The top 4 business challenges for the company

A new generation of mobile workers, a rising popularity in the trend Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), small IT teams, tight budgets requiring low-risk strategies: all these hurdles can be tackled with the right technology, especially with the features provided by Unified communications and collaboration solutions (UC&C).

After a rough few years, businesses are no longer putting off investing in technology. According to KPMG, 60% of businesses are planning to increase capital investment, information technology being their top priority (1).

This makes sense if we examine some of the main challenges that businesses face. A new generation of mobile workers, a rising popularity in the trend Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), small IT teams, tight budgets requiring low-risk strategies: all these hurdles can be tackled with the right technology, especially with the features provided by Unified communications and collaboration solutions (UC&C).
As usual, though, technology investments do not fix the problem themselves. In this report we will examine some of the main challenges that medium-sized businesses are facing, as well as the factors that have to be taken into account when deciding on a UC&C option.

PLANNING FOR GROWTH

In the United States, medium-sized businesses reported an average gross revenue increase of 7% —higher than industry predictions— and provided 1.17 million new jobs in 2012.(2)These businesses can vary from 100 to 1,000 employees or more, with revenue between US$100 million and US$1,000 billion.

There is plenty of space to grow and change, and those opportunities will be expanding over the years ahead. Because of this, it is paramount to establish a communications system that is both quick and effective between employees, partners and customers. In a dynamic workplace it can be very easy for ideas to remain unheard, for decisions to be delayed and for departments to become isolated from one another.

A UC&C solution can help eradicate these barriers aiming at collaboration, but make sure the solution can scale together with your business. If it cannot support the addition of new users and different functions, the costs and headaches caused by continuous upgrades and maintenance will outweigh the benefits.

EMPOWERING THE WORKFORCE

The solution not only needs to support hundreds of users, but also support them wherever they go. The workforce is no longer chained to the desk or trapped inside the firewall but at home, in branch offices, abroad, basically anywhere. Employees are also using smartphones, laptops and tablets —usually the same devices that they use in their everyday lives.

In order to stay productive and competitive, medium-sized businesses need to support these consumerization devices, both on their networks and wherever workers may travel. The main unified communication tools —voice, video and mobility— help your business stay in touch and be able to respond to changing situations in real time.

However, opening your network to many devices located anywhere in the world can be a serious risk. Security must be of chief importance when upgrading your collaboration technologies. Otherwise, the network could be vulnerable to hacks, information leaks, outages, and unplanned downtime.

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE

Improving security often starts with simplifying your network. Many medium-sized businesses have limited IT resources, which means that they need an infrastructure that is easy to configure and upgrade. Your UC&C solution should be easy to implement and manage as well. To achieve this, a lot of medium-sized businesses prefer to invest in complete, all-in-one, pre- integrated solutions to minimize complexity and risks.

Before purchasing a specific product, it can be useful to assess your current network setup. A UC&C solution could provide the communication features you need, but is your network ready to handle the sudden increase in traffic? Does it have the appropriate bandwidth for videoconferencing? A preliminary assessment can contribute significantly to ensure that you get the most out of your investment.

SMART INVESTMENTS

Cost control is a key priority for most medium-sized businesses, therefore choosing a UC&C carefully is very important. The benefits of improving communications and collaboration can be seen in every department, but not all solutions are created equal. Investing in a powerful, simple and complete solution from an authorized dealer can radically reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO).

Avaya IP Office has been crafted to adapt to dynamic businesses and is prepared to scale up to 2,000 users. It is easy to use and manage, yet powerful enough for the demanding needs of your distributed workforce. What is more, it delivers the lowest CTO of all major dealers. The final result? Enhanced operations with more effective collaboration, faster decision-making and enhanced business relationships —all features that a business needs to stay ahead of the competition and thrive.

1 KPMG, Mid Market Outlook Survey, 2012.

2National Center for the Middle Market, 4Q 2012 Middle Market Indicator, 2012.

AVAYA Inc.

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