Cloud collaboration comes to Canada’s mid-market

Allstream has teamed up with Mitel to bring MiCloud — a cloud-based solution that combines IP telephony, unified communications and collaboration into one fully managed service — to Canada’s mid-market companies, offering cost predictability and enhanced productivity.

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Bancroft provides support for children and adults with intellectual or development disabilities — but its IT infrastructure was in need of rehabilitation.

When Fina Nash, the organization’s vice-president of IT, came on board, she inherited a communications infrastructure from five different phone systems in the Haddonfield, N.J.-based facility.

As a result, there were limited calling features, with no direct dial capabilities between sites — and her small IT team was spending too much time and money maintaining communications.

Aside from reducing cost and complexity, Nash was looking for new productivity-enhancing features, particularly for mobile employees. That’s where Mitel’s cloud-based communications platform came in.

“Through this solution, we were able to unify our communications company-wide, enabling our staff, patients and family members to stay connected,” said Nash. “Moving to the cloud allows us to see significant cost savings and be more agile.”

Bancroft saw substantial cost savings through line consolidation and site-to-site direct dialing — and an improved experience for employees, patients and their families.

The challenges that Bancroft faced will sound familiar to many mid-sized companies on either side of the 49th parallel. Many are tasked with maintaining and upgrading legacy systems, but they may lack (or have a hard time retaining) skilled IT staff. For many, risk mitigation and cost predictability are major concerns.

They also require the flexibility to make changes as business needs change, but they may not require all the bells and whistles of an enterprise collaboration solution.

For mid-market companies that haven’t yet made an investment in collaboration, a cloud-based approach allows them to step into a collaborative work environment so employees can exchange ideas, access expertise and make better decisions. And they only pay for the services or applications they use.

These days, it’s a particularly attractive option for the mid-market, because it offers more than simply hosted voice or unified communications; it’s a way to build, deploy and scale enterprise communications systems.

Allstream is the first service provider in Canada to offer Mitel’s cloud-based communications applications (some background: Allstream has been a Mitel Premier Partner for the past 25 years and has been named Mitel’s Canadian Channel Partner of the Year for the past five consecutive years).

Zayo MiCloud was developed specifically for Canada’s mid-market companies, combining IP telephony, unified communications and collaboration into one fully managed service (with embedded voice, mobility, collaboration and conferencing capabilities from the cloud).

A Canadian first, all services will be hosted in Canada and delivered to customers over a choice of Allstream Internet — which offers an end-to-end quality of service guarantee — or through a third-party provided Internet service.

This new offering provides Allstream customers with the option of migrating their communications infrastructure — either wholly or in part with a hybrid architecture — to a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) model with monthly, per-user pricing, helping to reduce capital costs while making new productivity features available to Canadian companies.

To find out more, check out this video and fact sheet.

Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos

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