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Changing of the Guard: 4 Situations That Demand a Cloud UC Solution

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Humans are creatures of habit. Most of us wake up at a standard time, eat certain foods, and live our days in a relatively routine way. This practice of sticking with established tendencies often persists when we evaluate business communications options. Outdated legacy systems continue to be used due to our fear of change.

But the reality is, as the world continues to change, so will our business needs. Features like instant messaging, analytics, conferencing, and presence are no longer luxuries—they are absolutely necessary for any prosperous, innovative business. Below are four situations that signify your business is ready to move to the cloud.

1. You have multiple locations—perhaps even internationally

When a business has a singular phone and one physical site, there is no need to ensure harmony. But communications systems for global companies can run into many roadblocks, particularly in relation to the design of infrastructure, compliance with local security practices and regulation, and redundancy. Rather than having disparate systems running in multiple countries, it is much easier to base your needs from the cloud—highly redundant, easy to use, and capable of myriad read more

Cloud Communications: What Are You Waiting For?

Cloud Communications: What Are You Waiting For?

There was once a time when no one knew for sure whether cloud computing would catch on or not. Was it the next big technological innovation, or just a fad doomed to irrelevance?

That’s no longer the case. We now know that cloud computing is unquestionably one of the most significant technological developments in recent years, and it’s not going anywhere. In just about every company, cloud services are on the rise. Most firms now use a range of cloud-based solutions, from CRM to HR tools to file sharing and beyond.

Yet despite these trends, there is one area where cloud computing has not seen this same level of growth: communications. Many companies that have fully embraced the cloud in countless other capacities are still reluctant to use a cloud phone service.

Big mistake.

Cloud Benefits

On one hand, it’s somewhat understandable that companies have been reluctant to deploy cloud-based communication solutions. This represents a fairly momentous shift for a company, and can certainly entail a degree of disruption. Considering how important communication is for every organization, reluctance in this area is easier to read more

Evolving Job Market Increases UC Demand in Latin America

Evolving job market increases UC demand in Latin America

As the job market in Latin American nations continues to evolve, the need for high-quality unified communications tools is growing, Frost & Sullivan recently reported. The study revealed that the UC market in the Latin America region is poised to reach $1.4 billion by 2020. In 2013, by comparison, the market earned revenue of about $890 million. The primary reason behind this significant growth is that jobs in the region are increasingly dependent on high-level collaboration and multitasking. In order to support their employees, firms realize they need to invest in UC.

“The Internet and the proliferation of mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets that offer constantly improving image, voice, and sharing options are changing the way businesses communicate,” said Valeria Goldsworthy, a Frost & Sullivan information and communication technologies industry analyst. “Leveraging the growing bring-your-own-device trend, market participants have made new UC&C communication applications available on most mobile devices, helping industries become more competitive in this age of the global enterprise.”

Without effective UC tools at their employees’ disposal, many companies simply cannot compete in an evolving, maturing marketplace.

Upgrades On read more

10 Statistics That Show the Rise of the Cloud

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Five years ago, many people were unaware of the multitude of functions achievable through the cloud. “Cloud?” people would ask, confused. “That’s where I can put my music and Word docs, right?” Using the cloud was something for tech-savvy people with sleek, new software; it wasn’t for the average computer user.

Fast-forward half a decade, and the landscape looks much, much different. The cloud is no longer solely used for the storage of files, but it also hosts myriad other technologies. Communication, healthcare, and finance are just three of the many industries that conduct large-scale cloud operations. Most of the time, you might not even realize you’re using a program based “in the cloud.”

No longer a luxury, cloud adoption has become a necessity; it saves money, eliminates the need for equipment, increases scalability, and streamlines processes. Here are 10 statistics that exemplify the rapid change that is occurring.

  1. The global cloud market is estimated to be worth $180 billion by the year 2015. [Tweet this]
  2. An average company uses 19 different cloud-based file sharing services, which can confuse employees who aren’t sure which read more

BYOD and the Zombie Apocalypse: A Comparison

BYOD and the Zombie Apocalypse: A Comparison

BYOD enjoys something of a mixed reputation. On one hand, many business decision-makers recognize that BYOD is both inevitable and incredibly beneficial, and have instituted policies embracing the trend in their organizations. Yet others — especially those in the IT department — are extremely fearful of BYOD. They worry that allowing employees to use their personal devices for work-related purposes will create a scenario in which the network is overrun by uncontrollable, rogue elements, putting the entire company at risk of a devastating data breach.

To put it melodramatically, a lot of business personnel treat the possibility of allowing BYOD as the equivalent of inviting a zombie plague.

As you might imagine, such fears are overblown. Not only that, they are also misguided. Let’s take a closer look.

Zombie Worries

The thing about zombies is that they’re uncontainable. By the time a zombie plague gets going, it’s too late to stop it. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with today’s super-fast, rage-filled, bite-happy zombies. First, you have one zombie bopping around, and the next thing you know New York City is completely overrun.

The only read more

The Critical Part of Enterprise Mobile UC is UX

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Increasingly, vendors that get the mobile user experience (UX) right are winning in their markets. Look at the example of Mailbox, which Dropbox acquired for $100M last year. Of all the things to go and create, they chose an email client, but one where the user experience had been reimagined from the ground up for mobile platforms. These guys got a crazy valuation and exit for an early stage company by taking an old idea and significantly improving the mobile user experience. Unified communications is no exception to this rule, and increasingly I believe that getting the mobile UC user experience right will separate the winners and losers.

We’ve been building mobile UC apps for some time now at Thinking Phones, and our understanding and approach to mobile UC has evolved quite a bit. One of the first things we realized is that you can’t just port your desktop or web apps to the mobile platform. You really need to start from scratch and redesign your app for mobile platforms from the ground up. read more

Breaking News: TPN Named a “Leader” in 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant!

CelebrationThe holiday weekend may be over, but we still feel like celebrating. We are pleased to announce that Gartner, Inc. has positioned us in the “Leaders” quadrant of the highly-regarded 2014 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Multiregional report. (In case you’re counting, this marks the third year in a row.)

“We believe being named as a three-time ‘Leader’ in the Magic Quadrant confirms our view of the value that our solution brings to modern enterprises, service providers, and partners,” said Steve Kokinos, Thinking Phone Networks President & CEO. “Our mobile-first user experience is designed to delight today’s digitally empowered workforce, while our powerful suite of business analytics integrates with other cloud services to make our solution an indispensible tool for business owners and IT managers.”

Read the full press release or gain access to the free report.

read more

Cloud Benefits Go Beyond TCO

Cloud Benefits Go Beyond TCO

Is the cloud the right choice for your business? Odds are, the answer is an unambiguous yes. By this point, it’s hard to find a firm that’s not using the cloud in some capacity. When it comes to cloud adoption, it’s really just a question of degrees.

But that’s where the issue can become murky. Some companies have fully embraced all things cloud, from cloud-based unified communications to cloud data backup and beyond. Others have taken a more limited approach. In many cases, the decision of how far to go with the cloud comes down to total cost of ownership calculations.

However, as No Jitter contributor Blair Pleasant recently asserted, such a mindset can be limiting. Oftentimes, the true value of cloud solutions can’t really be determined though TCO evaluations, she explained.

Beyond TCO

Obviously, TCO is an important consideration, and it makes sense for business decision-makers to factor this in when deciding whether or not to embrace a new, cloud-based model in any part of their organization. This is particularly true for smaller firms that face more significant financial limitations in their read more

UC in the Contact Center: A Powerful Upgrade

UC in the Contact Center: A Powerful Upgrade

Every company cares about customer support. If they don’t, then pretty soon they won’t have any customers to support, anyway. And while there are many, many strategies available to improve customer service, there’s still no replacement for the contact center.

But that doesn’t mean the contact center itself can’t change. On the contrary, if you want to maximize your customer service capabilities, then you need to optimize your contact center, both in terms of your personnel and the resources at their disposal.

Unified communications can help your company do just that.

UC Benefits

Some of the contact center benefits of UC solutions are obvious. With instant messaging or live chat, for example, support personnel can respond to multiple customer queries simultaneously, whereas the phone limits each employee to a single conversation. Beyond this, many consumers would rather engage with a support agent through web-based instant messaging than by calling the company. That means this single component of UC can significantly improve both agent productivity and customer satisfaction.

That’s not all. UC also offers firms the opportunity to add a wide range of communication channels for read more

Breaking Bad (Trends): The Need for a BYOD Plan

Breaking Bad (Trends): The Need for a BYOD Plan

In the first episode of “Breaking Bad,” Walter White discovers that he has lung cancer. Realizing he has only a few years to live, Walter decides he will do whatever it takes to ensure that his family is financially secure once he passes away. And New Mexico’s newest methamphetamine master is born.

It doesn’t end so well.

What’s this got to do with BYOD? Well, not to put it too drastically, but a lot of employees adopt a Walter White-like approach to ​ the phenomenon. And while it may not lead to the same level of drama, it can certainly cause headaches for business leaders, especially in light of recent developments.

BYOD Breakdown

While BYOD has become increasingly popular in the last few years, not every company is on board. In a lot of cases, corporate decision-makers continue to forbid the use of employee-owned devices for work-related purposes. For these leaders, BYOD is a hassle and a security threat that they want no part of.

But most employees don’t share these concerns. On the contrary, they feel like they need to use their own smartphones read more