COVID-19: For Cloud Providers, Time Is of the Essence

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

  • Key themes of Enterprise Connect Virtual included the benefits of cloud-based solutions; the sudden increase in cloud migrations; and the combining of UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS.
  • COVID-19 has suddenly made it evident that cloud services are essential to business continuity as companies everywhere find themselves supporting a remote workforce indefinitely.

Enterprise Connect Virtual took place while much of the country was essentially in a lockdown. Wherever possible, employees were working remotely, with many instructed only to leave their homes for essential reasons. Against this backdrop, the event focused on the benefits of cloud-based communication solutions; an overnight rise in cloud migrations; and the simultaneous adoption of UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS.

Cloud Solutions vs Premises-Based Solutions

The decision to adopt a cloud-based versus a premises-based solution is not a straightforward one. Numerous considerations drive the ultimate verdict. At a high level, the less management required over technology implementations, the greater the desire to adopt emerging technologies; similarly, the greater the need to support remote sites or workers, the more a cloud-based solution is the best option.

For many enterprises, COVID-19 has streamlined the decision making process. Demand for cloud-based solutions has soared as virtually every business has needed to rapidly transition to a remote workforce. Given this accelerated acquisition of cloud technology, adoption is likely to surpass previous levels even once the pandemic has passed.

Cloud Modernization

Cloud-based communications solutions achieved feature parity with premises-based technology a few years ago. Since that time, on-premises voice revenue has steadily declined while UCaaS revenue has steadily risen. In 2023, UCaaS revenue is expected to exceed on-premises voice revenue.

COVID-19 has suddenly and unexpectedly launched a new era of cloud modernization. It has become evident that cloud services are essential to business continuity as companies everywhere find themselves supporting a remote workforce indefinitely. From this point forward, cloud architecture will need to accommodate a rapid scale in users and features while providing greater resiliency and reliability.

Combining UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS

COVID-19 has forced employees accustomed to working in an office to adapt to a new reality of working remotely. Cloud technology enables capabilities that are ideal for remote workers. Files are stored in one location and can be worked on from anywhere. Also, individuals can collaborate simultaneously on a single file and make updates in real time. Due to these capabilities, UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS technologies are being used to a degree not previously seen.

Furthermore, communications and collaboration tools such as video conferencing, web conferencing, and unified messaging need to extend beyond the enterprise. Businesses that previously used solutions only internally are now repurposing them to interact with external parties such as customers, partners, and suppliers as well. Because these tools may be unfamiliar, businesses need to devote whatever time and effort is required in getting these parties comfortable with using them.

UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS each have special characteristics that make them especially relevant in an environment dominated by COVID-19. UCaaS is key for supporting parties regardless of location. CCaaS has taken on new life as customers are forced to interact with companies remotely. CPaaS is critical to enabling communication in real time.

Looking Ahead

Despite the massive shift to remote work due to COVID-19, cloud infrastructure has held up well. Regardless, the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for cloud providers to engage in ‘worst-case-scenario’ stress testing of their solutions. However, cloud providers should not wait until the next pandemic hits. The time to act is now.

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