Unified Communications: Communications solutions from the cloud
Whether voice, video and web conferences, e-mail, fax, contact center functions or instant messaging: Unified Communications from the T-Systems private cloud unites all communication channels in a single user interface. Dynamic Services for Unified Communications consists of hardware and software from the leading providers, Cisco and Unify, for the central services, integration services communications applications and devices. The UC solution in the T-Systems private cloud is operated exclusively in secure, high-availability T-Systems data centers within Germany (or on-premise, if requested). High standards, compliant with German and EU norms, guarantee the performance and security of the solutions.
UC from the cloud only develops its real potential, however, when companies use it as an integral component for improving business processes. According to the study "The Forrester Wave™: On-Premises Unified Communications And Collaboration" from 2014, 69 percent of the surveyed decision-makers for network and telecommunications technology have integrated business applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). T-Systems integrates the UC solution with existing ICT infrastructures and application landscapes. UC integration includes external networking, the automation of business processes, optimization of customer communications and connection of mobile employees – making UC functions accessible from workflow applications such as ERP and CRM.
When heterogeneous communications solutions such as PABXs are distributed across multiple sites, operation and maintenance become more difficult. The systems cannot be managed centrally and companies have to keep service resources at many sites. Manufacturer support can also lapse for older systems. The result: high costs and staff expenses.
A consistent UC approach means communications can be centralized on an IP basis and delivered from the cloud, significantly reducing both costs and effort for management and operations. Unified communications also turbocharges cross-site teamwork. If collaboration is added, the solution can be seamlessly integrated with business processes, simplifying decision-making and accelerating workflows.
Analysts from the Experton Group say communications is an area that is particularly suited to operation in the cloud, citing its network foundation and high degree of standardization. Experton: "Communication-as-a-Service (CaaS) frees customers from high investment costs and license fees. Thanks to its high level of flexibility, customers only have to pay for the functions they really need and use. Capital expenditures (CAPEX) can be replaced by operating expenses (OPEX), improving the balance sheet. The external operation by a service provider ensures that the most up-to-date program version is always available, so the customer does not need to have the relevant implementation expertise in-house." And the resources adapt dynamically to the actual requirements.
CaaS has the potential to consolidate existing UC infrastructures, optimizing the cost structure. Rationalization potential includes the operating costs for the management and maintenance of a heterogeneous UC environment, as well as the management of different partners and contracts.
According to a study by the analyst firm Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC), 61 percent of the surveyed companies are either already using, plan to use or are discussing such offerings for their employees' IT environment. The most popular cloud applications are e-mail, document sharing, and conferencing applications. More than 20 percent of those surveyed stated that they already offer cloud-based applications in these areas.