Two men talking in an office, with one of them using a smartphone.

As companies grow, their communications become more complex. Enterprise cloud solutions can help.

Have you ever noticed that communication always seems to be the first thing to take a hit when companies experience significant growth? It makes sense, in a way. After all, it’s far easier to maintain open lines of communication when fewer people are involved. Grow that to the hundreds or thousands, mix in the physical distance variable of remote locations, and the issue becomes clear. Even so, how can enterprise cloud solutions solve the most common communication hurdles among callers, customers, and your own call center agents?

Consistent Quality

One of the greatest challenges of managing communication as your company grows is maintaining quality. When it comes to customers, any experience they have when interacting with your organization should leave them equally impressed no matter when or where it happens. Similarly, your own call center representatives should feel they are equipped with the best technology to handle all customer interactions.

With enterprise cloud solutions, tackling these hurdles is as easy as bullseyeing womp rats with a T-16 back on Tatooine. The reason can be found in a little quality-of-service (QoS) wizardry.

SD-WAN is the game-changer here. The ability to dynamically define network resources based on the needs of your applications gives you fine-grained control over bandwidth. In doing so, you can effectively dictate QoS for customers and call center agents regardless of when and where the interaction takes place. The result is a consistent experience for everyone involved.

What About Cost?

Ask anyone, even the person nearest you at this very moment, what the greatest challenge to company growth is, and you’ll likely receive one of two answers: cost or affordability (which is fancy speak for cost).

In reality, growth is all about meeting demand by increasing supply. When it comes to scaling customer service resources such as call centers, you can effectively increase supply without breaking the bank. How? By minimizing additional hardware, software, and up-front capital costs.

Cloud-based call centers make this possible by essentially packaging these typical costs into a software-defined solution. The result is a more cost-effective way to expand to new geographic locations or simply add new features such as video, chat, or text. You can drive cost down even further by bringing your own existing resources such as broadband.

Handling the Unknown

Pinning down exactly what growth looks like for your organization can be a daunting task. Even more challenging? Forecasting the ebb and flow of customer communication as growth happens before your eyes. The painful reality is that you’ll never know with any certainty what traffic will look like tomorrow, next week or even next year.

Enterprise cloud solutions are your proverbial ace in the hole. They integrate seamlessly with your existing business applications so managing customer interactions becomes a much more efficient process. In addition, virtual teams and call centers can be provisioned anywhere in the world. Scaling then becomes a matter of when and where rather than what and how.

In the end, it really shouldn’t be surprising that a cloud-based solution would be a great answer to call center growth. The combination of consistent quality, affordability, and scalability make an appealing package. Regardless, if any of these issues have plagued your own customer interactions, the cloud may just hold the answer.

Interested in enterprise cloud solutions? This year, Vonage’s CEO Alan Masarek is speaking at Enterprise Connect. You can learn more here.

About Joe Hewitson

With a degree in applied computing technology and over a decade of experience in the IT and software development industries, Joe Hewitson has his finger on the pulse of cloud technology. From developing communication applications for the cloud to deploying VoIP solutions in enterprise environments, he’s seen it all. The one thing Joe loves more than staying on the cutting edge of cloud and VoIP technology? Writing about it.

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A man using a laptop, talking to a woman with a tablet.

IT managers will need a variety of new skills in order to leverage cloud solutions for business.

Businesses are moving to the cloud, with research firm Gartner predicting that by the end of 2017, there will be a $246.8 billion market for the public cloud alone. And while C-suite members need high-level knowledge of basic cloud services, IT managers are tasked with understanding cloud solutions for business at a deeper level. What skills do tech pros need to meet this new mandate?

Embracing Employees

According to a recent Forbes survey, more than half of companies are putting new apps and services in the cloud instead of on existing infrastructure. The result? It’s now possible for non-tech employees to easily deploy applications or resources without waiting for IT approval. In fact, 76 percent of respondents say DevOps (not IT) was responsible for their transition, despite the lack of DevOps departments in most organizations. Those surveyed pointed to DevOps as an operating philosophy with roots in agile development.

What does this mean for the IT manager skill set? It’s no longer possible to tell employees how they should interact with cloud services, but instead empower them to easily and securely leverage the cloud. Forcing them down the narrow path of approved services often leads to the development of shadow IT. As noted by Network World, even NASA discovered 28 unsanctioned cloud services on its system during a recent audit. As a result, an IT manager must develop new ways to embrace employee expectations while minimizing overall risk.

Managing Multi-Cloud

IT professionals must become adept at both designing new cloud environments and determining the best cloud distribution for their organizations. According to CloudTech, high-demand skills for tech experts now include private and hybrid cloud design, private and hybrid infrastructure-as-a-service provisioning, and cloud systems management.

Yet this is just the beginning. Companies have evolved past the one-cloud-only model to embrace the notion of specific clouds for specific workloads or projects. As a result, many companies are trending away from single public or private deployments to a multi-cloud mix that includes hybrid, private, and public distributions that change dynamically over time to meet corporate needs. Beyond rebranding themselves as cloud experts, IT managers must learn how to effectively balance cloud spending and cloud benefits while simultaneously communicating value to C-suite executives.

Implementing Innovation

Once cloud systems are up and running, IT managers must develop skills to make the best use of these new resources. Consider the IoT. The market for this always-connected, interlocking web of sensors, mobile devices, and monitoring tools promises big gains if companies are able to effectively collect, parse, and interpret big data. To meet this emerging challenge, IT professionals need the time and space to expand their knowledge and embrace the impact of IoT.

Other innovations are also changing the way enterprises handle day-to-day operations. The rise of cloud-based VoIP, for example, can not only replace but significantly upgrade the performance of inter-office and intra-office communication systems and pave the way for unified communications deployments. While it makes sense to leverage the tools and technology of third-party experts for cloud-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), IT managers remain the critical point of contact between cloud services and new solutions.

The bottom line? Implementing the cloud is a challenge shared by employees, executives, and IT managers. Meanwhile, understanding cloud solutions for business falls under the purview of IT experts and demands a new focus on end users, multi-cloud management, and the ability to effectively implement innovative solutions.

Are you ready to learn more about the power of the cloud? Talk to a Vonage Business consultant today!

About Doug Bonderud

Doug Bonderud is an award-winning freelance writer with a passion for technology and innovation. His ability to create compelling, thought-provoking and timely content helps empower the voice of corporate vision. From UCaaS to VoIP to cloud computing, Doug has experience covering all aspects of evolving digital environments and their effects on both people and policies.

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