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4 SPECIAL DELIVERY: UC COLLABORATION IN THE CLOUD MAKE BETTER CONNECTIONS 5 4 SPECIAL DELIVERY: UC COLLABORATION IN THE CLOUD > CDWG.com | 800.808.4239 COVER STORY rga nization s o nce d epend ed primarily o n materi al resources, internal workers a nd p hysica l d istrib ution to accomplishtheirgoals.Today, success has become contingent on knowledge-based innovation, social networks and digital channels . To ensure the time ly, effec tive e xcha nge of ide as and insights, e nterprises mu st facil itate anytime, anywhere collaboration within and b eyon d their p hysic al w all s. Essentia l enabling technologies include instant messaging, "follow me" telephony, on- demand web conferencing a nd more. Organizations also mustbe smart about how they imp le ment th es e tech nologies. Conventiona l in - housedeployments areless andless attractivetoenterprisesthathave limi ted capi t al bu dgets to i nvest in n ew IT solutions and limited s taff res o urces availab le for m anagi ng and O How cloud-based collaboration technologies help optimize performance in today's knowledge-centric world maintaining those solutions over time. Fortunately,the cloudoffers a highly comp el ling alternative for de pl oyment. With cloud-ba se d un ifi e d communications (UC) and colla boration tools, suchasMicrosoftOffice365and Lync Onl ine, IBM SmartCloud, Google Apps, and CDW C lou d Co lla boration, organi z ations can quic kly implemen t the c apa bi lities they nee d whi le avoiding large capital expenditures. Simply put, cloud-based collaboration offer s many powe rful and uniqu e ways to signi fic antly improve b oth proce sses and outcomes wit h minimal cost, effo rt and di sru pti o n. Cloud Considerations Decision-makers need to consider how to best acqui re and imp le m ent the co llaboration and communications toolstheir organizations need.Hereis w here c lou d -based tec hnology offers an extremely compelling value proposition. What follows are common bene fi ts that,dependingonthe situation, an organi z ation might expect to gain from a cloud-deployed collaboration solution. Little or no c apital exp enditure: Cloud provid ers enable organizations toimplementnew,highlyuseful collaboration technologies without having to ma ke large upfro nt capita l exp enditure s for software l ice ns es , newhardware andthelaboritrequires to in sta ll and co nfigure them. Ins tea d, orga nizati o ns c an leverage a servic e provi der's existi ng infras tru cture andpayfor solutions on a subscription basis as a n operating expense. Expenses tied to upg rade s als o disappea r, as prov id ers au tomatically up g r ade their offerings to clients at no expense to them. Rapid time-to-b enefit: Conventional deployme nts c an take weeks o r months before new colla boration tool s are properly installed and configured. Cloud- based sol u tion s, on the other hand , can be readyto use withinhours. is rapid deployabil ity al so mea ns that c lou d solutions more readily lend themselves to efficient proof-of- con cept p ilots that al low dec ision-makers to full y verify thevalue of a newcollaboration tool before green- lighting a r o llout across the entire organization. Offloa ded managem ent a nd maintenance: Under the cloud mode l, all ongoing management, maintenance and upgradi ng of software, servers , storageandothersolutioncomponents is offl oade d to t he se rvice provider. is all ows o rganizations to a ugment thei r tec hnology portfolios w ith o ut havi ng to hire new staff.Italso allowstheirITstaff to stayfocusedonhigh-valuetasks, rather t han routine technology u pke ep. Adaptive alignmentofcostand ca pacity: Wi th in-h o us e impleme ntations, o rganizations can't eas ily keep their costs and c apa city a lign ed wi th their curre nt needs. Either they overspend on exce ss license s and i nfra structure to en su re th ei r abil ity to a ccommodate possibl e growth indemand, ortheywindupunableto meet that increased demand whe n it occ urs . is conundrum disappears with the cloud because orga n izati o ns ca n simply a dd or su btract from thei r subscr ipt ions as n ecess ary to keeptheir costs andcapacitytightly alignedwiththeirneedsovertime. E asie r, more sec ure e x tension of collaboration tools: To exte nd conventional, internally deployed colla boration system s to mobile us ers , home-based workers and external contractors,ITdepartmentshaveto do a number ofthingsthatcostmoney, take ti me and poten tial ly expose an o rganization's core sys tems to new vulnerabilities. Cloud-based systems p resent none of those di ffic ulties, bec ause anyone log ging i n from anywhere is au thentic ate d a nd give n access to collab o r ation res o urces in the sa me secure ma n ner. Better se r vice levels: Internally deploye d collaborati o n systems are among t he many di verse tec h nol ogi es for whi ch i nternal I T s taff members are responsible. ese diverse responsi bilities limit the sp eed and ski ll with whic h IT staffmembers can respond to any issues that ari se w ith an organ izat ion's collaboration environment. Cloud se rice provide rs are i n a very d ifferent posi tion . e ir technic al staffs are hi g hl y speciali zed in the tec hnology solutions they offer. Plus, their busines s depen ds on su bscription rene wal s --- which,inturn,dependonkeepingtheir cli ents happy. Clou d servi ce provi ders a re thereforebetter able andmore motivated to deliver a hi g her level of ser v ice. ebottomlineisthatcloud-based collab o ration o ffers a n exceptional ly fast, si m pl e a nd cost-effe ctive way to acquire practical commun ication capabilitiesthathave already transformed both i ndividual and organizational performance. Rarely are technology decision-makers presented wit h such a comp el ling o pportunity to achieve substantialbenefitswith such m inimal i nvestmen t , effort a n d risk. Cloud Collaboration Tools Organiz ations can c hoose f ro m a broad range of c o lla boration tools av ail able u nder the cloud m odel, building th ei r own col labora tion port foli os ba se d on 36 IS IT TIME FOR A NETWORK MAKEOVER? 64 POWER AND COOLING FOR SMALL SPACES | THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS FOR PEOPLE WHO GET IT | | MAY2014 | 800.808.4239 | CDWG.com GOVERNMENT CDW•G
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