Cloud Computing

Top Tips: Migrating Your Business Communications to the Cloud

15-09-2014-lars-nordhild-ronningAs General Manager for RingCentral’s activities in EMEA, Lars Nordhild Rønning is responsible for building and expanding RingCentral’s business via a comprehensive multi-channel sales and marketing strategy, involving Value Added Resellers, strategic carrier partners and direct sales.

Lars shares his 5 top tips for migrating your business communications to the cloud.

For any number of reasons many businesses have delayed upgrading their legacy telecoms system. Consequently, you may be living with a phone system that lacks the capabilities and flexibility to support rapid growth or business agility. Or you may be dealing with the worry that you are literally one aging component away from complete failure of your company’s business communications.

Moving your phone system to the cloud can save on expenditures such as phone line monthly charges and outside service calls. Not only this, but as the working environment continues to change, with workforces now typically dispersed across multiple locations, new technology is needed to accommodate these shifts. Our research revealed that we are now much more open to working in locations other than the office, with 93% working from home for part of the week and 76% working while travelling. As the standard ‘9 to 5’ working day becomes a thing of the past, cloud-based telephony is helping businesses ensure that productivity, business costs, customer service and employee satisfaction aren’t compromised.

Here are 5 tips on how to successfully take your business to the cloud:


1.     Identify the case for change


The on premise PBX has served companies well for a long time, but the world has changed around it. If you’re like many companies, the problems of supporting an aging on premise PBX have become painfully obvious. The cost and complexity of keeping the hardware alive makes it more of a liability than an asset. Your current PBX may also lack the flexibility and advanced features to keep pace with a mobile and distributed workforce. Businesses with a growing footprint need a phone system that can tie together a dispersed workforce irrespective of where they are based. If the above points are ringing true with your current business model, all can be resolved by making the simple move to a cloud-based phone system.


2.     Select a proven infrastructure


It’s important to select a cloud phone solution that meets your business requirements.  Elimination of IT and budget risks is one of the main reasons businesses move to the cloud, removing the element of surprise associated with IP PBX roll-outs, such as the potential need to upgrade your network core. It’s also important to consider future risks because, in addition to cutting your costs, cloud solutions can eliminate hidden future costs as you grow—whether they are new features, a telecom server at a new location, or the need to add new lines or cards when you on board new employees.


3.     Make full use of a trial


Getting to know an infrastructure works for your business is crucial in making the transitional step to cloud communications. Making full use of free trials allows you to suss out the specific features most suitable for your business from a range of providers. It’s this phase that allows you to identify what you truly require from a cloud-based system to deliver for the best possible impact on your business. Whether you’re looking to simplify multi-location management, grow your workforce or reduce infrastructure management headaches and costs, there is a cloud-based systems out there that can cater for your business needs.


4.     Use implementation resources


However obvious this seems it’s vitally important that the implementation resources are made use of - to guarantee the smoothest transition possible. Shortcuts, tips and general ‘know how’ are all invaluable for getting the most out of such systems as greater familiarity with the software can only lead to an improved user experience resulting in increased business efficiency.


5.     Train end users


Implementing a cloud-based communications system will more than likely require training for the entire business. The different functions of a business impacted by the cloud adoption must all be addressed and provided with the required training to maximise the benefits of its purpose. It’s essential this process is handled with complete appropriateness, with a change-friendly manner allowing for an adoptive attitude from all employees in either an already established or newly created business model. Once trained, not only have you taken your workforce to higher ground but you’ve empowered any user to make any urgent changes to the system via a simple web interface. Cloud systems allow all employees to gain direct access to the system, meaning you no longer have to deal with a third party or wait for them to make adds, moves, or changes. For example, any trained user will have the capability to be able to add a new number in seconds using the web interface.

The working environment and employee habits have changed over the years, and technology has adapted to meeting ever-changing requirements. To really feel the benefits that new technology can have on the workforce, customers and costs, businesses need to take the leap into innovative cloud technology.

Lars Nordhild Rønning is General Manager for RingCentral in the UK and EMEA


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