Navigating your journey to the cloud for collaboration

Almost overnight, enterprises worldwide equipped workers with collaboration tools to work at home. Today, MIT says nearly half of workers are working from home. As a result, Gartner predicts the global web conferencing market to grow 24% in 2020, arguing that by 2024, in-person meetings will account for just 25% of enterprise meetings, down from 60% pre-pandemic.

As the shock of the new fades, enterprises must take stock of what they’ve learned and consider which digital tools will help them handle more complex business needs. The normalization of remote collaboration requires more than just changing the books on the shelf for a Zoom meeting. Business needs must be identified, delivery strategized, and businesses must learn how to manage what will likely become hybrid multi-cloud environments, while also bringing these in within budget and on schedule.

Take contact centers as an example of these new complexities. Now, contact center staff are working from home, surely it makes sense to adopt contact center as a service (CCaaS), but should it be self-hosted, in the cloud or via multiple clouds? Which services match the regulatory environment? And how to handle operatives on different carriers? There is no one-size-fits-all approach, which means deployment decisions will differ between companies.

This Orange Business customer case study demonstrates how one company chose to navigate their cloud journey.

The global snack giant, Mondelēz, known for brands such as Cadbury, Chips Ahoy!, Oreo and Ritz, has 80,000 employees across approximately 80 countries. It was searching for a solution that would eliminate all legacy PBX systems and allow Mondelēz the flexibility and scale to support growth and expansion into new markets.

The company chose Microsoft Teams as their collaboration platform, migrating their users from various legacy PBX systems, and chose Orange Business to manage their global communications platform end to end, including providing unique voice capabilities in markets such as China, India, the Middle East and Russia. Orange is also acting as an integrator, utilizing various ecosystem partners to provide reliable voice and video solutions for additional functionality. Mondelēz’s new, cloud-based contact center platform will leverage the Orange global network and employ advanced analytics, automation and AI capabilities. This will enhance various business functions, such as HR, payroll and customer care, improving the customer journey experience and providing greater insights.

On-premise, hybrid or cloud?

The case study shows use of cloud-based, rather than on-premise, systems is in line with global purchasing patterns. An IDC study claims use of premise-based collaboration systems shrank from 65% to 45% between 2017 and 2020.

Why? In part because cloud-based solutions for collaboration and telephony are easier to scale, deploy and manage than on-premises solutions. Take the provisioning of a phone number: this process once took weeks working with a carrier, now it can be transacted in a few clicks on the Orange Business remote management interface.

Cloud service providers are also motivated to focus on quality of service, new feature development and integration into real-world business scenarios. In contrast, enterprises reliant on on-premise systems are encountering barriers around interoperability, new features and lack of multi-platform support.

The trend toward cloud services comes as budgeting decisions favor operational above infrastructure investments, particularly post pandemic. Predictably priced, cloud-based systems are a natural choice in this environment.

What’s happening in the real world?

When it comes to telephony, customers are choosing both public and private cloud. Telephony is not as simple as conferencing. When choosing these solutions, staffing, support and integration must be considered. Migration can be extensive, and the chosen platform may not address all your needs, particularly in terms of regulation and international reach.

Most businesses use public cloud for conferencing (including video), though larger entities (particularly regulated multinationals grappling with divergent regulatory environments) still prefer private cloud solutions. Large international businesses also face the challenge that some services (such as Microsoft Teams) may not be supported in every country in which they do business, prompting adoption of a multi-cloud approach. Download this custom white paper to learn more about this important topic.

Adding an additional layer of complexity, most enterprises now support BYOD and employee device choice, which also means solutions need to support multiple platforms. Summing up, the work-from-home environment is multi-platform, multi-cloud services and inherently agile.

Lenny Krol
Lenny Krol

Lenny has been in the collaboration space for over 20 years and heads up Collaboration Solutions for the Americas at Orange Business. His main focus is solving customer business challenges with innovative Orange collaboration and contact center solutions. In his spare time, Lenny enjoys outdoor activities such as backpacking, biking, skiing and spending time with his family.