Cloud-based voice communications have evolved from a potentially promising concept to an absolutely crucial system in today’s business environment. Due to the proven cost savings, improved scalability, and increased flexibility these systems bring to organizations, many enterprises have converted their communication systems to a cloud-based solution. But not all have made the transition, which puts their business at a huge competitive disadvantage in the market.
In this article, Shaun Andrews, Senior Vice President, IP and Real Time Communications at Level 3 Communications, shares a compelling case for why businesses should shift to a cloud voice platform, and how Level 3 Communications is catering to these cloud-ready businesses.
Reaching for the Clouds
Communication technologies continue to evolve as the needs and demands of enterprises change. According to Andrews, “Enterprises today are digital companies; their core products and services are digitally connected and their customers demand a digital, self-serve relationship. As a result, the role of IT has changed from a back-office necessity to a critical business driver. IT now is responsible for delivering innovation and is expected to keep up with the pace of change as voice services become applications (Unified Communications, UCaaS) and migrate to the cloud.”
Replacing outdated communication technologies and systems with integrated, software-based unified applications is no doubt the top priority for many of today's organizations, especially medium to large multi-region enterprises, as they begin to realize the advantages of the cloud and slowly come to see the limitations of traditional phone systems.
VoIP and cloud-hosted solutions outshine traditional phone systems in a number of ways. Andrews noted that cloud-voice platforms ensure that there are no wasted costs or unused bandwidth, offer unified communication applications, possess greater security through built-in redundancy, have more robust disaster recovery options, and offer a reliability that older phone systems can't match. Plus, with the rise of new technologies like hybrid communication systems and network functions virtualization (NFV), traditional phone solutions will not be able to keep up.
Keys to a Successful Transition
Not all cloud solutions are created equal, though. Selecting the right cloud-based voice solution requires careful consideration to ensure that the solution matches the needs of the business depending on the company's size, industry, budget, and other factors. Andrews says a business should also consider a number of critical factors when making a decision. These include “a large underlying network footprint; a clear history of delivering quality service; virtualized web-scale software; a feature set designed to meet the current and future needs of the market; and the ability to automate and integrate back-office systems via APIs.”
Aside from these factors, Andrews also explains that it is vital for companies to strike the right balance between competing priorities to ensure a smooth and successful transition. These include:
- How to create a consistently exceptional user and customer experience.
- How to simplify the buying model, especially for multinational enterprises (single contracts and SLAs, shared calling resources, common features, multi-regional invoicing and currencies, etc.).
- How to lower overall cost of operations without impacting reliability.
- The ability to continue using legacy equipment and transition to new technology on the company’s timetable, not the carrier’s.
Solutions to Level Up Your Communications
Businesses looking to level up their cloud communications also need to understand that it isn’t enough to merely browse through various solutions. It is also essential that they have access to a trusted provider who can assist them in their digital transformation strategy. This is where Level 3 Communications can offer their solutions to help businesses get and stay connected.
A premier provider of global communication services, Level 3 Communications boasts a complete portfolio of enterprise voice services and solutions, which aims to improve internal and external communications, provide cost savings, security and efficiency, and minimize service disruptions and downtime. Their enterprise voice services include the following:
- Level 3 Voice Complete - Ideal for businesses that want to make a gradual transition from legacy services to more efficient unified business communications. This solution combines SIP and ISDN-PRI services, inbound and outbound calling, and a range of business features.
- Level 3 Managed Video, Web, Audio and Event Conferencing – This is a complete suite of conferencing solutions that enhance the collaboration experience.
- Level 3 Contact Center Services – This is a hosted solution that offers a comprehensive set of services designed to transform outdated, premise-based operations into cost-efficient contact centers, enhancing not only the brand, but also agent performance and consumer satisfaction.
- Level 3 Managed Voice Migration (Professional Services) – With this service, organizations can stay focused on their operations while Level 3 experts implement a phased and established migration approach. The service covers all aspects of migration, from managing multiple vendors to integrating legacy and new technologies across multiple sites.
- Level 3 Voice Complete telephony (Hosted PBX) - Available for businesses in the United Kingdom that want to free themselves from the hassles of managing their own voice infrastructure. This solution is a fully managed and hosted telephony solution that comes with technical support.
- Skype for Business managed by Level 3 Communicatoins - This solution combines the robust features of Skype for Business with Level 3 Communications' IP network, conferencing, SIP, and data center services, and security.
- Cisco WebEx delivered by Level 3 Communications - Meet over the web in real-time, conduct meetings, share documents, and increase productivity using Cisco WebEx Meeting Center. Secure network and superior call quality guaranteed as the service is delivered by Level 3 Communications.
Level 3 Communications also provides standard local, long-distance, toll-free, freephone, and international inbound and outbound services.
Learn more about Level 3 Communications and their range of voice solutions and services on their website.
About Level 3 Communications
Level 3 Communications is a Fortune 500 provides local, national and global communications services to enterprise, government and carrier customers. Headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, Level 3 Communications offers a comprehensive portfolio of secure, managed solutions, which includes IP-based voice and data communications, fiber and infrastructure solutions, video and content distribution, wide-area Ethernet services, and data center and cloud-based solutions. Customers in more than 500 markets spanning 60 countries rely on Level 3 Communications' global sophisticated solutions.