Navigating Your Journey to the Cloud for Collaboration

In March 2020, almost overnight, enterprises worldwide equipped workers with collaboration tools to work at home. Today, MIT says nearly half of the workforce is working from home (WFH). As a result, Gartner predicts that by 2024, in-person meetings will account for just 25% of enterprise meetings, down from 60% pre-pandemic.

As the shock of the new fades, enterprises must take stock of what they’ve learned and consider which digital tools will help them handle more complex business needs. The normalization of remote collaboration requires more than just changing the books on the shelf for a Zoom meeting. You must identify business needs, strategize your delivery, and must also learn how to manage what will likely become hybrid multi-cloud environments while bringing these in within budget and on schedule.

Take contact centers as an example of these new complexities. Contact center employees are WFH, so it makes sense to adopt contact center as a service (CCaaS), but should it be self-hosted, in the cloud, or via multiple clouds? Which services match the regulatory environment? And how to handle operatives on different carriers? There is no one-size-fits-all approach, which means deployment decisions will differ between companies.

The following Orange Business Services customer case study demonstrates how one company chose to navigate its cloud journey.

The global snack giant, Mondelez, known for brands such as Cadbury, Chips Ahoy!, Oreo, and Ritz, has 80,000 employees across approximately 80 countries. It searched for a solution that would eliminate all legacy PBX systems and allow Mondelez the flexibility and scale to support growth and expansion into new markets.

Mondelez chose Microsoft Teams as their collaboration platform, migrating users from various legacy PBX systems. It selected Orange Business Services to manage its global communications platform end-to-end, providing unique voice capabilities in markets such as China, India, the Middle East, and Russia. Orange also acts as an integrator, utilizing various ecosystem partners to provide reliable voice and video solutions for additional functionality. Mondelez’s new, cloud-based contact center platform will leverage the Orange global network and employ advanced analytics, automation, and AI capabilities. It will enhance various business functions, such as HR, payroll, and customer care, improving the customer journey experience and providing greater insights.

On-premises, hybrid, or cloud?
The Mondelez case study shows that cloud-based rather than on-premises systems align with global purchasing patterns. An IDC study claims the use of premises-based collaboration systems shrank from 65% to 45% between 2017 and 2020.

Why? Partially because cloud-based solutions for collaboration and telephony are easier to scale, deploy, and manage than on-premises solutions. Take the provisioning of a phone number: this process once took weeks working with a carrier. Now it can be transacted in a few clicks on the Orange Business Services remote management interface.

Cloud service providers are also motivated to focus on the quality of service, new feature development, and integration into real-world business scenarios. In contrast, enterprises reliant on on-premises systems have encountered barriers around interoperability, new features, and lack of multiplatform support.

The trend toward cloud services comes as budgeting decisions favor operational above infrastructure investments, particularly post-pandemic. Predictably priced cloud-based systems are a natural choice in this environment.

What’s happening in the real world?
When it comes to cloud telephony, customers must choose between the public and private cloud. When choosing telephony and conferencing solutions, you must consider staffing, support, and integration. Migration can be extensive, and the chosen platform may not address every need, particularly regarding regulation and international reach.

Most businesses use the public cloud for web conferencing (including video), though larger entities (typically regulated multinationals grappling with divergent regulatory environments) still prefer private cloud solutions. Large international businesses also face the challenge that the country they do business in may not support some cloud services (such as Microsoft Teams), prompting the adoption of a multi-cloud approach.

To add complexity, most enterprises now support BYOD and employee device choice, which means solutions must support multiple platforms. To summarize, the work-from-home environment is multi-platform, multi-cloud services, and inherently agile.

From By Lenny Krol, Orange Business Services

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