The Top Traits of Unified Communications Innovators

How to Benchmark and Rank Unified Communications (UC) Technology

nec-unified-communications-infrastructure-frost-sullivan-leadership-awardIt should come as no surprise to anyone that companies are still struggling to understand how to make the right technology decisions. Too often, businesses make important growth decisions based on a narrow understanding of their IT environment—which can have a negative impact down the line as the environment continues to change.

To avoid error when choosing new technologies, businesses need successful growth strategies that make use of innovative technologies. In order to determine what your business’s growth strategy should encompass, you need a thorough understanding of your market. By assessing the technical innovations within your market, your industry’s key challenges, your customers, and the best practices that have led to your own past successes, your business can preemptively ward off future regret by making the right technology choice the first time.

Key Industry Challenges

The businesses that are most equipped to meet the challenges of modern communications are already employing UC technology and infrastructure. They specifically leverage these new technologies to enhance the quality of communications for employees and customers, while also utilizing innovative UC technology and infrastructure as a means to optimize network traffic as network demand changes.

The following are two of the most common enterprise communications challenges that are addressed by UC technological innovation, and the most popular traits that innovative UC leaders have to answer those stresses:

• IT Infrastructure Stress—the transformation to modern unified communications platforms has seen enterprise communications become more reliant on IT infrastructure—particularly application and media servers, data center and campus IP networks, wide area networks, media gateways and session border controllers.

• Bandwidth Sensitivity—in converged voice, video, and data environments, bandwidth-sensitive IP telephony solutions are now sharing resources with other enterprise applications, with real time applications media traffic granted priority access through configurations set by network administrators. While Server and desktop virtualization has allowed UC to become increasingly dynamic in terms of on-demand capacity, the underlying infrastructure that carries voice and video traffic has largely remained static and unadaptable to utilization spikes.

Trait 1: Innovation-driven leaders are beginning to take a more holistic view of UC infrastructure.

Rather than treating the UC platform, data centers, and enterprise networks as discrete components, innovators are applying emerging standards within their own solutions to deliver a new level of intelligence and self-awareness to UC infrastructure. This ultimately allows UC systems to identify sources of trouble, and then adjust themselves to accommodate spikes in traffic or demand.

Trait 2: Innovative leaders enable UC and enterprise infrastructure solutions to thrive together rather than coexist.

Rather than having a static UC platform running alongside static infrastructure solutions, innovators are building intelligence and feedback loops between UC platforms and the enterprise network that empowers them. This allows the UC solution to preemptively prepare the infrastructure for planned events that will potentially stress it. Also, with the many existing manual configuration processes automated, the enterprise infrastructure is able to become as dynamic as the solutions it serves.

Key Benchmarking Criteria for Innovative UC Technology

Each year, Frost & Sullivan determines how best-in-class companies worldwide manage growth, innovation, and leadership. Based on the findings of their best practices research, they present an annual Global Technology Innovation Leadership Award in Unified Communications.

If you’re wondering how to differentiate between UC innovators, Frost & Sullivan has created criteria for benchmarking leading unified communications solutions.

1. Uniqueness of Technology
2. Impact on New Products/Applications
3. Impact on Functionality
4. Impact on Customer Value
5. Relevance of Innovation to Industry

Best Practice Award Analysis for NEC

NEC has been an early proponent, adopter, and provider of many new networking technologies. Frost & Sullivan analyzed NEC’s UNIVERGE 3C and UCaaS Solutions for technological innovation. Part of their findings include:

Impact on New Products/Applications

NEC’s UNIVERGE portfolio of solutions are built on key pillars of NEC’s IT Empowered Framework and Smart Enterprise programs, the foundation of which is utilizing adaptable network infrastructures. NEC’s UC products are therefore fully-distributed and data center-ready, virtualized UC solutions. In contrast, traditional network architectures require a near duplication of hardware and costs to achieve similar levels of business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities.

Impact on Customer Value

NEC’s innovation in delivering a high-level of integration between enterprise communication applications and the underlying infrastructure ultimately drives customer value through automation and optimizations. Integration with Software-Defined Networks (SDN) enables real-time communications between the UC platform and the network. NEC’s UNIVERGE 3C platform programmatically adjusts the infrastructure to work around trouble or allocate additional network resources to cope with spikes in demand without administrator interaction.

Global Technology Innovation Leadership Award

According to the 2014 Global Technology Innovation Leadership Award Report, NEC’s holistic approach to deploying enterprise communications solutions, and the level of automation and dynamic flexibility inherent in NEC UC infrastructures should appeal to customers and serve as a roadmap for the direction of communication networks.

But don’t just take our word for it.

Learn more about the criteria used by Frost & Sullivan in awarding the 2014 Global Technology Innovation Leadership Award in Unified Communications Infrastructure

file-1606618578

BYOD and BYOA: The State of Mobility Adoption

BYOD and BYOA: How Devices and Apps Function Together to Improve Business Productivity and Employee Efficiency

nec_byod_employeesMobile devices are completely ingrained in our daily lives. They entertain, remind, socialize, and manage us. They are our personal authentication key to the world around us. They are an extension of ourselves. Handheld mobile devices are just extremely personal, more so than any other device we interact with during the day. When asked, most people will say that they’ll give up food or sleep before they’re deprived of their mobile device, and for most there is a discernable level of anxiety when their device isn’t actively with them.

BYOD: The Device is King

nec_byod_mobilityThe personal dynamics of mobile devices and, in turn, mobile device management, has made adoption of mobile technology a tricky business across the board. For most organizations, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies are still complex and perceived as risky. But, with the global workforce’s rapid adoption of the mobile work style, integration of BYOD policies have been necessary for most organizations to maintain the high levels of productivity needed to sustain business success. In fact, only businesses with high-level security concerns and strict privacy needs—like financial organizations—can succeed in today’s marketplace without some form of acceptance of BYOD in their mobile policies.

Originally, the largest motivation for BYOD was the desire to get rid of the traditional corporate device and its restrictive user experience which contrasted sharply against the newer, smarter consumer devices providing more personal experiences. The result for many early BYOD adopters was the increased employee satisfaction, productivity, and improved competitive advantage that they were searching for.

We’ve talked about BYOD for what seems like too long, but it continues to be a hot topic as employers allow employees to utilize their own devices at the office. But, as many of us know, giving employee-owned devices access to the corporate network increases risk and is difficult for businesses to manage. Many IT departments don’t have the time to deal with the challenges inherent with BYOD; the co-existence of personal and business data, multiple operating systems, and problems with backup, recovery, security, and compliance.

In fact, the 2014 Executive Enterprise Mobility Report released by Apperian and conducted by CITO Research, helps shed some light on how important the issues are that executives at a range of companies embracing these mobility strategies face.

For example, 77% of the respondents highlighted security as a major concern with mobile device management—not much of a shocking discovery if you’ve ever dealt with mobility in the past. What is shocking? That 70% of respondents are still unable to detect data or device loss, which highlights a starteling lack of mobile security initiative in today’s businesses despite security being a key concern.

What is clear, is that companies understand the inherent risk surrounding BYOD and many are still struggling with how best to address their concerns.

Some of the challenges of managing BYOD programs have re-invigorated a “bring-your-own” trend that dates back to the 1980s—Bring Your Own Apps (BYOA). BYOA can be used as a way to preserve the productivity benefits of BYOD while reducing the capital costs associated with managing a BYOD program.

BYOA: The App is Queen

The BYOA trend centers on employees’ use of third-party applications in the workplace. But BYOA is really the key driver of a much larger trend that’s growing in popularity; IT consumerization. Why? Because BYOA and its associated benefits for employees include greater engagement and satisfaction, and improved productivity, the chief cornerstone of the IT Consumerization movement.

Since BYOA employees choose their own applications, each employee can use the apps that he or she is most comfortable with. Not only does this improve productivity by allowing employees to have more control over the software they use, it also enhances efficiency by letting each individual person use the tool that best matches their work style. This gives you the opportunity to provide more software and business process features to your team than you could logically provide while employing a BYOD or other corporate mobility strategy. IT Consumerization essentially allows businesses to create endless opportunities with multiple new ways to get work done—which would likely have a positive effect in terms of employee morale and efficacy.

But the greatest strengths of the BYOA policy are also its greatest weaknesses.

Most consumer apps being used in the enterprise are cloud-based in order to allow user access from multiple devices, laptops included. Many organizations are finding that the combination of cloud-based document sharing and cloud-based business process solutions are meeting a growing number of their business requirements.

As employees are increasingly under pressure to do more with less in terms of budget and IT resources, they often turn to BYOA to get the job done. While this can be rationalized as a means of reducing the capital expenditures and licensing costs associated with using corporate-issued file storage, document sharing, and business process software, all budgetary benefits that come from reducing capital costs are often negated because of one thing—sacrificed security. Your prized corporate data is now sitting in someone else’s cloud.

There is no ace in the hole when it comes to security policies. The simple fact is that SMBs must absorb certain types of risk out of necessity when competing with large enterprises—which is why you’re likely to see higher BYOA adoption among SMBs than enterprises.

But for those who can’t absorb that risk, or simply don’t want to, there’s good news—that risk can be managed.

Security and Mobility: Striking Common Ground

nec_byod_securityThe key challenges for businesses of all sizes adopting cloud and mobility applications is finding the right balance between usability and data security. In an ideal world, users would like to have one-click access to an increasing number of apps without needing 12 digit passwords for each app. Since users are bringing in their own devices, and these devices are the primary means to app access, they must be “trusted” within the organization and secured.

“Perimeter Security” no longer exists in the enterprise. Network boundaries are slowly disappearing—and many IT departments are still trying to control all facets of off-premises application access from roaming mobile endpoints. But this is, quite simply, impossible to do. And so a shift in the way we think about security may be in order.

Protecting data directly, not the device, guards your data at the source rather than the endpoint, ensuring the safety of your businesses’ information regardless of your employee’s location. Information Rights Management and other such technologies directly embed access rules into documents by way of cryptography. With this method, the rules are applicable to documents regardless of location or device, allowing effective security measures for multi-device environments.

This pattern also allows for “detecting, logging, and blocking” data that leaves enterprise premises. Having the capability to follow the transmission of sensitive data solves part of the problem that has become apparent in Apperian’s Mobility report—understanding where, when, and how users are transferring information out of the corporate network.

Secondly, the drive to demand better security from consumer app providers needs to be spearheaded by SMB and enterprise businesses. Since most businesses are embracing some form of BYOD/BYOA, and most of us spend at least 40 hours a week in the workplace, the burden of changing app security—and consequently cloud stability—really falls on businesses, not consumers.

Finally, securing critical business communications can solve a lot of data leakage from the start. Unified Communications (UC) can help keep your company keep its contacts and other data safe and secure when an employee’s device is lost or stolen.

With the right UC app, your IT administrator can secure data loss easily. Unified Communications lets employees bring their own devices while still maintaining high levels of corporate security. The best UC platforms let you support multiple devices through one single approved UC app, meaning your employees can have access to their favorite communications tools without your IT department having to support each device individually.

In regard to other security issues, many organizations that have started implementing consumerization policies are establishing acceptable use standards for use of consumer technologies in the workplace. Acceptable use policies (AUP) stipulate requirements that must be followed to be granted network access.

To learn more about how BYOD policies empower smart enterprises, along with other trends impacting the workforce, download the Smart Enterprise Trends eBook.

NEC-Smart-Enterprise-trends-UC-CTA

NEC Ranks Highest in Customer Service, Trust, and Technology

nemertes-pilothouse-nec-ip-telephonyOur unified communications (UC) customers have always said that NEC provides highly reliable communications solutions designed to support their unique businesses, and industry analysts have also agreed.

Recently, Nemertes Research surveyed 500 IT decision-makers to determine how they rate their technology vendors. The survey asked 20 key questions that were designed to help determine which IP telephony vendor has the best customer service, and what that service actually means when put into context.
The survey results show that NEC ranks the highest among vendors in the following categories:

Trusted Advisor

IT decision-makers know that vendor credibility is as important when making a purchasing decision as the architecture of the solution purchased.

A trusted telephony vendor should be able to stand behind its solution. It should commit to providing consistent product software updates and maintain a track record of evolving customer technology. A trusted telephony vendor doesn’t do forklift upgrades, preferring instead to provide value, measurement and consistency. And, most importantly, a trusted telephony vendor should always make a commitment to businesses of all sizes—small, medium, and enterprise alike.

To better understand how IP telephony providers measure up in this area, Nemertes built “Trusted Advisor” questions into its survey. These questions help numerically determine each vendor’s:

• technology expertise
• credibility
• innovativeness
• character
• timeliness in response to customer needs

NEC ranks highly in all of these sub-categories, but two of our greatest strengths have always been our expertise and credibility. As one of the original telephony vendors, we not only understand, but have also helped define both the industry and its technologies.

We bring our expertise and credibility to the market in multiple ways. One way is through innovative products. The second, according to the report, is through our value-added resellers or dealers. NEC customers have determined that we are the most capable at passing our knowledge to our dealers—who serve as an equally knowledgeable and capable extension of NEC.

Technology

In today’s environment it’s extremely important to choose the right UC solution. IT organizations are under pressure to select multiple business solutions that provide the best technology available and that deliver the best value possible—and communications technology is no exception.
The technology portion of the Nemertes report shows how each vendor’s products rank in the following sub-categories:

• reliability
• interoperability
• management capabilities
• technology roadmap

NEC consistently ranks highly among communications vendors as providing reliable, interoperable and innovative communications and IT solutions. In fact, our highest scoring metric was product reliability, meaning that in the eyes of our customers we not only provide innovative products, but also deliver reliable and dependable products that provide a continuous path forward.

Customer Service

According to Nemertes, NEC unequivocally ranked highest in the Customer Service category. The survey assessed the customer’s needs in the following categories:

• pre-sales responsiveness
• post-sales responsiveness
• break-fix responsiveness
• accuracy and timeliness in delivering invoices

From the results Nemertes determined that no other vendor is currently providing the same quality of response to its customers as well as NEC.

NEC is proud to rank highest in this category, and we continue to make customer service of the utmost importance to our business. We have award-winning products. When our technology is factored with our credibility, expertise and the quality of our customer service, it’s easy to see why the report shows that NEC has the highest percentage of organizations who wish to stay our customers of all the vendors polled.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Download the Nemertes Report now.

Nemertes-IP-Telephony-Customer-Satisfaction-NEC-1

NEC’s Annual Drivers Day Highlights Similarities between UC and F1

nec-sauber-drivers-day-unified-communications-f1What does Unified Communications have in common with Formula One racing?

Well a lot more than you might think. There’s nothing like the combination of speed and technology—a blend that is key to success for both technologists and Formula One (F1) teams.

Speed sells, and it sells well. Speed—or lack thereof—is the main reason that many technology innovations take off. It’s also the reason why many fail. Speed is the reason why dial-up internet was replaced by DSL, horses by automobiles, and why F1 racing continues to grow in popularity year over year.

All of that is fairly obvious.

But what isn’t always obvious—is that NEC invests in speed and innovation in areas beyond IT technology.  In fact, NEC is heavily invested in F1 racing—a sport where speed and technological innovation are necessary to succeed.

NEC is a premier partner of the  Sauber F1 Team, and yesterday we hosted our annual F1 Drivers Day event at our European headquarters. It’s a fun day for NEC and is just four days before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Drivers Day was celebrated locally for NEC business partners, employees, and any F1 fans that could make it to the event. But in a truly innovative and unique fashion, partners, employees, and fans from multiple cities across the globe were able to attend via NEC’s award-winning Unified Communications & Collaboration platform UNIVERGE 3C.

Those who attended had the opportunity to meet Sauber F1 Team driver Esteban Gutiérrez and test driver Giedo van der Garde in person. The rest of us were invited to a question and answer session through the live UNIVERGE 3C broadcast, which gave the event a truly authentic flair (we are technologists after all).

After general introductions by NEC Global Marketing Executive, Todd Landry, Sauber Motorsport AG Marketing Director, Alex Sauber, came to the stage to discuss the role that technology plays in F1 racing.

Racing technology has indeed changed a lot over time—which was evident in the pictures that Sauber brought with him of some of the original computers and equipment that has been used by the team. Sauber is one of the oldest F1 teams on the grid today—and was founded in 1970. So they’ve had a front row seat as F1 technology has grown and changed over the last 40 plus years (the picture below is an excellent example as it shows how much the steering wheel changed over the course of just one year).

With Esteban running late as a result of a British Customs snafu, Giedo took the first round of questions from the global audience. The first question was about F1 steering wheels, which to a layman looks like the lunky musclebound brother of an Xbox controller.

nec-sauber-drivers-day-unified-communications-f1-technologyThe steering wheels are incredibly complicated. The buttons and knobs do everything from controlling the radio, to managing the brake systems, shifting, clutch system, oil intake, brake fluid—and so on. The lights, and now screen, serve as warning mechanisms—letting the driver know when something has gone awry. With the car going up to 340 kilometres per hour (about 211 miles per hour) it becomes increasingly evident that making an error can be dangerous.

That’s why the drivers are given their own tech—simulators, which keeps their reflexes honed during the off season. For Giedo, the newest Sauber team driver, the simulator technology is even more important, as each car is customized to the team and the team’s drivers.

The discussion then turned to racetracks, with a viewer asking where the Silverstone track was most challenging, and which track was the most difficult overall.

Giedo memorizes each track. The real challenge, according to him, lies within the curves. Curves are the most technically difficult parts of the race for the drivers to execute. Even with the stable car, the high speed corners require serious backbone—as the changes in down force and torque make the car more difficult to handle—like an incredibly powerful dog pulling on a leash.

F1 in general requires serious backbone, which signals the part of the event where the discussion turned toward the racers themselves. It bears mentioning for those who are not fans that Formula One racing is one of the most physically demanding sports there is.

As Giedo kept talking, he named Singapore track as his toughest, both physically and mentally. “It’s basically made up of non-stop corners,” he said. Singapore is a two hour race, during which his average heart rate is 158 beats-per-minute—putting immense stress on the driver’s body. This is most evident when you compare the number to the average healthy man’s heart rate, which is typically around 60 beats-per-minute.

The physical stress of driving takes a toll on the racers, which led Giedo to discuss the difficulties of not being able to drink in the car. With so few pit stops, it can be easy to get dehydrated. Racers can lose up to 3 litres or more of fluid (about 0.8 gallons) in a two hour race—three times more than what’s required to lose concentration.  So dehydration becomes even more dangerous than usual in a sport where concentration is literally required to keep the participants alive.

The human element, as it seems, may be one of the most dangerous facets of F1 racing. In fact, the cars themselves are one of the safest, as they are engineered to be highly stable and include some of the best technology the world has to offer. But when asked by one NEC F1 fan whether or not there was a future where robots would be driving the cars, Giedo flatly said, “No,” indicating that the robots wouldn’t be able to make the quick decisions the drivers themselves have to make during every race.

As Esteban arrived and got settled, the discussion turned to fitness, as a viewer asked about exercise needed to sustain the racers’ bodies during the grueling races.

F1 racers must have immense physical resistance to heat and other stresses, as well as the ability to cope with potentially catastrophic fluid loss. In fact, experts say the loss of one per cent of body fluid is enough to cause serious lapses in concentration. And a Grand Prix driver will lose up to three and a half liters of fluid in the course of a two-hour race.

During an F1 race a driver will experience up to 5G under braking and cornering  and 3G under hard acceleration, meaning that his neck has to support up to 24 kilograms (53 pounds) during a long corner—the equivalent of having a sack of spuds slammed into the side of your head while you’re driving.

During the off season, Giedo and Esteban said they will work out about for about three hours in the morning, and two hours in the afternoon to stay in shape. During the season, the drivers have a varied schedule, so while they try to average two hours a day, it can change.

When Esteban was asked what matters most, the skills of the driver or the technology in the car, he answered very matter-of-factly, “Well the car has to be quick. But driver has to drive as quick as possible with the car that’s fast. It’s a combination.”

So there you have it. Speed and technology, paired together to make a successful F1 racer as well as the car he drives.

And as the live UNIVERGE 3C broadcast came to a close, Esteban thanked the NEC team saying that UNIVERGE 3C gave them the ability to talk to all of the NEC fans more easily. “Thanks to the technology, we don’t have to travel all over to talk to you,” he said.

Which given his issue with Customs, is probably a relief.

If You Missed the Event

Interested in learning more about Sauber? Want to see how well NEC’s UNIVERGE 3C works in a truly global application? Just love F1? Check out NEC’s F1 Drivers Day video below.

Is Your Business at Risk Running an Outdated PBX

nec-risk-of-outdated-pbx-benefits-of-ucYou know your PBX is way past its prime, and economic pressures have lead you to delay its upgrade or replacement.

But there comes a point in time when continuing to sweat your communications  assets no longer makes sense—from both a financial perspective and a business/productivity perspective. Retaining outdated equipment can essentially increase your IT costs and prevent your users from utilizing communications tools that help your business processes.

Phone systems are one of the assets that many companies sweat for too long, and, as a result, many of these organizations are sitting on archaic (or end-of-life) equipment that is no longer efficiently supporting their business while possibly putting it a risk.

Yet for some, the prevailing practice is to continue operating the existing system well past its useful life and beyond the end-of-support.

We often hear the following reasons to avoid upgrading:

  • We don’t have the budget, or there is a higher priority budgetary request.
  • The lifespan on the last PBX was too short.
  • We’re afraid that if we upgrade tomorrow, something better will come out next week (a.k.a. the cycle of obsolescence).
  • We’re unclear on our unified communications plans and how our phone system should fit in with UC.
  • Newer phone systems are becoming too complex to use.
  • The buying cycle is too long, and we will have to get too many people involved who will all have different opinions.
  • We don’t know which approach to take—i.e. premises, hybrid, or cloud-based.

There’s a chance that the phones you think are supporting your business aren’t. While the value of your older technology may not have appeared to change—for example, the phones still work, and you can still make calls—the outdated system may be hurting your business.

We know the decision to move to a new telephony system is sometimes a difficult one to make. That’s why we’ve created the following list of 3 of the benefits of a modern unified communications system over an outdated phone system.

1. System Stabilization

If you are a business owner or decision maker, you have probably thought, “We save money keeping the old system. What’s the worst that can happen?”

Every day your business uses an analog, TDM, or older VoIP phone system that has reached end-of-life, you run the risk of having your phone system fail without access to support. If that happens, revenue will likely be lost as a result. How much? Well, you could lose what equates to hours, days, or even weeks of revenue—depending on the amount of time it takes to quickly repair or worst case find and install a new system.

And hurrying to find a new system isn’t ideal. If your system fails, it could mean you are forced to make a quick replacement decision. Companies that don’t have the time or don’t take the time to research properly before purchase usually discover they’ve spent too much money or are unhappy with their purchase after it is too late to change it. Taking the time to find the right IP Telephony solution or Unified Communications solution will improve your business processes and efficiencies without over-extending your budget.

2. Improved Operational Costs

Maintaining separate systems like directories, conferencing software, voicemail, and telephony is expensive and time consuming for IT departments to sustain. In fact, it can be so time consuming that the IT department spends the majority of their day keeping these systems functional—time that can be better spent on more strategic IT projects.

The older the system, the higher the operational cost is when you don’t upgrade. Some of the costs businesses accrue using older systems include:

  • Proprietary hardware at each location (equipment, phones, PBX)
  • Installation
  • Licensing
  • Maintenance, repairs and upgrades
  • Additional services
    • Fax
    • Business SMS
    • HD video meetings
    • Audio conferencing

When you factor the lost IT time spent maintaining each separate communications system  with the opportunity cost of not having the advanced applications and features that modern unified communications provides, you end up with a total cost that is just too high for most businesses to ignore.

3. Competitive Advantage

Have you stopped to think about whether your competitors are taking advantage of modern communications software? If they are and you’re not, then chances are they are able to work smarter, faster, and more efficiently. Working smarter gives them an edge by increasing their productivity and creating a competitive advantage.

Your competitors that are working with updated communications systems, most likely have these advanced features at their disposal:

  • Audio/video/web collaboration, white boarding and document sharing
  • Support for the mobile workforce with a consistent user experience across smartphones and tablets
  • UC clients that provide status, presence, call history
  • Integrated vertical applications through standards and open services

 

While the cost of upgrading may seem high, the advanced applications and features associated with modern communications systems will help re-gain lost competitive edge and offer companies an opportunity to better serve their customers.

Unified communications can help businesses regain competitive advantage in two ways.

First, a new system can help you increase your revenue by providing your business with the communications applications needed to be more productive and efficient. You could gain better advantages and increased competitive edge by choosing a modern solution with a lower total cost of ownership and features that enable collaboration across your business, improving the speed of your communications.

Secondly, UC provides communications software that makes enterprise-level communications applications available on an ad-hoc basis. This either gives you access to applications that you might not have previously been able to budget for, or, saves your organization money as you no longer have to pay the fees required to utilize multiple services. Replacing hosted web, audio or video conferencing services is a perfect example. The accrued savings can boost the return on your unified communications investment, and expand your competitive edge through re-investment into other IT projects that help your business grow.

Increased Productivity

If you fear that your new technology will become obsolescent and use that as an excuse to avoid upgrading, you shouldn’t.  Look for vendors that offer software assurances and extended warranties for hardware that will provide your business with more security and less risk in the long run.

With a modern communications solution, you ensure that your system has the flexibility to handle rapid growth, giving you the ability to provide support to your increasingly mobile and distributed workforce. Your IT team will re-gain some of their time, allowing them to focus on other strategic IT initiatives. And, your employees will re-coup benefits that improve the speed of communication from access to applications that positively impact your daily business—whether it’s through more efficient collaboration with colleagues, or improving customer response times.

Options Available to Your Business

Ultimately there is a high cost, in terms of inefficiencies and operational cost, when you continue to operate an outdated or end-of-life phone system.

Some organizations struggle with selecting the best model (premises, hybrid, or cloud-based) to meet long-term communication needs. Check out the infographic below to learn more about the advantages of each option. Ultimately you’ll look for the platform and vendor that has the flexibility to customize the right solution to meet your specific needs.

NEC-Unified-Communications-Your-Way-Infographic-hi