The art of lowering costs with cloud communications

Posted on 14 Jul 2022 by The Manufacturer
Partner Content

Ask anyone experienced with creating business cases about what percent is art vs science, and behind closed doors, they’ll confess that a large portion is artistic. When it comes to creating a business case that estimates cost savings from moving communications to the cloud, there are five areas that often go undervalued in the analysis and with one in five roles in manufacturing being able to be carried out remotely, there has never been a better reason to consider that move.

Including these topics in your evaluation will ensure, if not a scientific, then at least a well-thought-out artistic point of view:

1.  Unify management of all locations

Manufacturers often operate multiple communications systems and related applications across several locations. Managing these multiple communications systems and related applications consumes a great deal of staff and IT team time, as people need to learn and maintain these systems.

The impact of consolidating all of those applications down to just one considerably reduces the amount of resources required to maintain and support your estate. Additionally, a SaaS application should not require extensive training before users can be up and using it.

2. Enable transition to work anywhere experience

For manufacturers, a hybrid working model is a little more challenging given that the majority of roles need to be onsite. However, with 19%-23% of roles being able to be carried out effectively from home, manufacturers are requiring solutions that work on any device with a consistent experience across softphone, PC/Mac, iOS, and Android mobile applications, and IP handsets for “ward” phone use cases.

These applications must also be able to work over both secure internet, public internet, home broadband, 3G, 4G, and 5G, as well as make use of GSM mobile minutes for staff working in rural areas.

3. Single security module model

Cloud communications platform providers must be able to evidence Tier 1 UK data centres (more than one) where geographically redundant data traffic routing is used to provide at least 99.99% uptime, as part of a contractual SLA for both business communications and contact centre. Call quality SLA’s should also be provided at a MOS level of 3.0 or greater. Of course, GDPR, ISO 27001/9001, and Cyber Essentials+ accreditations must be in place to ensure that local government standards around data privacy and security are met.

What’s the cost of having to conduct multiple security audits to cover different applications?

Is it worth considering the cost-saving that can be realised between managing the security and compliance of a single provider vs managing multiple suppliers?

4. Integrate with key ICT platforms

Many manufacturers effectively leveraged Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams to quickly adjust to remote working. Companies using Teams also need capabilities to enable collaboration with external parties, such as suppliers and service provider partners. 8×8 integrates with over 50 applications, including Microsoft teams. Switchboard, contact centre and external digital communication channels, such as SMS and chat apps, integrate with Microsoft Teams to ensure that it remains at the centre of collaboration technology.

Not all integrations are equal. Using a true cloud-to-cloud integration with Microsoft should be favoured over more basic direct routing, where traditional SIP trunking and potentially on-premises SBC’s would be required.

5. Improve the customer experience

Improving the customer experience starts with the assumption that you understand what the experience is today, which can be difficult to quantify.

Do you have visibility into all the communication touch points, as well as the customer experience at each one? Are you able to quantify the impact of improving the experience?

Research consistently shows that improving the experience has a positive impact—but by how much?  This is where the details underpinning the business case can get fuzzy.

Find out more about the keys to extending your Teams capability, unlocking company-wide collaboration and maximising your investment. Download the magazine Digital Communications for Manufacturers today.

Alternatively, contact 8×8 for more information.