Communications Blog • 5 MIN READ

The hybrid reality: Enabling cloud collaboration for the digital future

Kevin Ryder

Written by Kevin Ryder

kevin.ryder@ir.com

Businesses have been on the hybrid path for more than a decade, grappling with which parts of their unified communication and collaboration (UCC) ecosystems to host on-premises or in the cloud. With the global pandemic necessitating a sudden shift to remote working at scale, many organizations had no choice but to turn to cloud collaboration platforms like, Microsoft Teams and Zoom, to enable their growing remote workforce and ensure business continuity.

While more and more organizations are transitioning this part of their environment to the cloud, many still want to hold on to some aspects of their existing on-premises UC systems. Meaning the well-laid plans for a gradual transition to a hybrid environment  have accelerated to an immediate necessity for organizations across the globe – the hybrid future has become the hybrid reality.

The challenges of hybrid UC

Many businesses choose to deploy a hybrid solution as some of their legacy systems depreciate, as they emerge from contract, or as required by their evolving needs. There are some challenges involved with implementing a hybrid model:

  • Scalability. Scalability is one of the cloud’s most powerful features. To take advantage of these benefits, organizations need to re-engineer their data environments to leverage cloud capacity when needed. This adds the challenge of securing the data in two locations.
  • The role of IT. When implementing a cloud strategy, the role of IT changes. It no longer focuses solely on managing on-premises data centres and assets. In a hybrid environment, IT needs to strategically co-ordinate cloud service delivery with managing physical assets. This could mean additional training and/or restructuring of existing teams.
  • Compatibility and accountability. With multiple UC infrastructure platforms, including different vendor systems and applications, comes the increased possibility of incompatibility of tools and processes. Will existing tools work, or will teams need to acquire and learn new tools to ensure compatibility in a hybrid environment? The complexity of using multiple vendors can also result in a lack of unity and accountability.
  • Data security. With a hybrid cloud model, data is moved and accessed via multiple platforms, adding increased risk to an organization. Reviews and risk assessments of security policies needs to be a priority. In a hybrid environment, businesses need to deploy solutions to address the potential vulnerabilities at existing access points as well as all new integration points.
  • Ensuring user experience. A hybrid environment ultimately leads to more complexity that needs to be effectively managed to ensure all components are working as intended. If persistent problems within your environment are resulting in outages or impacting voice and video quality, the user experience suffers, productivity decreases, and adoption is impacted.

Real-time intelligence is vital to your business

Without the right tools to monitor and proactively manage the complexities and challenges of your hybrid UC environment there’s so much that can – and will – go wrong. The ability to gain insights from complicated data in a multi-vendor collaboration environment is vital to organizations, no matter what size.

Real-time insights are crucial, particularly when businesses are adopting more and more dynamic and flexible approaches to their UC deployments. We’ve talked about businesses utilizing a hybrid of on-premises and cloud solutions from multiple vendors and different technology platforms, so the key takeaway here is that it’s imperative to have the tools in place to see it all from a single pane of glass and make it easier to monitor and manage.

IR Support for Microsoft Teams and Zoom

To that end, I am excited to share that our product offering is expanding to include support for Microsoft Teams and Zoom that will:

  • Bring better insights into the quality of experience provided by your collaboration tools.
  • Improve overall employee productivity and IT efficiency.
  • Ensure satisfaction of your employees and customers by proactively solving problems that impact their UC experience.

With the recent launch of our next generation Prognosis platform, now extending into the cloud, IR is uniquely positioned to offer truly hybrid support for complex, multi-vendor, hybrid environments. Our product roadmap is positioned to deliver new solutions that will continue to support the evolving requirements of our customer, and their customers. We have also been trialing some of our new capabilities with a select group of customers to ensure we bring to market solutions that offer immediate value at the high level of quality you expect from IR.

Be the first to see IR's solution for Microsoft Teams and Zoom, and other exciting new product capabilities. Register  for IR Connect our free virtual conference, taking place from October 19.

IR-Connect-2020-a-1

 

Topics: Multi-Technology Communications Customer experience Performance management UCaaS management Microsoft - Teams - Skype Cloud and hybrid UC

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