The How to Develop a Winning Transition Strategy for Enterprise Cloud Calling blog series offers a four-part guided tour on how to take your business to a cloud calling and collaboration future that delivers all the benefits you expect from a quality cloud service.
When I was a child, I loved visiting my grandparents’ farm. My grandma had an amazing raspberry patch. She would send us out with a hoe to weed the patch and as a bonus we got to pick and eat as many raspberries as we wanted after each row was finished. Out of this experience came a family saying, “Hoe to the end of the row” that brought on new meaning to me over the years: to get the greatest benefit, you must finish what you start.
Realizing the value of cloud to help transform your workforce is a lot like weeding that old raspberry patch. Migrating UC workloads to the cloud is the beginning step in a workforce transformation initiative. Connecting new cloud services and applications adds business value by streamlining essential collaborative workflows.
This is the second part of a blog series on building and executing a successful strategy to transition enterprise unified communications (UC) and collaboration to the cloud. This time I will focus on workplace transformation and integration aspects of cloud solution delivery.
When you take UC and collaboration services to the cloud, you simultaneously expand and simplify your ability to add transformational collaboration features into processes, to accelerate time-sensitive workflows that increase profitability and differentiate you from competitors.
Let’s walk through a simple example. We will take a scenario that happens every day between employees, collaborating on a document. They may be using a shared storage repository, like Box, or Microsoft SharePoint, to share, comment on and edit documents. Inevitably, some edits will require discussion. When using Webex, you can add documents to a space, or connect the space to the file stored within a shared storage location, with all contributors as members of the space. Every time an edit, or comment in the source document needs attention, the members, or specific parties are notified in Webex. The document can be opened directly from the notification and, more importantly, the parties can connect live via video, right there in the Webex space and resolve any issues together.
What I have just described sounds simple, which is the way collaboration should be. But when you stop and think about this process in your business today, you might have a shared document in a file-share application, which notifies contributors via email and requires use of a separate UC application for calling, messaging and meetings. This forces employees into an endless cycle of context switching, between three or more applications, while actively collaborating on a document.
Research shows that context switching, between multiple tasks, can reduce productivity by up to 40%, depending on the complexity of the tasks, the number of tasks and frequency of switching between them. When you multiply that productivity hit across your workforce, the benefits of integrating your cloud applications are obvious.
If you are an on-premises Cisco Unified Communications Manager customer, looking to transition to the cloud with Webex Calling, your new cloud environment will be integrated within the Webex collaboration suite and Control Hub, to ensure you have access to all the latest innovations from Cisco. You will also enjoy drastically reduced meetings PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) costs, with Integrated Audio for Webex Calling enabled across the Webex cloud architecture of calling, meetings, and contact center.
By transitioning your UCM (Unified Communications Manager) services to the cloud, you will immediately reap the cost benefits of the cloud, paving the path for your digital transformation.
In addition to Cisco cloud integrations, Cisco has a robust developer community that offers integrations into hundreds of business applications to create innovative services from the cloud. Some of the leading cloud vendor integrations supported are shown in Figure 1.
If you are already using Cisco Unified Communications Manager with any of the applications from Cisco authorized developer partners, through the Cisco Ecosystem Exchange, rest assured that you can preserve your existing business integrations as you transition users and sites to the cloud with the Dedicated Instance option for Webex Calling. Then look to add new cloud integrations to deliver additional value for your business.
The crucial point here is that, as you move forward with a Cisco cloud UC solution, your workforce will always be better connected, operating within workflows optimized for access to people, content, and information to keep everybody productively engaged in your business.
So early in your planning, identify the workflow improvements you need to drive and then identify new cloud integrations that will increase productivity. Define requirements, as well as the metrics you will use to measure success. Connect with your business leaders to ensure they see the value and are ready to be the champions for your cloud transformation initiative. Be sure to communicate frequently throughout the planning and implementation process, to maintain support and eliminate surprises. As my grandma used to say, “Hoe to the end of the row” with cloud integrations, versus just migrating your calling workload to the cloud. This is where you will see the “fruits” of labors to truly transform your business.
Next week, we will explore the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) equation for cloud UC.
At the end of 2021, we delivered an amazing WebexOne virtual event with product announcements and presentations that highlighted the power of cloud integrations. Check it out:
WebexOne ecosystem partner sponsors brief product video’s and overviews
Study on context switching impacts from the American Psychological Association.