TTx guides multiple organizations from small businesses through enterprise-level national organizations through the decision-making process of upgrading their voice system on an ongoing basis. Over the last 5 years, there has been a dynamic increase in the percentage of customers who have determined that a UCaaS solution is right for them. But, the market is still very fluid, leaving a lot of room for confusion.
This article documents an interview with Nate Petry, VP of Business Development at TTx, and Brandon Kenney, our COO as they answer common questions they field as they prudently guide IT Directors through a business phone system upgrade decision.
Question 1: Is there an easy answer for whether or not a company is a good candidate for a rip-and-replace move to a multi-tenant cloud UCaaS solution?
[Brandon] In short, I fundamentally believe that every business should evaluate both premise and cloud design configurations. When we look at the characteristics of their organization, sometimes the answer is fairly clear. Other times there is a need to prioritize internal goals and objectives to clarify the best choice.
Question 2: What are the important business goals and objectives that you’ve seen drive the decision one way or the other?
[Brandon] The first thing we would advise an IT Director do is an initial financial analysis with three major options in mind. 1) What will it cost to maintain and support the system you currently have? 2) What will it cost to upgrade your current on-premise UC solution to bring it into a supported state? 3) What will it cost to migrate to a public UCaaS system? As those costs are all mapped out, the associated costs for human resources, carrier costs, licenses, hardware, etc should all be taken into account.
Question 3: What is a consistent variable amongst IT departments who lead successful new deployments?
[Nate] The companies who take the time to interview key stakeholders across multiple business units early in the process – well before bringing them individual solutions to evaluate – create visible, documented, priorities that serve to highlight or eliminate solutions that are not an institution fit. Once you understand what your people’s problems are today, you can assemble a technology stack that gives them what they need to do their jobs more efficiently. This is especially true for organizations who drive business revenue through phones. The sales or customer service leaders already have an idea of what features or reporting tools their ideal voice solution would give them that they don’t have now.
[Brandon] Every IT Director should be able to find a solution in the marketplace that aligns with the way the business decides they want to answer these 3 questions:
- How does my finance team want to pay for this expense in the budget? (capital or operational Expense)
- Where do I want to put the hardware? (in my server room, or in the cloud)?
- How do I want to manage this system? (with my internal staff, or outsourced as a part of the overall solution)
Question 4: What are some of the market forces that are driving organizations to adopt UCaaS as their next solution?
[Brandon] I think a large majority of the value is that UCaaS aligns with the way the finance department would like to spend money and the way IT budgets are currently built. There has been a strategic shift toward smoothing out costs into predictable monthly expenses. If that is how the organization is prioritizing this expense, that defines a direction.
Question 5: Once a company is aligned internally, what is the next step?
[Nate] Invite a 3rd party who understands the market to make a recommendation based on your stated goals and objectives. You should be able to find at least 2 or 3 service providers who will build a custom demo around your unique environment and present various options to capture the most important opportunities created by a system upgrade. In our experience, most of the time when we see frustration with technology products, that frustration could have been dramatically reduced or avoided altogether. It’s usually either due to the way it was implemented, how it is integrated with another system, or that the customer simply bought a product that wasn’t aligned with their priorities and made an unnecessary compromise.
[Brandon] This process also ensures the potential business advantage is worth the prioritization of this project. Ultimately, it will take a toll on the time of a variety of people in IT. Between managing design meetings, communicating maintenance windows, user training, downtime, etc… there will be a business interruption that will take a toll on your department, and it will be a highly visible project across the entire organization.
While we believe this article pertains to any IT Department who is honestly evaluating the best path forward, our company has been built to guide IT organizations through the process outlined above. We can add value when we are invited to be a part of the research and discovery phase – well before you have identified what you believe to be the best technology solution. There are a lot of variables. There are a lot of products. And there are a lot of marketing message out there that confuse the independent researcher.
We’ve found at TTx is that we can design a solution that will meet the prioritized objectives of any organization. It’s becoming much less about “selling” a phone system, and much more about guiding an organization toward a solution that puts them on the best possible roadmap for their IT environment. Objectively, more organizations are moving their phone systems toward UCaaS, but there are some really great solutions in the gradient between a traditional on-premise UC system, and a pure multi-tenant public cloud solution.
Our process always starts with discovery and design. If you any have questions whatsoever, we’d be happy to help.