29 August 2017

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Multi-Site Communication and UCaaS: Why Multi-Site Businesses Should Move to the Cloud

Unified Communications by Tom Collins

As organizations explore new ways of organizing global teams to better serve their customer's needs, multi-site communications have become a common challenge. 92% of today's organizations are "redesigning the way they work," around people, teams, and organizational structure.

There's been a rise in functional teams, or teams of people assembled across multiple sites, time zones, and even countries for project-based work. As technology enables companies to connect people across time and place, IT professionals in 2017 are tasked with finding the right technologies for seamless collaboration across multiple sites.

Multi-Site Communication and UCaaS

Unifying communications and collaboration tools is among the most significant of challenges for today's distributed, multi-site organizations. When a single team is spread out over multiple locations, on different schedules, it can be difficult to keep communications aligned. Fortunately, cloud-based tools for unified communications as a service (UCaaS) have enabled multi-site organizations to communicate over shared, centralized technologies. Better yet, UCaaS tools for phones, emails, fax, chat, file sharing, and video conferencing, are flexible and scalable, which allows today's organizations the flexibility they need for functional, multi-site collaboration.

How Montgomery College Unlocked Centralized Multi-Site Communications and UCaaS

As one of the largest and most well-regarded community colleges in the United States, Montgomery College is an early case study for cutting-edge, multi-site cloud communication tools.

Prior to their UCaaS implementation, the challenges Montgomery College faced are similar to challenges across all industries:

  • Remote/Mobile Workforce: Montgomery College faculty and administration worked from multiple office and classroom locations, with some staff members rotating between classrooms and shared spaces frequently.
  • Student expectations: The student body expected the ability to communicate and share information seamlessly across channels and devices.
  • Inflexible infrastructure: While Montgomery College was using voice-over-IP (VoIP) and other tools, their current communications structure was hosted on-premises. These rigid technologies were not able to be integrated with newer cloud-based tools.

Montgomery College had a clear vision for what they needed to achieve; a “connected campus” that supported seamless communications between administration, faculty, and students as they moved between the college’s sites and surrounding areas.

Montgomery College ultimately selected a BroadSoft-powered UCaaS solution, with Atlantech Online as their partner for implementation and hosting. The solution from BroadSoft offered a full suite of telephony features and contact center capabilities, in addition to HD voice, video conferencing, instant messaging, presence, desktop sharing, and online collaborative workspaces. Not only is this suite of cloud-based communication apps fully integrated, or unified, but users and locations served can also engage in communication via any compatible device.

Atlantech Online is assisting them in the transition by providing training between the old and new platforms, aiding the school to advance into a next generation, fully-connected campus. Students and faculty will be connected to the cloud, enabling the sharing of documents, presentations, and any other time sensitive information from any connected device on-campus or from any other location worldwide.

For more insight into selecting the right UCaaS partner for your organization’s needs, check out 5 Crucial Things to Consider Before Choosing a Unified Communications Provider.

What Benefits Can UCaaS Provide for Your Multi-Site Business?

For multi-site organizations, centralizing your communications tools with UCaaS can stand to deliver some serious benefits. By bringing your phone, email, fax, web, and video conferencing together through convenient, cost-effective cloud hosting, your organization can operate as though all of your employees are working from the same site.

4 Benefits of UCaaS

1. Increased Productivity

Research suggests that implementing collaborative tools will not only ease the pains of finding information, but it could even increase individual productivity by 20-to-25 percent.

With tools like BroadSoft Team-One, your organization can centralize project-based documents, chat history, and client information in a centralized team hub, including searchable content that saves time, money, and frustration.

2. Centralized Management

On-site administrations for multi-site businesses is a thing of the past. Even global multi-site organizations can save significant staffing resources with hosted UCaaS, which allows a convenient administration portal for making changes to phones, collaboration apps, and other tools to best support the organization's needs.

Not only does your organization’s IT team benefit from centralized communications management, but employees can also enjoy the convenience of a single, mobile-accessible portal for communications.

From a single, cloud-based app, employees can read emails, voicemails, and chat messages, place internal and external phone calls from their dedicated work line, and check project-based communications. For organizations where employees’ work site can change several times per day, this centralized communications management makes it easier to reach people, regardless of where they are physically.

3. Easy Collaboration

The days of regularly-scheduled telephone conference calls aren’t always reflective of what today’s teams need to collaborate. With UCaaS, multi-site businesses can switch seamlessly between video conferencing, phone calls, chat messages, email, and text; unified into a single platform.

Regardless of where in the world your employees are working, your organization can benefit from dedicated five-digit extensions that ring straight through to employee mobile devices.

To learn more about the collaborative potential of hosted UC tools, we recommend How Unified Communications is Fueling Team Collaboration and Business Innovation.

4. Desktop & File Sharing

Files and Desktops can be shared faster than ever before using a cloud system. Employees can work independently while sharing their current progress, or even collaborate on projects together in real time. Desktop sharing allows users to both view and share presentations, spreadsheets, and any other important information across any network.

UCaaS is Key to Seamless Communications Across Multiple Business Locations

For multi-site businesses, UCaaS is necessary to achieve seamless communications. With the help of a trusted UCaaS vendor, and a leading solution like BroadSoft, multi-site organizations can anticipate a easy transition from existing communications technologies to next-generation connectivity.

UCaaS is likely the right solution for your organization if you need the ease of centralized information management, flexible and scalable online meetings, and productivity solutions for employees who may work from many different locations, on-site and remotely.

To learn more about how UCaaS could enhance your organization’s connectivity and collaboration, contact Atlantech today to get a quote and additional information.





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About the author:

Tom Collins (Twitter, LinkedIn) - is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.

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