that service from," he added. "I treat what we've written as a proof of concept that we go to market with, and I start asking my partners to 'deliver this tool to me, deliver this tool to me, deliver this tool to me' and we'll turn it over" – and that's certainly not something you'd have heard uttered in a legacy environment.

Follow Beth Schultz and No Jitter on Twitter!
@Beth_Schultz
@nojitter





COMMENTS




August 29, 2018

Moving your voice services to the cloud introduces new challenges for 9-1-1 services. These include the need to serve multiple locations, and the increased mobility that comes with having a phone t

August 8, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a reality for your contact center. But to turn the promise of AI into practical reality, there are a couple of prerequisites: Moving to the cloud and integr

June 20, 2018

Your enterprise may have adopted SIP Trunks, but are you up to date on how the latest technology is driving evolution in approaches?

In this webinar, youll learn how the new generation of SI

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.