Microsoft’s Cloud PBX is here. It is a simpler, license based delivery model for Skype for Business. Because of its simplicity there is a perception that this means choice of implementation partner is now less important. However the opposite is actually true. In order to make the most out of this new solution, your choice of technology partner is more crucial than ever.
This is an exciting evolution for businesses. Cloud PBX is a turnkey solution that enables customers of all sizes to take advantage of the value of unified communications. But don’t underestimate its flexibility or its power – you need the right partner to help configure, secure, support and future-proof your solution.
The straight up benefits of Cloud PBX are significant
In releasing Cloud PBX, Microsoft is levelling the playing field. By hosting the infrastructure and integrating the solution within Office 365, Microsoft is enabling access to new technologies without the heavy burden of upfront investment and ongoing system maintenance which some organisations find prohibitive.
Cloud PBX takes what is quite a complex platform, requiring a unique skillset (Skype for Business) and provides a turnkey solution. It opens up possibilities for organisations of all sizes, making cloud collaboration more simple and streamlined and delivering on the promise of unified communications.
But there is more to it than just ‘turn on and go’. Telephony is a critical business tool, perhaps more now than ever in this era of remote and global communication. You need a partner that understands this and has demonstrated experience in this space. So what should you look out for when selecting a partner?
1. An appreciation that your phone system is as personal as your stationary
If they don’t begin by asking questions about how your business communicates and the processes that support that, you might want to show them the door. Your phone system is a critical business tool. It has been and will continue to be as personal to a company as its stationary. How you present yourself, how your team works together, how they collaborate and interact are all impacted by this technology.
You need to be in control of all this and take the lead in how you inform your technology partner. You know what your business needs. The technology partner’s job is to know how to make Cloud PBX fulfil those needs. While Microsoft will give you the canvas, you still need someone to paint the picture.
2. A demonstrated focus on security, service quality and flexibility
The cloud environment provides incredible opportunities but – if not configured correctly – cracks will quickly begin to show. You need to be very sure that your partner has outstanding credentials and a proven track record when it comes to security, service quality and flexibility.
You will be consuming the solution on a per user, per month basis. This is real-time online traffic. Your cloud partner will need to connect and configure the system to match the volume and type of traffic your business consumes. It is your job to know what you need. It is your technology partner’s job to configure the system so it is secure, flexible and robust enough to provide this.
3. Sufficient systems and resources to provide seamless, comprehensive support
Your focus must be on your business. You don’t want to introduce a new solution and then waste hours chasing support and effectively managing your own system updates. You need a partner who will create a managed service wrap that includes moves, adds and changes, configurations, routing, new employees – in short any business-as-usual event or change in circumstance.
But beware of a one-size-fits-all approach. For Cloud PBX to work effectively for your organisation you will need access to personalised support service, and a technical team who actually knows your business and can respond quickly when you need them.
4. A technology leader that can future-proof your solution
The world of technology moves fast. You need a partner who has their finger on the pulse and their eye on what is changing and how it will impact your telephony environment.
They need to be on the front foot so they can help you make the most out of new technology as it comes into the market – for example, changes in call centre systems or video conferencing, and over time, entirely new ways to collaborate.
At Nexon we are on-board with Cloud PBX and excited about what it means for Australian businesses. It makes sense to host, manage and maintain the infrastructure in the cloud – we have been hosting a cloud telephony solution for our customers for some time in our own data centre. Our core business is in providing tailored solutions and supporting them through a comprehensive managed service offer – where we configure, secure, support and evolve our customers’ technology environments. If you’d like to learn more please get in touch.