Stack for the Future

Simon Wright

How the path of dependency is paved with opportunity

Channel News
Stack for the Future

Oh, for a crystal ball. 

Love, life, the winning lottery numbers: we wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. 

Instead, as we negotiate the often turbulent and always unpredictable nature of our roads ahead, we have to imagine where we are going…and, more importantly, plot (and then repeatedly re-plot) our path to where we want to end up. 

In business, that means having the bravery to push the ‘change’ button when it is pertinent to do so, whilst having the vision to simultaneously hedge your bets. 

Future-proofing, if you will. 

It’s a tough trick to pull off for every business, but when technological advancement is perpetually influencing a disproportionate number of your KPIs, keeping pace can easily bamboozle. 

A new innovation here; a faster process there: each one capable of positively transforming the way you operate – but each one requiring sometimes not insignificant investment. 

“With investment comes risk, and no business likes taking risk,” says Mike Nowak, Senior Vice President of Sales at US-based global mid-market managed services provider BCM One (pictured, above).

“Remote communication has massively increased due to the pandemic and will continue to do so in any new hybrid model going forward,” adds Nowak.  

“Many businesses’ legacy phone systems are struggling to keep pace and, meanwhile, modern unified and collaborative communications platforms have and are developing. 

Microsoft Teams is a great case in point. People have become hooked on the user experience internally and they now want to start calling via Teams externally too. That’s fine for users of the basic functionality but there are gaps, such as missed call functionality, re-routing, and extension dialling. 

Switching everything to Teams is therefore not necessarily the right thing to do, so many businesses freeze and end up doing nothing. While they wait, the contracts on their old technologies are automatically renewing and they get stuck with platforms and equipment that is hard to integrate when they ARE ready to move.   

It means that, for the smarter organisations, unified communications in general – and UCaaS in particular – must now be part of the wider strategy rather than just an operational tool. 

It then becomes a question of ‘path dependency’ – and that’s where the opportunities get really interesting for end users AND the channel. 

Renewing an outdated technology can really hurt a business because things change so quickly,” says Nowak. “It’s like the business that invested in a new fleet of typewriters in 1988. 

“You need to consider your needs now AND your likely needs in the future. And you need to avoid committing yourself to a particular path now which might shut down your opportunity to flex later. 

For us and our channel partners, it’s about taking a consultative approach and putting yourself in the customers’ shoes to help them assess their current status and make the right decisions. 

“For example, BCM One’s portfolio allows an organisation to get started on a transformative journey that provides an easy gateway to the next iteration when the time is right. Risk mitigation is the key 

For the channel, there lots to go at.  

For example, in the US, today’s (and tomorrow’s) unified communications strategies need to address 911 zoning requirements and the implications that accompany the surge in remote working.   

Everywhere else in that new hybrid world the considerations are the same: remote calling demand, call forwarding, app integration, multi-site deployment, smarter security and, as always, cost. 

Then there are questions around network capacity, real-time replication, SD-WAN, failover, wireless connectivity and scalability. 

It can feel scary,” says Nowak. “That’s why the pre-sales and the post-sales are superimportant. We are a ‘sell with’ organisation and we encourage our partners to engage with us early in the process so they are able to best serve their customers.  

Future-proofing the next five years should be the goal for all businesses of all sizes and it IS possible if you have the right help and support.  

It seems that the road ahead just got a little bit more predictable.  

Now for those lotto numbers…. 

 

BCM One works with IT leaders and resellers in providing NextGen Communications and Managed Services, helping businesses avoid path dependence while gaining immediate benefits of existing platforms until they are in a position to make a migration. Visit www.bcmone.com 

 

 


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