Cloud, cloud, cloud – that is the noise consuming the tech airwaves. Most businesses are moving from one-time big technology purchases to paid monthly subscriptions that provide automatic updates, security, and advanced features provided over a secured internet connection. But should every software application, business voice connection, device, and server be moved to the cloud? That's what this blog will address and when and if a cloud and onsite combination is right for you.
What are the advantages of cloud technology? The cloud provides rich features, collaboration, and the ability to access technology from nearly anywhere – all for a set monthly fee. Big out-of-pocket capital expenditures are no longer a limitation for technology purchases, giving small companies comparable access to the same advanced technology as their larger competitors.
But that is only half of the story. Data vulnerability in the cloud has made many cloud features unavailable to compliant regulated industries like banking and healthcare. Furthermore, in compliant environments and mid-large sized organizations, being able to regulate when new features are released and made available can be a must for maintaining healthy operations.
Does this mean that data-sensitive organizations regulated by compliance have to forgo cloud rich features such as call triage, ring groups, video conferencing, contact center tools & CRM integration? Not anymore. Mitel's MiCloud Flex provides small-to-mid-sized organizations with just the right mix of onsite controls and cloud flexibility to power all types of communication, across multiple locations and security layers.
MiCloud Flex Customer Story
In the past, if you were purchasing or upgrading your business phone system, you had to provide a user count and would receive a recommend product and price based on that factor alone. The business communication buying experience is evolving, and customers today are looking for technology providers who understand that the communication system has to be customized to fit specific needs and expectations (like the story below).
Blue Fox Group had the privilege of working with a local TV and Appliance shop here in the Phoenix area. They have several retail storefronts and wanted a way to unify all their communication, including incoming phone calls, video conferencing, and online customer communication with one, secure unified application.
At the time, this TV and Appliance retailer had many challenges to overcome. They had 13 locations, serving over 250 employees. They wanted cloud-rich features such as triage, auto-attendant, and single-line appearance, which are only found in a cloud-based system, and they wanted to maintain the ability to program buttons and secure data which is only available with an on-premises system. Not to mention, they wanted to find a way to drastically lower their monthly carrier service costs associated with multiple phone and conference lines and internet services. Ultimately, they wanted a boutique experience at an off-the-shelf price.
The Rest of the Customer Story
Blue Fox Group implemented the MiCloud Flex platform that combined the flexibility of cloud-based business phone functionality with the controls of a function-rich on-premise system, giving this retailer the following:
- The flexibility to create a customized communication environment. They could now program lines, triage calls, and create custom ring groups to answer to place callers on-hold without getting lost in the mix.
- Because may of the features and applications were in the cloud, they did not have to manage the entire system themselves.
- Integrated Contact Center controls such as customer history and notes in the CRM, and text and emails could be easily accessed during any call.
- As their employee count grew during holiday seasons, they could scale up and down in user count, and add features at their own pace.
- Consistent employee experience was a real plus considering employees could service clients both from the store or the warehouse, regardless of location.
- Onsite communication controls allowed the internal IT so manage software updates and to decide when to roll out system updates when it worked for the internal team.
- Geo-redundant data centers ensured that their phone systems would never go down.
- Cloud performance enhanced through SD Wan controls make sure that certain lines and applications were given priority on the internet and were always running at fast and optimal speeds.
MiCloud Flex Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
In addition to designing a feature-rich, flexible, and secure communication system, we are often asked about security and local support. Here is a quick list of answers we provide to frequently asked questions around cloud implementations and hybrid technology options.
1. Is MiCloud Flex Safe?
We felt this needed to be included because any organization regulated by compliance laws will often rule out a cloud solution. MiCloud Flex is housed in tier 4, geo-resilient data centers. Each customer is housed in their own instance, keeping data secure. This structure is what keeps Mitel Flex secure despite the enormous amount of customization that is available with this solution. MiCloud Flex is fully compliant with HIPPA and SOC2 certifications that assure confidentiality and privacy of information processed by the system.
2. Does local support really matter, and why consider it?
We believe it does because technology is never turn-key, and training is a major factor in making the technology work for your unique way of doing business. Getting employees on-board and using any technology to its full potential is the best way to justify the investment.
Unfortunately, support can be a headache when you have to call separate vendors for phone, internet, and software support. When you need support, you might find yourself waiting in long queues and explaining your "case" many times over to different support representatives. Working with Blue Fox Group means you are working with local experienced IT partners who understand your entire network (not just the phones) and can help you resolve issues quickly. Yes, we strongly believe that local matters.
Want to Discuss Your Communication Options?
Blue Fox Group helps clients take a long view of their business so they can make better decisions in the short term. We approach business as a partnership between your team and our ability to apply expertise to help solve problems and streamline processes. Technology is just one of the ways we do that. We bring expertise to provide project consulting, long-term IT planning, budgeting, technology procurement, and integration with nearly every type of technology that "connects" your business inside and out. If you want to learn how to leverage technology to build better and more connected experiences with your customers, simply click the button below to start a conversation with us.