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

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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 New Horizon

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3 Summary Think for a moment about how many times each day each employee in your organization needs to ask someone a question or get clarification from a coworker. In the past, you ve had to interrupt what you are doing to walk across the office or pick up the phone, many times only to discover that person is on a call or in a meeting. Adding up each of these time-wasting instances, you realize how much productivity is lost in total each day. That lack of phone status monitoring can cost your company time and money. A true Unified Communications (UC) solution, utilizing Microsoft s Hosted Messaging and Collaboration Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office Communications Server, Microsoft SharePoint integrated with Hosted Voice over IP (VoIP) phone service helps improve fluidity of office communication and collaboration. With UC, you can easily see the person s availability and, with a single click, reach them with instant messaging (IM), then start a High Definition (HD) desktop videophone call, share a document or give control of your desktop to another co-worker. If you need additional parties to join the UC conversation, you simply drag and drop their names from the contact list into your open session. A Unified Communications solution integrates the isolated communications systems that businesses use each day, such as messaging applications, voice, video and conferencing for users to access through fixed and mobile devices. By allowing for easier, more direct collaboration between co-workers and with suppliers and clients, a Unified Communications solution helps businesses of any size to streamline communications, reduce costs and minimize delays to assure faster interaction with anyone important to the organization, even if they are not physically in the same country, state or building. For decision makers to decide whether or not a Hosted Unified Communications solution is right for their organization, it is important to examine two aspects of the solution. The first is whether or not to take advantage of Unified Communications solutions and the second is whether or not to adopt Cloud (Hosted) technology. 3

4 Components Of A Hosted Unified Communications Solution Messaging Businesses are reliant on effective, reliable technologies to improve their productivity especially in regards to their . Your organization can achieve higher reliability and performance with messaging features that simplify your administration, protect your communications, and provide your users with remarkable mobility. With a Voice Enabled Microsoft Exchange Server you can cost effectively provide your users the freedom to securely access all of their communications , voice mail, instant messaging, and more from virtually any platform, Web-browser, cell phone or PDA device to communicate effectively from any location. Either log in your exchange server using the traditional method or just speak into your phone and you can make messaging decisions instantly. With Voice Enabled Microsoft Exchange capabilities fronted by a Voice activated IVR, you can listen to your s, make calls to your contacts, listen and move calendar events, and have the same out-of-office rules apply to voic s. Video-Web & Audio HD Conferencing Through Live Meeting and Enterprise OCS companies of all sizes are finding ways to cut costs and improve efficiency. With NHC s conferencing and collaboration solution, you can reduce costs for travel while providing more extensive conferencing capabilities to your employees. NHC s solution enables users with audio, video and Web conferences in real-time to collaborate remotely with colleagues and customers. Through a single, easy-to-use interface, users can switch seamlessly between audio, video, and Web conferencing and desktop sharing. Your employees can also schedule peer-to-peer or multi-party conferences with one click right from Microsoft Outlook. The availability and usage of conferencing has increased in recent year, and with that increase, audio conference service bills have increased, but with the Microsoft OCS conferencing solution, users can increase their use of conferencing while lowering costs. 4

5 Hosted VoIP Telephony A Hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system allows organizations to reduce costs while offering mobile workers the freedom to work from anywhere. It is a tremendous value for organizations to have their voice systems integrated with their messaging/communications systems, by having hosted voice services on an Enterprise World Class Broadsoft platform that is interconnected with Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Office Communications Server (OCS) - all served from the Cloud. Voice Mail Save costs over traditional voice mail systems by consolidating and voice mail onto one inbox, giving users unique and powerful new ways of accessing their voice mail with a telephone, computer, or mobile device. Voic with unified messaging is Voic that is consolidated into the universal inbox along with and other message types, so users can manage all their business communication in one place, in the same easy, flexible way. Instant Messaging & Presence Presence is the real time availability information based on an employee s status on the network, calendar, VoIP phone system or personal preference. Coworkers can contact someone based on their Presence with their OCS desktop client, then click-to-communicate via secure instant messaging (IM) to quickly get answers. With one click, users can escalate an instant message to a phone call, desktop sharing, 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 Benefits of Voice-Enabled Unified Communications 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. Cost Savings A voice-enabled Unified Communications solution can quickly help organizations save money by reducing a variety of costs, such as: 44Service Fees and Charges. A hosted Unified Communications solution enables organizations to reduce 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. 44Travel Expenses. By replacing in-person meetings with immersive Web, video, and audio conferencing to reduce unnecessary travel expenses. 44Messaging Costs. Reduce message storage costs and consolidate costly third-party solutions like mobility, archiving, backup, and more. 44Telephony 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 also total cost of ownership (TCO.) 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. 44Operations 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. 44Communications 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 NHC s Hosted VoIP integrated with Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS). 44Disaster 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 interdependent on reaching 6

7 your recovery destinations. With Cloud Communications all of your voice, data and messaging (exchange and IM) is served from the cloud, meaning that it is 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. Have mobile and on-premise recovery capabilities at your finger tips 24-7 with a Cloud-based communications system. 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 to work efficiently 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 existing islands of phone, voice mail, and with an integrated platform based on Exchange and Office Communication Server integrated with a hosted VoIP platform, organizations save time and money. Companies can dramatically lower maintenance and service costs, even more significantly if they have remote or branch offices, by consolidating telephony, voice mail, and systems. Users can see coworkers Presence and communicate and collaborate directly from Outlook, and with a single click, 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 is not only about unifying your communications platforms, but also about integrating your communications into the desktop and business applications people use every day, providing a seamless flow between their work and the people they need to connect with to get work done quickly and effectively. UC in the Cloud When your services are hosted in The Cloud it simply refers to Internet-based 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: 44Lower Total Cost of Ownership. Broadsoft estimates a 48% savings over on-premise for a company with 25 seats. The need for hardware for end users is reduced and when resources are virtualized and shared among multiple clients, overall expense is lowered. 44Exceptional Reliability and Quality. With Cloud-based technology, and Voice on the Broadsoft platform, users get Enterprise-Grade voice and video quality and reliability. 44Disaster 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 because of built-in redundancy. 44Scalability. When your services are hosted in the Cloud, you are provided the ability to easily add or remove storage and bandwidth resources. 44Consolidation of Vendor Billing throughout the World. Only receive one bill from only one service provider for all of your organization s locations. 44Control. When your communications system is hosted in the Cloud, control of your system is put right at your fingertips. 44Updates. Software updates are instantly and seamlessly passed along to the end user automatically. 44Green 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 Each organization should continue to educate themselves on the features and benefits of a Hosted Unified Communications system, and then determine the right solution for their company. But, it seems clear that more and more businesses are adopting Cloud-based UC solutions each day. About New Horizon Communications New Horizon Communications is a full-service provider of voice, data & cloud based Unified Communication solutions for businesses. Headquartered in the Northeast, NHC is a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) providing service to organizations throughout the U.S., with the highest density of customers in the Maine-to-Virginia corridor. Our customers rely on us for everything from basic local, long distance and data services to cloud based Unified Communication solutions. What they get from us that they value most, though, is relief--from impersonal service, services that don t fit or live up to their claims, and poor communication and follow-up. Customers come to us in search of someone they can count on. And we ve built our company to be exactly that. Our business model is all about alignment. We ve aligned ourselves with a network of partners so we can, in turn, offer solutions that are perfectly aligned with our customers objectives. Our charter revolves around the customer experience, so we invest in exceptional Customer Service and Care resources. Similarly, our MAP tool is aligned with our commitment to accessibility and accountability, giving customers full view of everything we do on their behalf--from useful summaries down to daily activity and detailed notes (even recent usage data that hasn t been billed yet). It s a model born out of our senior team s wisdom, where we ve aligned our strengths with the priorities of our customers, sales agents, and carrier partners. And our success--including a revenue-per-employee ratio that sets the pace in our industry--is proof that there is a brighter way to connect businesses. 9

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