- Hybrid work is the future as employees spend less time in the office and more time working remotely.
- On-premises communication systems might not offer the flexibility to support a growing distributed workforce.
- But many still have hesitations when it comes to switching to the cloud.
Work in a post-pandemic world will change in unprecedented ways. Several major companies have already begun to adopt permanent work-from-anywhere models. And many are looking at hybrid approaches—where employees split their time between the office and home.
So how do companies support the new norm? For starters, a fundamental shift in technology might be in order. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, businesses discovered that their on-premises systems couldn’t support an increasingly remote workforce. Many of them turned to digital transformation and the cloud instead.
Despite the shift, though, many leaders still might be on the fence. They might have concerns about security, costs, and other factors. But in the post-pandemic workplace, switching to the cloud isn’t just a luxury—it’s become a must.
That being said, let’s address some of the top myths behind switching from on-premises PBX to the cloud.
Myth #1: On-premises solutions are more stable than cloud solutions
You might think maintaining connectivity and service is easier when your infrastructure is located in the same building as you. After all, you can easily access your system for troubleshooting and repairs.
However, with on-premises systems, you’re entirely at the mercy of whatever is happening locally—meaning a power outage or weather event can knock out service entirely. At the same time, you won’t know there’s a problem with your system or equipment until the lines go down.
Cloud solutions are housed in multiple geographically distributed data centers. If one location is affected—whether by an unexpected event or even high levels of usage—traffic is routed through another data center, with no service interruptions to your users.
The best providers proactively monitor their networks 24/7 so they can detect, diagnose and address issues as quickly as possible, often preventing service disruptions before they happen.
Furthermore, most enterprise cloud communications providers stand behind their obligation to provide reliable service via a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that guarantees a minimum percentage of uptime, or maximum downtime. To ensure maximum service with the fewest interruptions, look for a provider that guarantees the “five 9s”—or 99.999% uptime.
Myth #2: Cloud voice call quality isn’t very good (and it’s hard to troubleshoot why)
Remember that old “Can you hear me now?” phone commercial? Concerns about calls cutting out, lagging or echoing sound, and other quality issues can be a big deterrent from switching to a cloud communications solution.
But some cloud providers use Quality of Service (QoS) routing to ensure the best possible sound on every call. With QoS, network traffic is classified and prioritized to improve control and throughput of important data. This helps to reduce issues like packet loss, jitter, and latency, resulting in higher call quality across the board.
Cloud communications can also identify issues the moment they occur. For example, QoS reporting automatically collects upstream and downstream data for every call, providing in-depth analytics via an admin portal. This calling data can help detect low-quality calls and patterns and notify administrators.
Myth #3: Cloud systems don’t provide advanced calling and meeting features
With a tightly integrated system, businesses with on-premises systems might think that a cloud solution won’t have the advanced calling and meeting features they’re used to. Similarly, they might believe their workflows can’t be transferred to the cloud.
Cloud solutions are much more customizable and feature-rich than on-premises systems. Let’s look at calling. A cloud communications solution can provide advanced call queue analytics and live reports, with deep insights into the quality and engagement of every call in real-time and from anywhere.
It goes far beyond just calling features. Cloud systems have an inherent advantage over on-premises when it comes to integrating popular third-party apps. For example, Sales and Marketing teams might want to make a call or schedule a meeting without ever leaving their Salesforce or Zendesk apps. Or maybe your users would enjoy seeing their meeting schedule and other priorities all within Outlook.
Myth #4: There’s no control or customization in the cloud
There’s always a tradeoff, right? Even if the quality and reliability of the cloud appeal, switching to an externally managed cloud service means losing control and flexibility. Or so you might think.
In fact, centralized administrative tools make it even easier for your IT team to provision cloud communications to every individual in your organization—wherever they are.
While not all providers offer the same level of admin access and capabilities, a cloud solution that provides self-serve admin tools makes it simple to manage users and physical assets from anywhere.
Whether turning on a new feature or extension, checking the health of conference room phone and video devices ahead of a meeting, or analyzing call quality or user trends, a centralized admin portal provides critical visibility to IT teams and the flexibility to make changes remotely.
Myth #5: Moving to the cloud is expensive
At first glance, the costs of adopting a cloud communications service might seem daunting, especially when added to your on-premises costs.
Studies show that businesses who make the jump can see cost savings of nearly $200K within the first year.
How is this possible? When you eliminate a legacy system, all of the maintenance and upkeep costs fizzle out—and IT staff is freed up to focus on other tasks. At the same time, with more flexibility and fewer obstacles to working remotely, employees are set up to work more productively. Businesses of all sizes see productivity improvements of up to 21%.
Flexible, reliable communications: Only in the cloud
How we work is changing, and old on-premises PBX solutions aren’t up to the task. Today’s workers want reliable, secure, and feature-rich communications that can serve their employees and customers wherever they are. And cloud communications are making it happen.
Originally published Apr 12, 2021