With reliable fibre broadband now widely accessible across the UK, cloud-based unified communications (UC) tools are finally able to deliver their promised benefits of mobility and enhanced collaboration for modern businesses. However holding onto legacy telephone systems mean that many businesses are missing out on the opportunity to innovate, according to Claranet.
James Mitchell, Senior Product Manager for Claranet, explained:
Nearly every part of the UK can now access fibre broadband, dramatically improving businesses’ ability to take advantage of higher bandwidth internet connections. The applications involved in the delivery of UC have also dramatically improved and bring significant business benefits because they are hosted in the cloud. Hosted UC as it is now is a very different proposition to early incarnations, which left a sour taste in the mouth of some early adopters.
“Studies suggest 94 per cent of UK businesses are still using a PBX system, rendering the vast majority unable to take advantage of true unified communications and the benefits it entails. Attempting to connect a legacy PBX with a wider modern communications suite just doesn’t work, it results in more limited functionality, a fragmented and complex suite of applications, and requires more licenses, hardware and engineering time.
Moving to a hosted UC solution utilising industry leading applications from Broadsoft and Microsoft enables businesses to benefit from a seamlessly integrated application experience that improves communications inside and outside of the business. It can also support business continuity, integration into CRMs like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, as well as providing all the necessary functionality to support mobile working.
“We see many customers which have their workforces spread across several sites; their employees report playing voicemail ‘tag’ for hours just to get basic information exchanged, and slow decision making. Integrated presence, instant messaging and desktop share features can unblock channels of communication and cut down on wasted time and effort. A business that uses UC well can be faster and more responsive than its competitors”.
Our latest research into the challenges for modern IT departments found that 40 per cent find workforce mobility to be a major stumbling block,” James continued. “The agility demanded by remote working, across multiple devices at all times significantly increases the complexity that IT leaders need to manage. However, Claranet’s UC services go a long way to alleviate these headaches. The best providers are able to build UC ‘into the network’, giving the company bandwidth prioritisation and smooth integration.
“There hasn’t been a better time than now for UC tools,” James concluded. “After many years of speculation, the time has come for modern IT departments to move away from outdated PBX infrastructure that is shackling their business and onto a cloud-based UC service. It is viable, sensible, cost-effective and innovative to move your communication platforms out of your buildings and onto the cloud, so businesses can unlock the power of modern collaboration tools” he concluded.