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Embracing the benefits of private cloud

Delivering unified communications and contact centre solutions on a private cloud is a straightforward and appealing proposition for enterprises looking to up their customer service game

In an age of constant disruption for both established and startup firms, businesses of all sizes and operating across every industry must ensure they have the technological tools to adapt rapidly to changing market conditions.

According to a study from Accenture, 63 per cent of major organisations are currently experiencing high levels of disruption, forcing all firms to rethink the technologies they rely on if they want to remain competitive.

Public cloud offerings have often sold themselves as an answer to these issues. The problem with them, however, is that public cloud solutions can sacrifice data security for scalability. This is as true in the data storage world as it is in the realm of unified communications and contact centres.

And for organisations that hold large amounts of confidential data on their customers, this is a trade-off that simply cannot be accepted. Add to this the fact that public cloud solutions are infamously difficult to customise and it’s little wonder large enterprises tend to shun them.

But what if you could gain the scalability and innovation promised by a public cloud solution, while keeping the security and customisation benefits at the same time?

According to Avaya, a global leader in solutions that enhance and simplify communications and collaboration, this is something that large enterprises are clamouring for. And it’s available in Avaya’s ReadyNow solution, which delivers contact centre and unified communications technology through a private cloud hosted in a UK datacentre.

The company says that its private cloud solutions provide a number of distinct advantages that may better suit the needs of forward-thinking enterprises.

We’ve invested in data security to ensure businesses receive the same level of security they would on-premise

“While firms may be comfortable with public cloud offerings for general activities, the reason why major enterprise customers are increasingly asking for a private cloud over public cloud is because they know one size fits all doesn’t work. These businesses require a customisable solution that can be delivered remotely and meet stringent data security policies,” explains Ayman Majzoub, senior director of private cloud and managed services at Avaya.

Private cloud solutions can still offer the same level of efficiency and scalability as public cloud solutions, but because computing resources are not split with other businesses, users of private cloud solutions can benefit from improved control and security. This enhanced level of management allows organisations unprecedented levels of flexibility over how they can tailor their cloud environment to ensure their exact business requirements are catered for.

A locally hosted cloud solution is also a valuable service for large organisations, especially those in industries such as insurance or financial services, which handle millions of personal customer records. Each country or region an organisation operates in is likely to have specific regulations that require data to be stored in a much more secure way than a public cloud solution may be able to offer.

Plus, delivering a service which may be suitable in one geography might not work for the specific market requirements in another country.

“Many countries, including Russia and China, have regulations which dictate that the data must reside in the nation it was created in. We recognised this early on, which is why we made the decision to invest heavily and create partnerships to host data from those regions in a way that is consistent with local laws and regulations,” says Mr Majzoub.

Consuming contact centre and communications technology via a cloud-based model can also offer a notable upgrade against legacy technology. Many contact centres rely on out-dated technology and software that simply can’t stay up to date with digital customer demands. Adding new communications channels, including text and Twitter messaging, may not be an easy task on these old systems, but cloud-based models can prove to be extremely flexible and nimble for these purposes.

From up-to-date compliance to eliminating in-house maintenance and the use of innovative features, embracing the advantages of cloud-based communications hosting can assist firms in their mission of exceeding customer expectations.

With features such as intelligent call-routing and advanced analytics setting forward-thinking firms apart from slow-to-react competitors, major organisations can ensure they remain competitive by unifying communication channels in silos into a fully cloud-based solution. Many of these benefits remain present on public cloud-based platforms, but private cloud wins out on customisation to a large organisation’s specific needs and on security.

“We’ve invested in data security to ensure businesses receive the same level of security they would on-premise. Our customers tell us that because we have a global presence, we help deliver these technology services where their business grows and expands,” adds Mr Majzoub.

Besides the benefits of scalability and flexibility, companies can achieve increased levels of reliability, as cloud platforms benefit from higher uptime rates compared with legacy on-premise systems. And the big benefit comes in shifting IT expenditure to an operating-expense model.

“Since the 2008 downturn, we are seeing lots of mergers and consolidations in the business world, either to reduce cost or achieve efficiencies, which means IT infrastructure needs to be unified,” says Mr Majzoub.

Digital transformation is forcing analogue companies to adapt and use services based on new technologies to compete. Businesses realise as time has gone by IT departments have often expanded and there is a renewed focus on using providers to migrate some workflows to gain valuable advantages.

From reducing costs to improving performance, alongside a major crunch on capital expenditure and a move to operational expenditure, firms are increasingly not wanting to pay upfront and are looking for new operational models, so they can invest capital in other areas.

For ReadyNow, its private cloud solution, Avaya has partnered with IBM to launch datacentres in the UK and Germany, enabling enterprise customers to move their on-premise communications technology seamlessly on to a private cloud and benefit from local hosting wherever they require.

Avaya’s ReadyNow solution eliminates much of the friction associated with implementing advanced cloud infrastructure and can help improve the process of pilot testing and establishing proof of concept. ReadyNow also takes the burden of maintenance away from organisations, so staff can be deployed on more strategic projects.

Thanks to standard configurations being prebuilt, ReadyNow allows organisations to deploy a cloud-based system rapidly and customise the solution to their needs. In addition, the solution facilitates easy scalability, which is increasingly important for businesses operating in industries facing disruption.

For more information please visit www.avaya.com

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