3 Reasons SMBs Like Hybrid Unified Communications
Written by Pam Bednarczyk, Content Marketing Manager | March 03, 2016
Small to mid-sized businesses face many of the same challenges as larger enterprises: fast-moving, competitive markets, meeting demand for high service levels and the need to launch products quickly. But unlike bigger firms, SMBs don’t have vast resources at their disposal. Without a lot of slack in either teams or budgets, it’s imperative for them to get more from both.
While many smaller companies see the cloud as a solution to this squeeze – 90% of SMBs now plan to harness cloud technology in the next year – fully embracing cloud solutions isn’t always the ideal. For example, some businesses worry about reduced performance, control and security that may come from moving everything to the cloud.
Thus, it’s not surprising that an increasing number of organizations find a compromise solution attractive; hybrid brings the best of both onsite and cloud solutions. In fact, tech researcher Techaisle reports that hybrid cloud accounts for 32 percent of cloud using mid-market businesses today, and was expected to capture a similar proportion of new spending in 2015.
For SMBs, hybrid communications provide all the benefits of a pure cloud – shared services, scalability, reduced cost, greater agility – along with the performance and control of onsite systems. This combination is attractive to SMBs, which value flexibility as a necessary component for growth.
3 Reasons Companies Prefer Hybrid Solutions:
1. Greater Flexibility, Today and in the Future. With a hybrid communications solution, SMBs can deploy new services easily from the cloud, without worrying about creating additional work for their IT team. As business requirements change – new remote locations are added, for example, or temporary lines are needed to handle an unexpected upswing in calls – the IT infrastructure can immediately adapt. Because a hybrid communications solution such as ShoreTel Connect HYBRID Sites is based on a common platform for cloud and onsite, hybrid deployments are easy to administer with common dial plans, directories and four-digit dialing whether service is being delivered from the cloud or from headquarters. Employees get the same features from all their devices, whether they are in the office or on the road. And best of all, you don’t have to know exactly how your communications needs will develop over time; HYBRID Sites is based on a common platform that works with what you already have, you can move to the cloud as the business need requires.
2. Productivity on Demand. Hybrid cloud communications solutions allow SMBs to empower employees with tools that increase productivity such as Scribe, which transcribes voicemails to emails, or a unified company directory that allows employees, partners and customers to collaborate across teams. A hybrid deployment also enables a smarter utilization of internal resources. For example, IT staff can focus on the areas where their expertise is most needed since the cloud-based branches are managed, maintained and updated remotely by the ShoreTel datacenter.
3. Maintain Local Control. Some SMBs have been reluctant to move all of their IT infrastructure to the cloud. With a hybrid deployment, organizations can maintain control of hardware located onsite, such as an onsite phone system, and deploy cloud-based phone systems and apps for branch offices. A hybrid phone solution like ShoreTel Connect HYBRID Sites provides the benefits of both models, even as it significantly reduces risk.
With lower costs and greater flexibility, it may seem inevitable that businesses will embrace full cloud solutions. But while that may make sense for larger enterprises, many SMBs will prefer to realize all the benefits of a hybrid communications solution well into the future.