When looking into making a move to cloud-based unified communications systems, businesses should first consider these challenges in order to make the switch–and the ongoing system–as clean and easy to use as possible.
Upfront costs are the big consideration when moving to a unified communications system in the cloud. While the switch will save most businesses money in the long run, they may first have to pay for upgraded bandwidth in order to maintain performance. Businesses should also be aware that added features may also drive up costs by taking up more bandwidth, so only adding needed features can help keep costs down.
It can be troublesome to integrate a cloud-based unified communications service with a legacy PBX system. Users will also have to take the time to learn and become familiar with the new cloud system, and some businesses may feel safer if they have both the cloud and the PBX. Businesses should also keep in mind that some data may be better hosted on site, such as personal data or some types of software.
Because data moves through the Internet in a cloud-based system – instead of through dedicated lines or remaining within the building – there are security risks that businesses will need to take into consideration. The first step is to ensure that the vendor provides security and businesses should know what the vendor does to protect sensitive data. A business can also help improve their security by ensuring that data is encrypted, especially if they have a mobile workforce; employees who use public hotspots to connect may accidentally allow someone else access to their applications.
Depending on how tech-savvy employees are, training may be a simple challenge to solve, or a complex one. Many employees, especially those who are older, have spent most of their working lives using physical desk phones and a PBX system. It may take nothing more than an information sheet to train employees on the new cloud-based unified communications system, or it may take more intensive training sessions for users who aren’t as proficient with computers. Having an expert available can help, as will remembering that most users will need to have the basic calling procedure taught to them as well as more advanced features.
Migrating to a unified communications system can be rewarding for a business, but the success of moving to the cloud will be improved by keeping in mind these four challenges. Planning for and dealing with the issues that arise from cost, integration, security and training will make for an easier switch for all users involved.