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The cloud advantage for enterprise communications

If the idea of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a state-of-the-art communication platform seems impossible right now, consider moving to a cloud communications solution. In fact, adopting a cloud or hybrid cloud solution can come with significant cost advantages.

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As a long-time professional in the world of business communications, I’ve seen a lot of technologies come and go. In recent years, with the advent of cloud computing, functions from file storage to customer relationship management have advanced and moved online.

Businesses were slowly making the move from premise-based systems to cloud as they were able, and a relatively stable global economy gave many companies the ability to gradually transition to cloud solutions.

And then, the coronavirus pandemic arrived.

In this insecure environment where employees need to work remotely and consumers and customers look for new ways to connect beyond in-person communication, businesses that operated largely in the cloud had clear advantages over those still functioning on mostly premise-based systems.

Many businesses that struggled to stay connected with employees and customers over the last several months are coming to realize that their existing phone systems are inadequate to respond to future business disruption. But when profits are down and the economy is unstable, how can a business justify large capital expenditures on something like a phone system?

Enter cloud communication solutions.

If your business is evaluating the events of the past several months — or even just thinking about how to best position yourself for future volatility or insecurity — chances are good that you’re considering how your communication system is vital to your business continuity planning. But if the idea of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a state-of-the-art communication platform seems impossible right now, it’s time to consider moving to a cloud solution.

Roll out cloud without breaking the bank

Equipping your enterprise with a complete communication platform doesn’t have to translate into a large capital expense or create a new debt burden. In fact, adopting a cloud or hybrid cloud solution can come with significant cost advantages.

Low cost of entry: Because adopting a cloud solution doesn’t require new hardware, most companies can implement the solutions at a very low cost of entry. For businesses that have newer phones that are compatible with cloud software, a hybrid solution can save even more money by allowing the reuse of existing equipment.

The right applications for less: Modern cloud solutions come with an almost endless array of applications — and there are more being developed every day. From security to conferencing to device management, businesses can layer on the applications they need for a fraction of the cost of buying each one separately.

Pay for only what you need: Purchasing a premise-based communication solution comes with the risk of buying more than current needs dictate. Not only do businesses risk buying more phone seats than necessary, but they may also purchase unnecessary apps that come with the system. With a cloud solution, companies purchase only the seats and apps they need; when growth requires additional seats or functions, scaling up requires only a phone call and an adjustment to the monthly operating expense.

The initial outlay to adopt a cloud communication solution is far lower than purchasing a new on-premise system, making cloud solutions the clear advantage for the enterprise that doesn’t have a large capital expense fund. But cloud solutions also offer savings for the enterprise in the long run.

Savings for the future

cloud computing

It’s important to consider initial expenses when looking at new equipment or technology, but smart businesses will also consider the cost of ownership. When compared to a premise-based communication solution, cloud communications offer clear cost advantages for the long-term.

  • Maintenance: Because upgrades and maintenance are handled in the cloud by the solution provider, businesses never need to worry about finding local technicians or dedicating valuable IT staff to maintenance duties.
  • Productivity: Most businesses that adopt cloud solutions report improved productivity and employee satisfaction. When connection and collaboration are simple and seamless, businesses can get more done in less time.
  • Business continuity: Outages, downtime and other business disruptions can result in real impact to a company’s bottom line. With cloud solutions, outages are rare or almost non-existent, potentially saving millions of dollars in lost revenue or productivity. In addition, employees have the options they need to instantly work from remote locations when circumstances require.
  • Technology advantage: With the pace of technological change, premise solutions can become outdated quickly. As manufacturers stop making outdated equipment, it becomes more difficult to find parts and keep systems running. In addition, when on-premise hardware can’t be adapted or upgraded to the way customers want to connect, those customers may find a business that does offer the options they want. Cloud solutions allow companies to stay on top of the latest technologies with little to no effort.

Cloud computing is here to stay. Once companies examine both the upfront and long-term cost advantages of cloud solutions, the choice is clear: cloud communication solutions provide the best quality, functionality and continuity at the most reasonable cost. To learn more about Allstream’s Unified Communications (UC) Cloud Voice solution, download our e-book The Case for Cloud.

Images: Nadine_C/iStock; Andrey Suslov/iStock

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