Offices Are Moving to the Cloud

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Offices Are Moving to the Cloud

On the TCA agent member webinar today, premiere vendors M5/Shoretel and Alteva presented on Hosted UC.

Both companies expressed that Hosted UC is ultimately about simplicity for the user, especially the salespeople. Guy Yasika of Alteva mentioned that worlers don't want to be "Fighting the tool". Dan Hoffman of M5 talked about a Brilliantly Simple Experience. Cloud is really about UX - the user experience - and meeting their demands for tools, apps, data where they need them.  Hoffman mentioned that the idea of the office is changing, well, actually it is going away. Amnesty International and Newspapers/Media companies are examples of clients that don't have (or want to have) offices for employees. Hosted UC is all about mobility.

In sales management, CRM is important for forecasting and other reasons. The hardest part of CRM is getting the sales team to actually use it and enter current data. Hoffman explained that Voice is still the closer. When Hosted UC is integrated with CRM, the manager can check the dashboard to see that the "hot" prospect has not been on the phone with an account person in 3 weeks. The manager knows this won't close without a phone call. When Hosted UC is connected to CRM, management can get the same metrics from other departments that they have been able to get from call centers. Call analytics can improve forecasting.

Both speakers emphasized that this is not a cost savings tool in the traditional sense. There isn't a savings off the bill, but there is a savings in employee time and productivity. We live in "Internet time" and the market's expectations of response time is getting shorter. Presence is a tool that can help shorter the wait time.

Who benefits the most from cloud? Knowledge workers.

Is premise cheaper? In terms of dollars yes. Yasika noted that IP-PBX's now run on servers, which will not have a ten year shelf life like the legacy phone systems. The software on that server will need to be patched and upgraded during a five year term. The hardware may give out. The number of moves, adds and changes happening in a business office have increased. These are hidden costs that the premise PBX owner won't consider. The other consideration is how you manage remote workers with a premise based solution. All of that is handled for you by a Hosted solution. This is something that agents should mention in the discussion.

Desk phones are in danger, too. Mobility and virtual offices are heading into mainstream. I get that as Tampa Bay has seen co-working spaces sprout up and I am writing this from a co-working space in New Haven in a conference room I rented for a couple of hours. Although I would have liked a desk phone since my Android re-booted 3x during the webinar.

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