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Enterprise Mobility & Collaboration

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form of data-transfer rates. And to be honest, on-premise systems are not really designed to do that. They're de- signed to lock things down and make it difficult to get in and out," says Mr Roberts. The nature of the cloud, whereby you can scale up and down easily and just pay for what you use, also means that you don't have to make huge up-front investments to shift your organisation towards a more integrated approach to communications. Richard Atkinson, chief information officer for the world's largest fundraising platform JustGiv - ing, advises companies simply to try out cloud for collaboration where they can instead of focusing too much on creating a cumbersome strategy. JustGiving is using Salesforce to col - laborate with charities in the cloud, allowing it to on-board new partners and to manage those relationships on a global basis. "People feel the burden of having to create a strategy; it creates the conno - tation that the strategy you set now has to be valid for the next five years. And people start to think about how we as IT professionals used to buy systems, when we did buy them on five-year deals and we felt that lock-in. I'd advise companies to just try some stuff. "The wonderful thing about the cloud is that the entry level is very cheap; don't think you're making a decision you're going to have to live with for five years. It's a more agile way of thinking." However, shifting from using telephone calls and e-mail to do business, to an always-on, unified commu - nications platform distrib- uted across a number of re- al-time channels can create some cultural challenges and cause some resistance among employees. Mike Wilkinson, vice pres - ident of product marketing at Broadsoft, a global pro- vider of unified commu- nications and collabora- tion services, advises that his most successful customers are the ones who identify a champion to promote the benefits of cloud across their business. "Make sure you have a champion who is responsible for the propagation of the cloud service within the organisation – that's one of the most critical aspects. If there's nobody who's the owner of the service, you run into more issues," says Mr Wilkinson. "Make sure there is a process of us - er-training and user-understanding. The best way of achieving success is ensuring you have a champion within the organisation who is working with the cloud provider to push it through the company. What we do with a lot of our customers is produce a very large range of tutorials that help them use all the various systems, which really increases adoption." T he use of technology to facil- itate the flow of information and ideas between employees, stakeholders and customers has long been a necessity for companies. But for too long this has meant rely - ing on the use of fixed line telephones and clunky e-mail systems, which ha- ven't given companies the freedom to be mobile or integrate communications with other business applications. For example, if someone e-mails a docu - ment for you to look at, traditionally you would download the attachment, make amendments, write notes in a separate document or system and then e-mail it all back. Hardly very efficient. However, operating in these silos is quickly becoming a thing of the past, thanks to the growth of cloud-based platforms, which allow businesses to col - laborate across a number of integrated channels that are delivered as a service via a web browser or mobile application in real time. Companies are now gaining a competi - tive advantage by using instant messaging tools to deliver and receive quick updates, by creating social media platforms to bring their employees and partners together in a dynamic online community and by making video calls to cut down on travel costs. Adopting this approach means no longer limiting yourself to rigid sys - tems that have to be used on-site. Businesses can now collaborate in the cloud across new channels that are ac- cessible from a mobile, tablet or desk- top, wherever they are. For example, Pizza Hut is using Micro- soft's Yammer platform as a social media and communities tool to engage with the company's front-line staff in restaurants across the country. Head of communi - cations Gareth Hopley explains that the cloud platform has allowed Pizza Hut to engage with its employee base in a way that it hasn't been able to do previously because 90 per cent of its staff aren't con - nected to the corporate network and are spread across the UK. Pizza Hut can now communicate and collaborate with its staff, all day, every day, using Yammer, which can be down - loaded and accessed on any employee's mobile phone. "The communications challenge we had wasn't unique – how do you speak to the people that serve your guests on a daily basis? How do you engage that workforce to the point where they un - derstand the priorities and goals of what you're trying to do as a business?" says Mr Hopley. "We want to be a front-to-back, in - stead of a top-down, business. The most important people in this busi- ness are the ones that work in the restaurant – they're the face of the brand. These people never had a voice, but they are now making sugges - tions and trying to improve things operationally. "They're giving us feedback on what customers are experi- encing live in the restaurants. In board meetings our mem- bers actually pose questions on Yammer and ask for feed- back that we can act on direct- ly. The ability to access it with- out much effort is fantastic." M&C Saatchi, the largest in- dependent creative agency in the world, is also using the cloud to improve collabora- tion in its business. However, unlike Pizza Hut, its challenge has been around communicating with clients on creative projects in real time, when those clients could be based anywhere in the world. Alistair Roberts, head of IT at the agency, explains that M&C Saatchi has begun using Egnyte to address this. Egnyte works by replicating on-prem - ise file servers into the cloud, which can then also be replicated any number of times to any number of locations. This means that for M&C Saatchi it can rep - licate images of large art works to the cloud, and let clients access and collab- orate on them via their web browsers, without having to attempt to send them as large attachments in e-mail, which slows down the process. "The problem with using on-premise collaboration tools is that you have to get people in and out of your premises. And if you're a global organisation like we are and you're dealing with people on the other side of the planet, then you've got physical limitations in the Unifying a business at your service Unified communications as a service or UCaaS, hosted by a third party in the cloud, enables organisations to be agile and collaborate like never before AS A SERVICE DEREK DU PREEZ Share this article on social media via raconteur.net Cloud-based platforms allow businesses to collaborate across a number of integrated channels that are delivered as a service via a web browser or mobile application in real time WHERE ORGANISATIONS ARE SPENDING THEIR BUDGET 47% Web, audio and video- conferencing services 44% IP telephony calling and management 42% E-mail, fax and voicemail, including unified messaging MAIN CHALLENGES FACED BY COMPANIES WHEN IMPLEMENTING UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS AND COLLABORATION SOLUTIONS Source: IDG Enterprise 2015 Source: IDG Enterprise 2015 estimated global UCaaS market by 2017, equal to 18.8% growth each year $4.1bn Source: Canalys 2013 26% Network bandwidth limitation 25% End-user adopting "workarounds" to company-sanctioned solutions 25% Lack of expertise/skill sets 23% Difficulty quantifying return on investment 21% Finding a solution that meets the needs of various functions or stakeholders 41% Cost/funding 36% Security/privacy concerns 33% Integration with existing infrastructure 30% User quality/experience 27% End-users are not trained to use the technology 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ENTERPRISE MOBILITY & COLLABORATION | 13 RACONTEUR | 04 / 08 / 2015 raconteur.net

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