How do you know if you're a good fit for a hosted Unified Communications solution? Well, Michael Suby of Frost & Sullivan has half a dozen questions you can ask yourself about your company to find out.
Suby moderated last week's Sprint-sponsored webinar on hosted UC, which also featured Paul Seibert, who heads network operations for Snelling (the staffing people) and Intrepid USA Healthcare, and Craig Safir of Sprint. If you missed it, you can access the archived version.
One point Suby made was how you can assess whether a hosted UC solution (such as Sprint Complete Collaboration) is appropriate for your company. He offered six considerations, as follows:
• Limited or Stretched IT Personnel: If you have a small staff and big responsibilities, offloading some of those responsibilities through a hosted UC solution can relieve the pressure. With fewer PBXs to maintain and less concern about moves, adds, and changes, your staff can catch a breath.
• Distributed Organization: If you're a one-building, or one-campus, operation, hosted UC probably isn't the right solution for you. But the more branch offices, remote workers, telecommuters, and mobile workers you have, the more sense hosted UC makes.
• Dynamic Capacity: If your needs are highly scalable (seasonal spikes, for instance) or you need to be able to reallocate capacity quickly and with little notice, hosted UC is an answer.
• Aging Telephony Equipment: If you're at a point where you have to retire major portions of your voice network gear, the time is perfect to assess your next steps.
• Moving to an OpEx Financial Model: This involves deciding whether you want to make the capital investment in new equipment, with the associated maintenance and management responsibilities, or operate on more of a pay-as-you-go basis. Basically, do you want to buy a cow or get your milk a glass at a time?
• Variable and Evolving Needs: If your communications and collaboration needs are sure to be much different in the future from what you need now, hosted UC is the better option. You can switch directions more easily via a hosted solution than you can when you have to evaluate, shop for, buy, maintain, and upgrade your own equipment.
Paul Seibert of Snelling and Intrepid had ample opportunity during the webinar to offer his insight, as someone who has moved to Sprint Complete Collaboration and is very happy with his choice. He is someone who pretty much could answer "yes" to all of the above questions, and was an ideal candidate for hosted UC.
We covered Seibert's story in depth at Seamless Enterprise the other day. Hosted UC is cutting costs for his companies, but in his situation, with an extremely lean staff supporting a couple of fair-sized companies, what matters most to them are the flexibility, scalability, and management capabilities.