Hosted Unified Communications: What You Need to Know to Determine if it is Right for Your Organization. An Industry White Paper from Votacall

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1 Hosted Unified Communications: What You Need to Know to Determine if it is Right for Your Organization. An Industry White Paper from Votacall

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3 Summary Think for a moment about inter-office communications. The frequency that employees must communicate and collaborate to complete a task on a daily basis is astounding. Colleagues rely on the knowledge and experience of their co-workers for clarification, opinions and answers to help ensure a task is completed successfully. Even more significant is the fact that in today s business climate, everything is time sensitive. In the past, in order for an employee to obtain the necessary information from a colleague, he or she had to abruptly stop what they were doing to either walk across the office or pick up the phone. In many instances, these actions waste valuable time because the colleague is either on the phone, in a meeting or out of the office. This scenario is a daily occurrence at every organization worldwide. One occurrence can be overlooked; however when the overall picture is examined it will become evident that hours upon hours of time and productivity is lost on a weekly basis. To curb this unproductive trend, organizations need to adopt a Unified Communications (UC) strategy. A true Unified Communications (UC) solution enables fluidity of office communication and collaboration creating an environment bursting with productivity. The ultimate UC experience and strategy can now be delivered independent of or in conjunction with Votacall s BroadSoft based VOIP platform through our partnership with Microsoft. Microsoft s Hosted Messaging & Collaboration (HMC) product offering includes Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office Communications Server and Microsoft SharePoint. These applications will change the way organizations function yielding a higher level of productivity which will translate into greater profitability. With Microsoft s UC platform, an employee will have a visual of a colleague s availability and with a single click has the ability to reach them through a secure inter-office only instant messaging (IM) application. To complete the task at hand, documents must be reviewed. With Microsoft s UC platform an employee has the ability to share his or her desktop and relinquish control to the other party to further enhance collaboration. The UC experience can be further enhanced through a High Definition (HD) desktop video phone call to review the shared documents in question. All of this can be accomplished regardless of physical location and without the large capital expense of past UC offerings. A Unified Communications solution integrates the isolated communications systems that organizations use each day, such as , voice mail, voice communications, video and conferencing. By enabling a simple and direct process for collaboration amongst co-workers, suppliers and clients, a higher level of productivity will be realized. 3

4 Components Of A Hosted Unified Communications Solution Messaging Organizations rely on effective and reliable technologies to improve productivity. There is not a form of communication where this statement is more relevant than the business account. Your organization can achieve higher reliability and performance with messaging features that simplify your administration, protect your communications, and provide the end-user with remarkable mobility and enhanced capabilities. With a Voice Enabled Microsoft Exchange Server an organization can cost effectively provide end-users with the freedom to securely access all of their communications tools such as , voice mail, Outlook Calendar, instant messaging, and more from virtually any platform and location. Traditional end-users can continue to log into the exchange server while others will simply speak to their messaging application of choice to retrieve, send and make decisions regarding time sensitive information. With Voice Enabled Microsoft Exchange capabilities fronted by a Voice activated IVR, an end-user can listen to s through text to speech functionality, make calls to contacts and manage their calendar and scheduling. All can be accomplished without pressing a button or typing a line of text. Video-Web & Audio HD Conferencing Through Live Meeting and Enterprise OCS, organizations are finding ways to cut costs and improve efficiency. This proves to be true regardless of the size of the company. With Votacall s conferencing and collaboration solution, you can reduce costs for travel while providing more extensive conferencing capabilities to employees. Votacall s solution enables end-users to conduct audio, video and Web conferences in real-time. Through a single, easy-to-use interface, end users can switch seamlessly between audio, video, and Web conferencing as well as desktop sharing. Employees can also schedule peer-to-peer or multi-party conferences with one click of a button in Microsoft Outlook. The availability of these tools to organizations of all shapes and sizes truly delivers power to the end-user without the large capital expense typically associated with functionality of this magnitude. 4

5 Hosted VoIP Telephony A Hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone solution allows organizations to reduce costs, increase productivity and gain control not only of their communications tools but also the direction of the organization itself. Voice Mail Cut costs and increase productivity by consolidating and voice mail into one inbox, giving end-users unique and powerful methods of accessing voice mail through a desk phone, computer, or mobile device. Voice Mail with Unified Messaging creates a universal inbox for messaging. All management, retrieval and correspondence can be accomplished in one place. Instant Messaging & Presence Presence is real time availability information based on an employee s status on the network, calendar, VoIP phone system or personal preference. To obtain information or answers quickly users can contact someone based on their Presence with their OCS desktop client, then click-to-communicate via secure instant messaging to obtain quick answers. With one click, end-users can escalate an instant message to a phone call, desktop sharing session, or video conferencing session. Users can achieve real time team communication threads through the IM group chat feature, which also logs the conversation history. According to research firm IDC, corporate IT spending on cloud computing is expected to reach $42 billion by

6 In two separate Unified Communications (UC) market studies... Wainhouse Research predicts that the UC industry will grow to a healthy $30 billion in just five years. Benefits of Voice-Enabled Unified Communications Cost Savings A voice-enabled Unified Communications solution can quickly help organizations save money by reducing a variety of costs, such as: Service Fees and Charges. A Hosted Unified Communications solution enables organizations to reduce local, long distance charges, cell phone charges, and conferencing service fees. In a Nemertes Research study, participants noted a 30%-50% cost savings compared to Web conferencing services. Travel Expenses. By replacing in-person meetings with user friendly Web, video, and audio conferencing organizations can drastically reduce unnecessary travel expenses. Messaging Costs. Reduce message storage costs and consolidate costly third-party solutions like mobility, archiving, backup, and more. Telephony and Audio Conferencing Charges. Lower long-distance charges and audio conferencing minutes with integrated hosted Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and unified conferencing capabilities. Hosted VoIP provides significant cost savings, both upfront and longterm. The total cost of ownership (TCO) of Votacall is the lowest in the industry. Hosted VoIP adopters see an average 75% reduction in startup telecom expenses over an on-premise Phone system, but it is also important to note that they reduce their total cost of ownership by up to 30% as compared to an on-premise PBX system. Operations Costs. Studies show that more than 85% of companies are increasing the number of telecommuters. By freeing employees from fixed desks or offices, and increasing occupancy density in buildings, organizations can lower real estate and facility costs. Unified Communications solutions enable companies to overcome the obstacles that would otherwise hinder collaboration with remote employees. UC enables employees to work from anywhere with a laptop, a headset, and an Internet connection by keeping them connected through , integrated Presence, enterprise instant messaging, VoIP, and unified conferencing. Communications Systems Costs. Companies can greatly reduce the cost of their communications systems by consolidating separate legacy voice mail with Microsoft Exchange, and expensive private branch exchange (PBX), instant messaging, and audio/video/web conferencing systems with Votacall s Hosted VoIP integrated with Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS). 6

7 Disaster Recovery Capabilities. A company s communications platform is critical in effective business continuity. In an on-premise communication solution, there are many companies involved in your recovery. Your on-premise platforms, your ISP, your Telecom Service Provider are all autonomous organizations that happen to be independant when it comes to reaching your recovery destinations. With Cloud Communications all of your voice, data and messaging (exchange and IM) is served from the cloud, and therefore accessible from any internet connection. This technology not only improves your productivity when systems are operating as usual, but also when the unthinkable happens, fire, flood, fiber cut, etc. With cloud based communications system, organizations gain mobile and on-premise recovery capabilities easily accessible from any location with an internet connection and Collaboration Integrated with VoIP Unified Communications integrated with your voice infrastructure and Microsoft Exchange Server and Office Outlook the mostly widely use and trusted enterprise system in the world can save time and money for end users and IT staff. With Microsoft Exchange, users can securely access all of their communications systems , voice mail, instant messaging, and more from virtually any platform, web browser, or device which yields efficiency and productivity from any location. With the built-in capabilities of Exchange Active Synch, companies can reduce costs for secure mobile messaging while supporting users on virtually any smart phone, including iphones, Windows Mobile or Blackberry. By replacing the existing islands of phone, voice mail, and with a single integrated platform organizations save time and money. Companies can dramatically lower maintenance and service costs, that they currently pay for on-premise hardware. Users will have a visual of a coworkers presence allowing them to communicate and collaborate.with a single click a user can switch from to a phone call in which they can also share their desktop. End users can more quickly adopt the communications solution and be productive because they can access and track all communication history with a single inbox. With a Voice Enabled UC solution, users can call into their Outlook calendar to schedule and change appointments and listen to s. Voice integration with Exchange also allows you to receive your voic s as.wav files in your , and will also integrate the message waiting indicator light on your phone with messages in your . Voice integration with OCS provides remote call control, phone status presence and Live Meeting integration. 7

8 Desktop Integration UC integration with the desktop provides users with easy access to business applications utilized on a daily basis. Thus allowig for a seamless flow between business applications and inter office communications. UC in the Cloud When your services are hosted in The Cloud it simply refers to Internetbased computing, where your service sits within a shared pool of configurable computing resources in a secure location, with built-in redundancy, similar to the way in which a public utility is provided. The benefits of having your Unified Communications solution hosted in the Cloud mirror the benefits of hosting a VoIP system in the Cloud. These benefits include: Lower Total Cost of Ownership. Broadsoft estimates a 48% savings over an on-premise solution for a company with 25 seats. The need for hardware associated with end users is reduced. When resources are virtualized and shared among multiple clients, overall expensees are lowered. Exceptional Reliability and Quality. With Cloud-based technology, and Voice on the Broadsoft platform, users get Enterprise-Grade voice and video quality and reliability. Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity. Because your UC solution is in the Cloud, it means you have fewer points of failure to contend with and seamless disaster recovery from anywhere at anytime. Scalability. When your services are hosted in the Cloud, you are provided the ability to easily add or remove storage and bandwidth resources. Consolidation of Vendor Billing throughout the World. Only receive one bill from one service provider for all of your organization s locations. Control. When your communications system is hosted in the Cloud, control of your system is right at your fingertips. Updates. Software updates are instantly and seamlessly passed along to the end user automatically. Green Initiatives. By reducing your organization s need for IT infrastructure, you reduce its impact On The Environment. 8

9 Summary Services hosted in the Cloud are quickly becoming a central component of our economy. In fact, according to research firm IDC, corporate IT spending on cloud computing is expected to reach $42 billion by In two separate Unified Communications (UC) market studies, one for products and one for services, Wainhouse Research predicts that the UC industry will grow to a healthy $30 billion in just five years. In the premises-based UC solutions market, we expect to see declining revenues for PBXs, audio bridges, and unified messaging solutions; however, these will be offset by increasing revenues in presence/im servers, Web conferencing servers, team workspaces, and video endpoints and infrastructure...in addition, we are seeing significant interest and now some large deployments in the UC services market, and we expect managed/hosted UC services to grow tremendously. Brent Kelly, Senior Analyst & Partner, Wainhouse Research About Votacall In 2005, the Executive Team at Votacall discovered an emerging market in corporate telecommunications. This market was not satisfied with the standard offerings provided by the standard technology company. This was the beginning of a revolution in technology that is now considered one of the fastest growing segments in all of business, Cloud Communications. Votacall has researched, developed and partnered with the most innovative product lines and organizations in order to deliver a package to our growing nationwide customer base that resides on the cutting edge of communications. Votacall is committed to delivering the latest best in class offerings to our end users through constant market and product research allowing our customer base to stay ahead of the competition. The Votacall tag line states our vision; you must INNOVATE to fectively COMMUNICATE. We base our organization and its daily operations on those two words. The world is changing, technology is changing, organizations are changing, it is of the utmost significance that you partner with a company that respects and embraces change. 9

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