In the complex world of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C), how do you pick the best solution for your business?
By: Tera Sumner, Senior Manager, Global Product Management, Lumen UC&C and Voice
Paradigm shifts happen all the time in business, and they are frequently the result of technological advancements that improve efficiency and drive down costs. As we all learned in 2020, however, few things will change the business paradigm faster than a global pandemic, which forced businesses to pivot to remote work whether they were ready or not.
As hindsight clearly revealed, IT managers who weren’t already supporting a remote workforce in March 2020 found themselves with their hair on fire trying to keep the business open no matter what.
Two years later, the outside world is starting to feel like it’s returning to “normal” (knock on wood). But for businesses that accelerated their digital transformation due to Covid (and according to a study published in Forbes, that’s about 97% of you) there’s no returning to the way things used to be. In fact, if your business is like most others, you invested in collaboration technologies that helped stop the bleeding at the time but weren’t necessarily a permanent solution.
Now it’s time to get surgical by implementing collaboration technologies that maximize those early investments and put you in a position to thrive in the post-Covid paradigm.
It sounds like a great plan, except there’s one major problem: this journey to UC&C can be daunting. After all, there are several vendors from which to choose – big names like Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom – and each has distinctive benefits. But here in the real world, no two companies are alike, and each business’s unique needs make navigating the UC&C landscape a frustrating and inefficient proposition.
To address this challenge, buyers of collaboration solutions essentially have two options:
- Hire an adviser that has decades of experience in the space, partners with all the major UC&C providers, and can guide customers through the complicated technology landscape to ensure they get the most out of their existing investments.
- Figure it out themselves.
There are countless reasons why "figuring it out” is not ideal for many businesses. Most IT teams do not have the infrastructure, platform, or experience needed to seamlessly and efficiently migrate to a total end-to-end solution, nor can they pull valuable resources off other projects to focus on UC&C for many weeks, months or potentially years.
If only there was a partner that had the assets and footprint of a Tier 1 carrier, along with the specialized expertise that comes from decades of experience providing communication services and reselling cloud products.
As it turns out, we here at Lumen ARE that partner. Unlike some vendors who might push for a completely homogenous collaboration environment based on one provider’s technology, Lumen accommodates customers who have disparate systems and could benefit from deploying the best of each individual service.
In other words, Lumen’s capabilities align with the needs of the new business paradigm, and we provide a more strategic route to success through a service we call Lumen Enablement Services for UC&C.
Lumen Enablement Services for UC&C was built with three capabilities in mind:
- Customer Success – we offer training, adoption services, and best practices implementation.
- Operational Efficiency and Support – providing migration strategies and product selection/deployment based on the individual customer’s need.
- Network and Environment Optimization – In addition to operating one of the world’s largest IP backbones, Lumen has award-winning relationships with the major UC&C vendors. We also have the support processes around each vendor, which allows for seamless management of different applications deployed.
The results speak for themselves. Take, for example, a Fortune 100 customer that had recently merged with a major competitor:
The customer used Cisco for its communication and collaboration solutions, but the merging company did not.
Employees of the merged entities used disparate systems, and some were even on end-of-life phone service. Once merged, nearly 35,000 employees needed to be upgraded and integrated.
Lumen helped the customer evaluate its options and design a customized solution around the Webex portfolio.
Lumen migrated ~25,000 users to the Cisco Webex Calling platform in 10 weeks; implemented ~20,000 Cisco Webex Meetings licenses in four weeks; effective adoption services led to the addition of , ~5000 more users to Webex Calling.
Lumen’s expertise, its partnerships with the major UC&C providers (in this case, Webex), and its ability to provide a turnkey offer helped the customer quickly implement a highly effective solution to a complex business challenge.
Implementing UC&C might seem complicated, but with Lumen Enablement Services for UC&C it doesn’t have to be. If you need to rapidly enable a workforce, have a highly distributed organization, are migrating from on-prem to the cloud, or have cost-prohibitive legacy services, you don’t need to “figure it all out” yourself. Lumen can help deliver the custom solution your business needs to thrive in the post-Covid paradigm.
For more information about Lumen Enablement Services, visit our website or contact us today.