Tag Archives: cloud communications

Potential sticking points to unified communications

Unified communications has turned the workplace on its head, making home sweet home the new office place. Workers are kissing traffic jams good-bye, and the "daily grind," if you can even call it that, is measured in feet, not miles. To what extent? Well, In 2015, roughly 25 percent of employees worked from home on any given day, based on the latest estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And over the past decade, telecommuting has risen a whopping 115 percent, according to Global Workplace Analytics.

Unified communications has brought convenience back to the modern workplace. It streamlines the interaction process so individuals near and far can talk work through a single server, whether via the cloud, IP telephony or the numerous other channels that fall under the UC umbrella.

Afraid of the cloud? Don't be

Here's the sticking point, though: Businesses aren't exactly flocking to the cloud in droves. In fact, while 70 percent of business owners have at least considered using one communication provider rather than several, according to statistics compiled by Inc., only 19 percent have actually pulled the trigger, this according to computer security services firm Bird Rock Systems.

Why the slow transition? For one, change is always hard, especially for those who prefer face-to-face interaction. Cybersecurity is never far from business owners' minds, either, and unfamiliarity with the cloud can bring those thoughts to the fore. 

Just remember that being unacquainted with cloud computing security shouldn't suggest that it lacks in protection. In fact, According to Clutch, 90 percent of companies who use the cloud for data storage find it to be as good or better than an on-site servers at protecting their information!

New technology doesn't always cause headaches 

Because UC systems makes their bones by facilitating multiple communications systems, your mind may associate UC with technical problems. That's why selecting the right partner is so critical – wink, wink. But really, great customer service and a best-in-class network can go a long way.

Plus, companies are already planning ahead for these types of adjustments, as 21 percent of CIOs say they'll add full-time tech professionals to their staff this year, according to a poll from Robert Half. Why? Twenty-four percent said it had to do with cloud migration or big data.

From efficiency to productivity, increased engagement to cost containment, the return on investment makes unified communications the business solution that simply gets the job done – both inside and outside the office.

CloudTalk: Shred the WebiGnar

Carving through the epic trees at Vail you’ll find Connor McKeown — a self-proclaimed weekend warrior with a yen for the Colorado outdoors. On any given powder day, skiing is his full-time job. However, between snowstorms we have him and his team to thank for their steadfast engineering and infrastructural support of ReadyTalk. Here are his reflections on reaching a company milestone, plus the stand-out stories of the office we know and love.   

Q: Looking back at your time here, what was the most impressive moment for your team?

A: There are many that come to mind but one in particular I will never forget. Throughout 2015, we had a company goal of hitting 60,000 active ReadyTalk access codes in a rolling 30-day period. In other words, 60,000 individuals with ReadyTalk login credentials were using their accounts within a 30-day window. In November of that year, we hit our goal. It was exciting — both for the new guys like me and for the ReadyTalkers that worked so hard to achieve it. So, as you’d expect, we ended up at our favorite local spot to celebrate. The party fell on my first day at ReadyTalk — talk about a warm welcome.

Q: Can you think of a time when you had to react quickly to a technical problem?

A: Not long ago our engineering team had a scheduled boot drive upgrade for a subset of our production system infrastructure. That’s tech speak for “new hardware.” Even though it was on the calendar with plenty of attention and preparation beforehand, it did not go smoothly. A handful of us were up all night working though our contingency plans — several of which failed as a result of a third-party installation. Although this caused an overnight snafu at the time, it brought out the best in everyone from our team. When all hands were on deck during this unforeseen event, it definitely made me proud of my colleagues. We work with vendors that supply some of our infrastructure services; which are essential for ReadyTalk to run at full capacity. Sometimes the glitch is out of your control, but our engineers know how to pull through in a tough situation to keep our services operating at the level our customers expect.

Q: What makes ReadyTalk such a great place to work?

A: It’s true that we have a lot of fun while at the office, but we also like to do off-site events. Several teams find their way to Top Golf for team outings. One of my teams made 150 sack lunches to give out to homeless people and then we followed up the good deed with a Rockies game that afternoon. A common thread that ties our company together is the idea of getting to know each other. Not just someone’s “working self” but building actual friendships that strengthen our professional identities. It works very well and transcends our daily work responsibilities. On the engineering side, our systems that support ReadyTalk products are quite complicated, but my peers are great at explaining things clearly so that anyone in the business can understand. I truly love being associated with some of the smartest people I’ve ever known. Hopefully one of these days it rubs off on me haha.

3 Ways ITExp0 2017 Can Transform Your Company’s Communications

3 ways to enjoy ITExpoReadyTalk is thrilled to be a first-time sponsor of ITExpo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this year! ITExpo is a communications-solutions event for engineers, IT managers, business owners and C-Level execs. As the communications industry continues to evolve, attendees enjoy coming to ITExpo to meet and hear from hundreds of solutions providers – all in a single place. It’s also a great event to learn best practices on how to improve efficiency, reduce cost and increase productivity.

As a first timer at this event, we’re not sure what to expect, but here are 3 things we can’t wait for.

1. Network with fellow cloud communications solutions experts.

We can’t wait to meet over 6,000 like-minded communications experts to exchange best practices and stories. Not only do we get to talk with like minded people, we get to see the latest technologies that enable people to better communicate – beacons, AI, virtual reality and more.

Because we’re always innovating, we’re looking forward to getting new ideas and sharing some of ours.

2. Learn more about and share ideas about the evolution of work.

The future of work is now — remote working, appealing to Millennials in the workforce, project-based work, mobile technology and more. We’ve been championing these evolving workforce ideas for more than 15 years, since the company was created. And many of these ideas and practices are already in the workforce. But what about tomorrow — Generation Z, AI, virtual reality and augmented reality?

We have some thoughts. While we’re at ITExpo, we’ll be sharing our most recent findings on the future of the workforce and how MSPs can adapt during the MSPExpo. Here are the details:

  • Title: The Future of the Workplace and MSPs
  • Speaker: Matt DiRienzo, Product Manager, Unified Communications
  • When: Friday, February 10 at 10 a.m. ET
  • Where: MSP-14

3. Get cool swag and be reminded of awesome companies.

It wouldn’t be a real trade show without tons of swag. We have our sights set on some cool apparel like socks. We know they’re all the rage.

We’ll have swag, too. In fact, our booth is going to be chock-full o’ swag, waiting for friendly faces to come by and spin our prize wheel! If you’re attending, stop by!

Win prizes at ReadyTalk booth #229.

4 Tech Tools IT Needs to Rethink

There are a few tools and workplace strategies today’s employees may not be using properly, and may not know it. These tools may be wasting money, gathering dust or not relevant anymore. Or worse, maybe all of those together at once! Don’t waste time, money and tech.

4 tech tools IT needs to rethinkAnd while you’re at it, consider how the workforce is changing and has already changed. Your employees are working remotely; that’s only increasing in frequency. Sales people are often at the office of your prospects and customers. IT personnel are working on servers at the data center. Marketing professionals are meeting with prospects at a trade show across the country. That doesn’t include all the doctor’s visits, dentist appointments, kids’ parties and more your employees are attending. Going mobile will increase productivity and ensure your workforce is still connected.

That’s why you need to rethink this technology in the office:

1. Desk phones

We live and work in a highly mobile world now, so there is no longer a need for the vast majority of employees to have and use desk phones. Instead, employers should empower their workers by providing them with work smartphones or implementing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy and reimbursing them for any added expenses.

Using smartphones, companies can use cloud communications, like hosted voice, to ensure people are contacted on their mobile device. It’s affordable and efficient.

2. Hard drive storage

Businesses thrive on easy access to necessary information. If your employees are storing their documents on outdated hard drives – or worse, on their desktop computer – your IT department is not only behind the times, but may also be putting your data at risk.

Hard drives are not a secure storage option, which is why your company should consider updating to the cloud. It’s secure. It’s affordable. And it’s usually saving your IT personnel time.

3. Email and instant message (IM)

A large portion of companies use free or low-cost email service providers. While convenient, these tools don’t maximize worker efficiency. Consider adding instant message (IM) to the mix to enable employees to easily contact each other. Again, cloud communications make that easy. Because let’s face it, there are a times a quick text is better than getting an email, especially when you’re on-the-go.

4. Video conferencing tools

If you aren’t using video conferencing tools to connect with employees, talk with prospects or get customer feedback, you’re missing out. It’s efficient and effective. Face-to-face communication is always best and video gets you one step closer, even as your workforce is busy. There are lightweight solutions that are affordable, like FoxDen, a product powered by ReadyTalk.

5 Tips on Moving to the Cloud

Move to the cloudCloud computing will continue to grow over the next few years. If your business is done with handling bulky, expensive on-premises IT systems, consider moving to the cloud today. It’ll free up IT resources, streamline and add to your productivity, enable your remote workers, provide business recovery benefits and more.

If you’re like most people, though, you have fears of moving to the cloud — from talking with employees about which data moves to security. Address those fears and get the most out of your move. Here are five tips on how to start:

1. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing

You don’t have to be fully on-premises or in the cloud. Many companies benefit from a hybrid IT environment. If you don’t believe you can move all your operations to the cloud, choose the ones that you can and keep the rest in-house.

2. Create goals

You need to develop a mix of short- and long-term goals for what you want to accomplish through moving to the cloud. This way, you’ll know you’ll be on track for reaching your main objective — a successful cloud migration.

3. Improve communication channels

Everyone should be in the loop during a major IT system restructuring like this. Take time to keep everyone informed and give periodic updates or hold Q&A sessions to give employees a chance to respond. This involves bringing them into the process before decisions are made. This will increase buy-in and ensure a higher adoption rate.

4. Address security concerns

Due to many high-profile data breaches in recent years, your clients and personnel may be concerned about the security risks from a cloud migration. Despite these worries, many companies actually boost their security abilities by switching to a cloud storage provider. Address their concerns to alleviate fears.

5. Use this time to consolidate and reorder data

Like spring cleaning, moving to a cloud-based data center is a great time to consolidate and get rid of excessive data or structures that are no longer relevant or needed. Again, you don’t have to do all or nothing.

Need more tips?

Get more information in our ebook (PDF), Move to the Cloud. You can even start small and move your communications system to the cloud.

Go Cloud Communications