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Cloud Amplifies IT Strategic Value by @RingCentral [@CloudExpo]

How cloud communication solutions help companies cut the cord, grow faster and save money

For the last hundred years, the desk phone has been a staple of every business. The landline has been a lifeline to customers and colleagues as the primary means of communication - even as email threatened to render the telephone obsolete. For some purposes, like conference calling, there was simply no substitute. That is, until a few years ago.

With all due respect and apologies to Mr. Alexander Graham Bell, the desk phone is becoming just one solution, out of many devices, used for the modern business world. The idea of tethered, point-in-time communications has become a major limiting factor to business growth as new technologies have given companies the ability to grow faster than the conventional on-premise PBX infrastructure could accommodate.

The Rise of the Mobile Workforce
Over the last decade, we've seen a tremendous shift in how and where employees work. Broadband Internet accessibility, Wi-Fi and cellular technology have ushered in an explosion in mobility. Many employees are no longer confined to an office, or even a specific building, and now enjoy the freedom to work quite literally anywhere at any time - the corner coffee shop at 6 a.m., at home after midnight or on the beach while soaking up the midday sun.

At the same time, companies have leveraged the power of cloud technology to branch out, setting up distributed office locations while still connecting staff with shared resources like cloud-based productivity software, document storage and collaboration suites, not to mention an entire industry of apps that have emerged to fulfill specific niche needs.

New Technology, New Limitations
Despite the changing work habits, the telephone has remained a vital link, although the format has changed significantly. Now, many employees work exclusively from a mobile phone, with the vast majority using their own personal devices. Meanwhile, many companies still rely on conventional on-premises PBX-style landline desk phones to keep employees connected.

In fact, it's exactly the variety of platforms now available that poses the greatest challenge. Many conventional on-premises systems are siloed and proprietary. Adding new locations or new users can be very costly and time-consuming, and existing technologies often don't integrate. That leaves companies forced to pay exorbitant fees for disparate systems that don't scale and require specialized third-party assistance to maintain, all while taxing internal IT resources and the bottom line. Adding new features is cumbersome and expensive, and complex systems require massive IT involvement and investment to maintain. Conventional landlines simply don't work at the pace of modern businesses.

Add in the mobility challenge and things really get messy. Companies can either provide devices to employees and assume the responsibility for device management and cost, or allow employees to use their own. But, BYOD environments can pose a major security threat if not handled properly. Not only does it require employees to give up their personal identity (their cell phone number) to business associates - something they'd never do with a home phone or personal email address - BYOD is also difficult to control. Employees have access to a wealth of highly confidential corporate data that could very well walk right out the door with them if they leave the company. Of course, mobile device management and "containerizing" technology exists to separate business from personal data, but this adds one more wrinkle to the fold - and one more task or technology for the IT team to manage.

Despite all of these options, getting in touch with a colleague is actually now harder instead of easier. Everyone has at least three numbers - desk phone, mobile and fax - plus email, a conference bridge and instant message or SMS text messaging. Making contact might require three or four attempts. Do you try the office line before the mobile? Leave a message at one or both? Follow-up with an email, then shoot them a text? It's not exactly the most efficient system, nor the best image to send to your customers. Why make it harder for them to do business with you?

The Phone of the Future Is in the Cloud
As we've seen in so many other applications, cloud technology is answering the call to be our phone of the future. As with email, document storage, CRM and so many other business applications, the cloud makes calling, faxing, voicemail and other conventional telephone tasks accessible anytime, anywhere and on virtually any device.

Softphone applications turn a laptop or desktop PC into a full-fledged telephone with advanced features that rival or surpass the most sophisticated PBX systems, like call forwarding, conference calling and even video calling, all accessible with nothing more than a few clicks and a headset or web cam-something most of us have already.

Users can access the complete feature set from anywhere, including a mobile phone, with purpose-built apps that provide virtually the same user experience on the mobile platform. And, for BYOD environments, cloud communication solutions are designed for mobility, with apps that keep business contacts, conversations and data usage separate from users' personal information for added security. Now, employees can have one number that works to reach them anywhere - no more dialing three numbers and still not getting through.

Seamless Management, Unsurpassed Value
From a management perspective, setting up new locations and users on a cloud-based system is as simple as installing software or an app and making a few clicks to configure specific settings. Features and user access privileges can be added or revoked from a single management console in seconds, without having to rely on time-consuming and costly outside technical support.

In addition to offering a flexible and scalable technology, ease of use and minimal management, cloud based business communication solutions are also a much better value over conventional on-premises PBX technology. Not only is it much more affordable to set up and get started, but it's also a pay-as-you-grow system. Subscription fees are based on the number of users and features, rather than a blanket monthly fee that you must pay regardless of whether you use the full capacity or feature set of your plan. And, an all-inclusive cloud-based system eliminates the need for multiple vendors, which adds even more savings.

In fact, data from the Forrester TEI study found that using a cloud-based solution could net a 182 percent ROI, with an expected payback period of less than just two months. Users in the survey saved an estimated $1.6 million by switching from PBX systems and consolidating fax and conferencing services onto a single cloud platform.

Unlocking New Data and Insights
Perhaps one of the most interesting and exciting benefits of cloud-based communications is its ability to capture usage and efficiency data to help any business make better-informed decisions. Unlike conventional systems, where you might be able to view a basic call log with call duration data, cloud-based solutions provide much more insight. Information on overall data usage, consumption per user, call routing details, softphone vs. mobile usage, and more can help businesses maximize the value of their ISP/communications services, improve resource utilization and allocation and reduce costs. By better understanding exactly how-and how much-you're using bandwidth, you may find you're either paying too much, or legitimately justify an increase.

Cloud Communications Amplifies IT Strategic Value
In addition to easing the management burden for IT, cloud communication solutions can also have a powerful impact on raising the overall perception of IT within the organization. Often IT is viewed as a cost center - a necessity of doing business in the modern age, tasked with keeping the systems up and running to enable the "real" business drivers, like sales, marketing, manufacturing and customer service, to do what they do best.

However, by initiating strategy to evaluate and switch to a cloud-based communications platform that saves time and money, and supports the business growth objectives of the organization, IT can transform from a cost center into a value center. Elevating IT's position as a strategic business component allows any company to adopt a more integrated growth strategy with all departments and services contributing directly to grow the bottom line.

Conference Schedule Announced

Are you ready to put your data in the cloud?

What is the future of security in the cloud?

Does Docker quickly advance the development of an IoT application?

What are the implications of Moore's Law on Hadoop deployments?

Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 15th Cloud Expo, November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, CA. The Cloud Expo / Big Data Expo / @ThingsExpo / DevOps Summit programs are now available for you to inspect and investigate in advance.

Our upcoming November 4-6 event in Santa Clara, California will present a total of 10 simultaneous tracks by an all-star faculty, over three days, plus a two-day "Cloud Computing Bootcamp" presented by Janakiram MSV, an Analyst with the Gigaom Research analyst network, where he covers the Cloud Services landscape.

Cloud and Big Data topics and tracks include: Enterprise Cloud Adoption, APM & Cloud Computing | Hot Topics, Cloud APIs & Business, Cloud Security | Mobility, Big Data | Analytics.

@ThingsExpo content tripled from a single track in New York to three simultaneous tracks: Consumer IoT, Enterprise IoT, IoT Developer | WebRTC Convergence.

DevOps Summit also doubled from a single track in New York to two simultaneous tracks: "Dev" Developer Focus and "Ops" Operations Focus.

Schedule for Cloud Expo / Big Data Expo / @ThingsExpoHere

Schedule for DevOps SummitHere

Now that we have published the full conference schedule, please check back for daily updates as we finalize new session abstracts by working with our distinguished faculty members. For your questions please contact us at events (at) sys-con.com. Last but not least we will announce our keynotes on the hottest subjects to be delivered by world-class speakers!

The largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world has announced "sponsorship opportunities" and "call for papers."

The 1st International Internet of @ThingsExpo was launched this June at the Javits Center in New York City with over 6,000 delegates in attendance. The 2nd International Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California, with an estimated 7,000 plus delegates attending over three days.

@ThingsExpo is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading IoT industry players in the world. In 2014, more than 200 companies will be present on the @ThingsExpo show floor, including global players and the hottest new technology pioneers.

Sponsorship and Exhibit Opportunities for @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley and New York Are Now Available
Sponsors and exhibitors of Internet of @ThingsExpo will benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities through:

  • Featured on-site presentation and ongoing on-demand webcast exposure to a captive audience of industry decision-makers.
  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35-minute technical session
  • Online advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology publications
  • Capitalize on our comprehensive marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage.
  • Unprecedented PR Coverage: Editorial coverage on IoT.sys-con.com, Tweets to our 75,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 combined analysts and press members who attended Internet of @ThingsExpo - making it the best-covered "Internet of Things" conference in the world

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities contact Carmen Gonzalez by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021. Book both events for additional savings!

@ThingsExpo Silicon Valley (November 4-6, 2014, Santa Clara, CA)
@ThingsExpo New York (June 9-11, 2015, New York, NY)

Secure Your VIP Pass to Attend @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley
Internet of @ThingsExpo announced today a limited time free "Expo Plus" registration option. The onsite registration price of $600 will be set to 'free' for delegates who register during September.

To take advantage of this opportunity, attendees can use the coupon code "IoTSeptember" and secure their "@ThingsExpo Plus" registration to attend all keynotes and general sessions, as well as a limited number of technical sessions each day of the show, in addition to full access to the expo floor and the @ThingsExpo hackathon.

The registration page is located at the @ThingsExpo site here.


@ThingsExpo New York 2015 'Call for Papers' Now Open
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York announces that its 'Call for Papers' is now open. The event will feature a world class, all-star faculty with the hottest IoT topics covered in three distinct tracks.

 

Track 1 - Consumer IoT and Wearables: Smart Appliances, Wearables, Smart Cars, Smartphones 2.0, Smart Travel, Personal Fitness, Health Care, Personalized Marketing, Customized Shopping, Personal Finance, The Digital Divide, Mobile Cash & Markets, Games & the IoT, The Future of Education, Virtual Reality

Track 2 - Enterprise IoT: The Business Case for IoT, Smart Grids, Smart Cities, Smart Transportation, The Smart Home, M2M, Authentication/Security, Wiring the IoT, The Internet of Everything, Digital Transformation of Enterprise IT, Agriculture, Transportation, Manufacturing, Local & State Government, Federal Government

Track 3 - Developer IoT: WebRTC, Eclipse Foundation, Cloud Foundry, Docker & Linux Containers, Node-Red, Open Source Hardware, Leveraging SOA, Multi-Cloud IoT, Evolving Standards, WebSockets, Security & Privacy Protocols, GPS & Proximity Services, Bluetooth/RFID/etc., XMPP, Nest Labs


@ThingsExpo billboard is viewed by more than 1.3 million motorists per week on Highway 101, in the heart of Silicon Valley

Help plant your flag in the fast-expanding business opportunity that is the Internet of Things: Submit your speaking proposal today here!

Download @ThingsExpo Newsletter Today Here

Chris Matthieu Named @ThingsExpo Tech Chair

Internet of @ThingsExpo named Chris Matthieu tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2014 Silicon Valley.

Chris Matthieu has two decades of telecom and web experience. He launched his Teleku cloud communications-as-a-service platform at eComm in 2010, which was acquired by Voxeo. Next he built an open source Node.JS PaaS called Nodester, which was acquired by AppFog. His latest startups include Twelephone. Leveraging HTML5 and WebRTC, Twelephone's BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is to become the next generation telecom company running in the Web browser. Chris is currently co-founder and CTO of Octoblu.

Website: http://www.ThingsExpo.com

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/ThingsExpo

About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (CloudComputingExpo.com / @CloudExpo), Big Data Expo (BigDataExpo.net / @BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (DevOpsSummit.sys-con.com / @DevOpsSummit), Internet of @ThingsExpo (ThingsExpo.com / @ThingsExpo) and Cloud Computing Bootcamp (CloudComputingBootcamp.com).

Cloud Expo® and Big Data Expo® are registered trademarks of Cloud Expo, Inc., a SYS-CON Events company.

More Stories By Kira Makagon

Kira Makagon is an enterprise software expert with vast experience in the cloud, mobile and adtech space. As EVP of Innovation at RingCentral, she spearheads product management, strategy, engineering and operations. Prior to RingCentral, she founded Red Aril, and co-founded or held executive positions at Octane Software and Scopus Technology.

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