I bought a suit costing twenty thousand rupees last year same time and I was trendy and “with it”. This year when I wore it, my son called me old fashioned! Investments in IT systems are quite like that. First it takes time for you to understand what it is all about, and then when you take the plunge, you are faced with obsolescence. Better options seem to come up just as you are printing the purchase order.
Lets talk Unified Communications. Unified Communications (UC) is a much touted term that no one can really completely define. Everybody has a vague notion of what it is. This is not because we are technologically challenged. In my view the key reason is that this is a constantly changing term. Whereas, at one time it meant having voice, voice mail, audio conferencing in one system, it now includes all that and instant messaging, presence, cross platform integration, video conferencing, and multi-device solutions that can be delivered over copper, fiber, wi-fi, 3G, and 4G. I confess that even this is not a complete definition.
Communication and means of communication within an organization have undergone a sea change. From letters and memos that used to come through the post to teleprinters to faxes to e-mail to instant messaging to video collaboration, the change is endless. While the initial changes were slow and far in between, we are now faced with situations where obsolescence can be a matter of weeks.
So what should organizations do? My suggestion? DISOWN IT. Like, why own something that needs to be upgraded the moment you get it? Organizations want productivity; they want their employees to be able to collaborate with each other productively. Organizations want employees to be able to work in a flexible manner (work from home/car/café/anywhere) without adversely impacting output. Organizations want to remain relevant to its employees as well as to its customers. The new generation of employees that are coming into organizations are hungry for tools and technologies that makes life simpler and working a pleasure. As opposed to resisting change, this particular generation is always looking for change. This is a key aspirational requirement of this generation.
Like I said, disown it. Just focus on the objective that the technology will deliver. Forget the maintenance contracts, the software upgrades, the compliance issues, recycling electronic waste, and the constant nagging question: did I make the right technological choice? Let someone else own all these. Take the right plunge. Opt for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
UCaaS can be delivered as a managed on premise solution or from a shared data center (public cloud) or a private data center (private cloud). Based on an organization’s size, geographical spread, regulatory environment, security policy, and processes; a choice can be made to decide which delivery mechanism makes most sense.
Do you need it all or do you need it at all? As part of the UCaaS, you can opt for features and functionalities based on an employee function and requirements. It is also possible to buy flexible license options instead of going for 1-1 licensing. It’s no longer a case of buying a size 13 shoe so that it fits all.
To summarize, key advantages of opting for an Opex business model (where you buy a UC service) vs Capex (where you buy the hardware, software and support services) are given below: