In today’s constantly evolving digital world, companies of all shapes and sizes are looking to adapt to digital transformation by accessing the best Unified Communication and Collaboration services. With UC&C, it’s possible to enhance productivity, improve collaboration, and build on stronger efficiency too. While moving entirely to a cloud-based solution is the most “forward thinking” approach to this new need, it’s not always the best fit for every business.
Investing in on-premise PBX solutions can be very expensive, and time-consuming. Yet, at the same time, relying on your older infrastructure places serious limitations on your business. Today’s companies are beginning to bridge the gap between the past, and the future, by considering “hybrid” UC, a service that combines elements from the cloud, and on-premise solutions to potentially give customers the best of both worlds.
To help you determine whether hybrid UC is really right for your business, we’re going to take a look at the benefits in detail, and the way hybrid UC&C could potentially help you to transform your business for the digital age.
The Benefits of Implementing Hybrid UC
Across the world today, in almost every industry, the adoption of cloud services continues to grow, driven by a growing need for flexibility, scalability, and security. The number of opportunities available to businesses through cloud-based UC&C has expanded way past the limitations and restrictions of on-premise models. As companies crave more versatility from their solutions, vendors are responding to that need, offering hybrid deployments that allow organisations to choose which features they want to keep on-premise, and which they’d prefer to move to the cloud.
With hybrid UC, some companies choose to keep central offices on-premise for as long as possible, while moving other sectors into the cloud. Other businesses are also using the hybrid cloud as a way of gradually moving their processes online, rather than committing to the cost and stress of moving all at once. In other words, hybrid give companies the opportunity to move to the cloud using a schedule and strategy that makes sense to them.
The benefits include:
On-premise solutions are often more expensive than cloud-based solutions. However, moving a company entirely onto the cloud can sometimes be a timely process that cuts down on earning potential for a business. Hybrid UC solutions give businesses the financial flexibility they need to choose which features they want to host on-premise, and which they want to move into the cloud according to their budget.
Hybrid UC solutions offer companies rapid scalability, which means that businesses can remove or add employees, devices, and offices according to their own time frame. This makes it easier for businesses to grow without having to change their communication services. This may be a reason why around 15% of businesses surveyed by IDC said that they were planning on deploying a hybrid solution sometime soon.
A hybrid UC solution can also make the communications in a business more secure. Because on-premise hardware is still available, vital communications can be protected behind a firewall, offering an additional layer of security controlled by your company, rather than a UC provider. You can, therefore, customise your security features to meet your needs.
Using Hybrid UC To Transform Your Business
If you can’t choose between the benefits of cloud and on-premise UC, hybrid UC is the solution that allows you to access the best of both worlds. With hybrid solutions, companies can access the UC&C strategies that provide flexibility in a time of digital transformation, contributing to some of the following business factors:
- Improved customer satisfaction: With hybrid UC, you can make sure that your communications remain secure, and fast, regardless of how you connect to your customers. For instance, you can allow them the opportunity to speak to you about concerns over instant messaging features hosted on the cloud, while taking payment details on a secure on-premise server.
- Efficiency and Productivity: With hybrid UC, your workers can access all the tools and applications they need to complete work more efficiently, without any need to invest in expensive hardware.
- Time-to-market agility: With hybrid UC, companies can work smarter and faster towards their goals, gaining the competitive advantage by increasing collaboration solutions, without making a huge dent in their budget.
- Innovation: With hybrid UC, organisations access the flexibility they need to add and remove new features to their cloud and on-premise solutions according to the needs of the marketplace. This means that your business can innovate according to the current trends in the industry.
Making the Most of Hybrid UC
Hybrid UC is a cost-effective solution for companies that want to make the most out of the rapid scalability of the cloud, and the convenience and security offered by on-premise solutions. While the cloud certainly offers a lot of benefits, on-premise UC can still provide undeniable advantages, in terms of customisation, integration, and security.
Importantly, if you are considering using a hybrid UC approach to make the most out of your communications strategy, it’s worth noting that hybrid UC isn’t simply a process by which you use cloud-based and on-premise platforms at the same time. Instead, hybrid UC refers to an experience where businesses use tightly-integrated solutions for unified management and seamless customer experience throughout their organisation.
Today, most companies take their first steps into the cloud by adopting a hybrid approach. Doing this alleviates some of the pressures placed on IT staff by allowing them to control specific systems, while others are delegated to the cloud. Organisations who want to make the most out of the investments they made in their existing PBXs while tapping into the scalability of the cloud find that hybrid is the easiest way to get the flexibility they need. At the same time, if you’re simply trying to give your workers the best tools and applications on the marketplace, without making too much of a heavy investment, then hybrid UC could be perfect for you.
Rob is Founder & Publisher of UC Today, a leading news publication specialising in Unified Communications & Collaboration technologies.