We believe there are many reasons to migrate your organisation’s applications to the cloud, not least of which are cost savings, streamlined operations, redeployment of resources, reskilling of your internal teams and talent retention.
In this blog, I answer some of the frequently asked questions about moving applications to the cloud, so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right thing for your organisation.
1. Is it secure and where is my data?
“Is it secure?” is one of the most commonly asked questions about the cloud. But as the cloud has become universal in organisations, the nature of the question has changed.
Every year, major cloud providers spend billions to make their cloud services stable, robust and secure. Security measures and compliance certifications are available for all to see, and Jamisi’s cloud offering is as secure as it gets in terms of compliance, governance and physical security.
The result? Today, almost everyone accepts that the cloud is secure. The conversation now is less around how secure it is and more around data control. It’s essential that organisations understand where their data lives, where it may go and who can access it in order to feel comfortable with moving to the cloud.
A lack of understanding around how the cloud works is a barrier to adoption for many organisations. In the UK, law firms are amongst some of the most cautious adopters of cloud solutions, largely because of questions about where confidential client data will reside and who can access it.
There needs to be an understanding that, by its very nature, the cloud exists in multiple locations – and your data can too. The cloud gives customers choice here, different services having different options about where data is stored, but it’s important that well informed decisions are made in this regard.
Organisations need to know what they are letting themselves in for and understand how data will be stored and accessed which needs a complex, but not impossible, discussion about trust and understanding. In our experience, anyone who truly understands the options and how the cloud works has been confident in making an informed decision based on facts not fear.
2. Will all my IT staff be out of work/redundant?
Generally, there isn’t a direct correlation between adopting cloud services and IT staff being let go. We prefer to see this as freeing up IT staff to focus on more strategic tasks.
Whether they’re in retail, manufacturing, healthcare or any other sector, businesses are trying to be ‘the best’ and provide the best service to their customers. IT should enable them to do that. It should be a supporter and enabler for a business to do its job and operate at its highest level. And for organisations that are held back by inefficient, outdated IT systems, embracing the cloud is one way to make improvements.
Few organisations today choose to use physical servers; they are costly, require office space and need people to maintain and manage them. Solutions Exchange Online are making delivery of common IT services easier, better and lower cost, and like it or not, the requirement for on-premise skills will reduce as cloud adoption becomes the new norm. As IT evolves, the skillset of IT teams needs to evolve with it, or face being left behind.
Traditional Exchange Server and the move to Exchange Online is a perfect example of the cloud enabling organisations to be ‘always current’ and move away from the classic 3-4-year major upgrade cycle with on-premise systems. The problems associated with these upgrade cycles is a large factor in why some legacy systems are allowed to go stale and not keep pace with business requirements. In 2020, with so many cloud advantages, it’s hard to imagine an IT team not well versed in Cloud solutions.
Cloud migration, where it is delivering improved productivity and user experience also has the potential to assist an organisation to attract and retain talent. Employees are an organisation’s most valuable and expensive asset. Finding talent is expensive, and not all acquisitions work out. Give your people rubbish IT or fail to keep up with the pace of change, and they’ll quickly become frustrated. Giving your teams the tools to do their jobs effectively – whether cloud or otherwise – means they’ll be the best versions of themselves and deliver the best for your customers.
3. Scalability: how does cloud allow businesses to scale up or down as needed?
There’s no doubt that the cloud gives businesses options that they didn’t have before.
Before the cloud, businesses would buy a server upfront and pay not just for the server but all its associated costs: a datacentre, power, air-conditioning, admins and back-up tapes, and software to deploy onto the server. The bill can run into thousands before an organisation gets any value from it at all. With all this removed from the equation, the cloud lets businesses rescale their compute to meet demand and turn it down when it’s not needed in a ‘pay as you use, pay as you get value’ model.
At its simplest, if we take a start-up. The cloud lets you turn on business systems such for five users, for example, and pay for the service as they’re using; that’s it. No upfront hardware investment, no storage, air-con or licence costs, and reduced reliance on IT teams to look after the service. Agile companies that are scaling quickly can leverage the cloud to scale the business as far as they want and only pay for what they use – even if that’s 100 staff one week and 10 the next. The cost rises and falls with headcount giving flexibility that simply didn’t exist before.
4. Will I need to reconfigure or rebuild as part of a move to the cloud?
The cloud is fundamentally built on different principles, with different options and features available. While it’s possible to take an old system and stick it in the cloud, it will be a cloud-hosted, old system; not a flexible, cloud solution. To truly leverage cloud’s powerful capabilities, in many cases you will need to rebuild and reconfigure – not because this is the best way of doing it, but because it is the only way to fully take advantage of the cloud.
5. Which applications should I move to the cloud, avoiding the ‘lift and shift’?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding which applications to move to the cloud; this will be unique to each organisation. But when assessing and evaluating your applications, you might find some lend themselves to being delivered via the cloud more than others.
Some old systems and apps were expensive at the time of purchase and continue to be expensive to manage. Exchange on-premise is a good example. Exchange Online is infinitely cheaper and easier to run than on-premise, so it doesn’t make sense to keep this on-prem instead of in the cloud. And certain apps, such as major CRM systems, are so effective when cloud-delivered, that it makes complete sense to use them.
Even if you have a heavily customised or custom-built solution with no cloud equivalent, you can still move that system to the cloud. Take SaaS (Software as a Service); if there’s a cloud-based SaaS solution that is like-for-like for what you have on-premise, it makes sense to move and take advantage of licensing support that’s included in the cost. But if there isn’t a SaaS solution available, you can lift and shift your own. While this is the simplest and easiest way, organisations should remember that moving existing applications to the cloud often means moving the inherent challenges of the original application, too.
As a rule, if you have an application that is inefficient in terms of benefits and cost, and there’s a better way of doing it in the cloud, that’s one to move. If there isn’t a better cloud alternative, then don’t. No organisation should be forced to adopt the cloud, and not necessarily everything should move.
Every organisation can almost certainly gain advantage by leveraging cloud services, but that’s not to say that every system or application is necessarily right for the cloud.
Not all cloud solutions are the same. If you’re in a position to head in this direction, it is important to use this time to form a sound strategy and ask some questions. For example, what do you need your new communications system to do for your business? What features should it have? What can you compromise on—and what can you not do without?
With coronavirus forcing the world to lock down and keep its distance, many businesses with an eye on the future are choosing to fast-track their digital transformation. Digital tools have enabled people to stay connected, fed, well stocked and productive—and this will only continue in the weeks and months to come. In the meantime, it has made a serious impact on the way we do business, and cloud communications is taking center stage.
Businesses today need more than just phones and email. They need mobility, reliability, simplicity and security. They need a communications platform that will help their employees collaborate with ease—no matter where they are or what device they use. In fact, flexibility is a key reason many businesses are eyeing the cloud and weighing solutions like Jamisi Cloud Solutions.
With so much to consider, the job of evaluating communication services can be incredibly difficult. But the more you understand what you need and what’s available in the market today, the easier the choice becomes.
Here are the 10 most important features to prioritize as you compare private cloud solutions.
1. More Control Over Upgrades And Maintenance
When you move to a public cloud unified communications solution, you’re typically at the mercy of general maintenance windows, with little to no control over when updates occur. This is both frustrating and inconvenient.
Instead, Jamisi Cloud Solutions offers complete control over maintenance and upgrade windows. You can perform upgrades and other maintenance activities during a specified time frame of your choosing. Our approach reduces the overall impact of a system outage, increasing reliability and performance.
2. Easy Migration
The process of migrating from an on-site system to the cloud can be complicated. The last thing you want to do is rip out the existing system in its entirety and replace it. With Jamisi Cloud Solutions, you don’t have to.
Our robust migration strategy provides an easy path for moving customers from Jamisi Voice Business to the cloud efficiently and effectively. Our customers have the option to maintain existing hardware, including end points, gateways and controllers, with either a hybrid or full cloud model. You’ll see a faster ROI accompanied by a low learning curve since your end users are already familiar with the system’s features and functionality.
3. Enhanced Reliability With Less Downtime
Downtime is a major concern for any business. If your vendor must manually bring up the secondary data center whenever you lose communications, you’ll be offline much longer than you need to be.
Jamisi Cloud Solutions provides automated failover to a geo-redundant data center. As a result, our customers experience minimal downtime with no customer intervention required to activate failover, providing better business continuity.
Any decision that impacts your whole workforce will of course require an exhaustive selection process. But the above checklist should help you focus on the most critical features.
4. Better Customization
Businesses always mix and match technologies to suit their business needs, which is why every IT environment is unique. A one-size-fits-all unified communications and collaboration solution isn’t going to cut it for many organizations.
With Jamisi Cloud Solutions, you can easily integrate popular back-office cloud solutions, such as CRMs, ERPs and other applications. What’s more, we can handle even the most complex integration needs. With Jamisi, your cloud solution transforms into a communications hub that enhances productivity and collaboration.
5. Cost-Effective Third-Party And Custom Integrations
When working with other private cloud communications vendors, you’ll often find that third-party and custom integrations use proprietary code. This is a slow and costly process that you won’t experience with Jamisi. REST APIs allow our customers and third-party developers to deliver custom integrations faster and at a lower cost.
6. Enhanced Security
When it comes to security, compliance and availability in sensitive mission-critical IT workloads, there can be no shortcuts.
That’s why Jamisi Cloud Solutions is built on Google Cloud, the same infrastructure Google uses for its end-user products, several of which serve over one billion users each day. The system is deployed in a dedicated and secure environment. Cloud access provides a deeper level of security due to private and secure network links, and the platform offers the necessary compliance to meet regulatory requirements.
Plus, your employees benefit from a highly reliable and secure communications system that delivers the same features and functionality whether they are in the office, on the road or working from home.
7. Simple Licensing Model
No matter how you choose to deploy your private cloud communications platform—on-site, cloud or hybrid—your licensing model needs to be simple. It’s one of the most common themes we hear from procurement departments.
Complete feature and application transparency allows you to scale appropriately without having to worry about your investment.
8. Direct Control Over System Hardware
Most private cloud unified communication solutions are dependent on third-party phones, leaving you with no direct control over your phone portfolio or roadmap.
Jamisi has a robust family of desktop end points that enhance the communications experience for businesses at any level. We own and develop the hardware and software for our systems, giving you full control over the roadmap.
9. Advanced Contact Center Integration
Most providers can only offer a third-party, standard out-of-the-box contact center through a partnership. Third-party contact centers introduce additional complexity, and any troubleshooting requires the intervention of third-party support teams.
Jamisi owns and develops its contact center solution, which is fully integrated with our cloud communications platform. The Jamisi Cloud Solutions Contact Center is an omnichannel contact center designed to enable exceptional customer experiences anywhere, anytime. It leverages Google AI capability, drastically reduces the complexity associated with integrating multiple tools and generates deep insights into data and performance.
10. Complete Integration With End Points
A private cloud communications system in which the phones aren’t integrated with the unified communications application won’t provide you with enough value or functionality. Jamisi end points are fully integrated with collaboration applications, creating a harmonized ecosystem that improves employee productivity.
Keep in mind that Jamisi Cloud Solutions offers much more than what we’ve outlined above. Our cloud unified communications and collaboration solution offers numerous features that will make the difference in the flexibility, reliability and security of your deployment and your overall peace of mind.