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UCaaS & Cisco:  Building a Collaborative Digital Workforce

Once upon a time, people gathered in conference rooms with pads and pens and blackboards and chalk to brainstorm how to solve their challenges.

Brainstorming today looks very different. Teams are now spread all over the world—from headquarters and regional offices to home offices, branch offices, shared spaces and coffee shops.

Teams also look very different. Instead of just employees, teams might include partners, customers, patients, vendors and other external groups.

But the biggest difference is the tools we now use. Instead of easels and markers, we now have unified communications (UC) platforms. And those platforms are moving to the cloud.

From unified communications (UC) platforms to UC as a service (UCaaS)

Gartner defines UC this way: “products (equipment, software and services) as those that facilitate the interactive use of multiple enterprise communications method. This can include control, management and integration of these methods.”

These unified communications platforms have largely resided on premises, but they’re now moving to the cloud. It’s an easy way to offload management of less critical systems so that IT teams can focus on business-critical applications and innovation.

In fact, by 2021, 90 percent of IT leaders will not purchase new premises-based UC infrastructure—up from 50 percent today—because future cloud UC offerings will be far ahead in terms of features, functions, portals, analytics and dashboards.[1]

These cloud-delivered Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platforms include the same UC services, such as video conferencing, voice, messaging and presence, mobility and more.

Reap the benefits of unified communications as a service (UCaaS)

UCaaS solutions deliver real value. As mentioned previously, UCaaS solutions allow IT to move lower priority communications and collaboration apps to the cloud—where managed services professionals can manage them—so that IT teams can re-focus their time on business-critical apps and innovation that drive the core business.

But unified communications as a service offers other benefits as well:

  • Shift from a CapEx to OpEx cost model. Instead of investing in more hardware, which is often tough to justify with today’s tight IT budgets, UCaaS shifts costs to more flexible operating budgets which are easier to manage and control. It’s also more cost effective to provide PBX service from within a shared data center environment.   
  • Enjoy the latest features. Instead of waiting until there’s time, money or reason to upgrade your existing UC system, UCaaS providers roll out all the latest features as soon as they’re available. You can often take advantage of new functionality right away.
  • Quickly provision new users or offices. It’s also easy to deploy services as they’re needed, whether for new employees or building out new offices—or de-provisioning services for exiting employees and office closures.
  • Trust that your data is secure. Data center providers would not be in business if they didn’t employ stringent security measures and top-notch security experts who continuously monitor their networks for vulnerabilities and threats. The cloud offers the utmost in security for UCaaS platforms.
  • Get predictable pricing. A consumption model offers predictable, pay-as-you-go pricing for what you use—and, in many cases, you can take advantage of consolidated licensing plans that are much easier to manage.

A case in point:  Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) Cloud

Cisco UCM Cloud is an excellent example of UCaaS. Cisco UCM Cloud is hosted in Webex data centers across the globe. It offers the same simplicity as Cisco UCM, providing an ideal migration path to the cloud.

And with their own private instance, organizations will experience the ultimate in privacy, security and reliability—and with all the geographical coverage they need.

Cisco UCM Cloud eases the transition by:

  • Minimizing migration disruptions with an easy user and admin experience.
  • Maximizing the value of existing investments for greater ROI.
  • Providing interoperability with Webex Calling, Cisco UCM on-premises and third-party PBXs to optimize calling options across your organization.
  • Providing simplified purchasing and licensing with the Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan, as well as generous trade-in incentives.
  • Supporting other Cisco UC apps including Webex Teams, Webex Meetings, Cisco Unity Connection, Cisco Jabber, Contact Center and all Cisco collaboration endpoints.

Logicalis: Your unified communications and cloud partner

Logicalis, one of just five Cisco Global Gold partners, can help your organization make a smooth migration from on-premises Cisco UCM—or any other communication and collaboration tool—to the cloud at a pace that aligns with your business strategy.

We’ll help you plan and manage the migration, find the best connections to the data centers and perform a complete analysis to ensure you’re achieving maximum ROI.

Following your migration, we’ll continue to work closely with Cisco to ensure maximum agility, reliability and scalability and that new features and upgrades are completed without disrupting your business.

Logicalis offers a complimentary Unified Communications Workshop to help you navigate your path to the cloud. Contact us to schedule your workshop today.

Troy Sempsrott is Director of Architecture at Logicalis, responsible for go-to-market strategies and solution development for networking and collaboration.

[1] “Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide,” Gartner Research, #G00342303, 10/10/2018.