With coronavirus forcing the world to lock down and keep its distance, many businesses with an eye on the future are choosing to fast-track their digital transformation. Digital tools have enabled people to stay connected, fed, well stocked and productive—and this will only continue in the weeks and months to come. In the meantime, it has made a serious impact on the way we do business, and cloud communications is taking center stage.

Not all cloud solutions are the same. If you're in a position to head in this direction, it is important to use this time to form a sound strategy and ask some questions. For example, what do you need your new communications system to do for your business? What features should it have? What can you compromise on—and what can you not do without?

Businesses today need more than just phones and email. They need mobility, reliability, simplicity and security. They need a communications platform that will help their employees collaborate with ease—no matter where they are or what device they use. In fact, flexibility is a key reason many businesses are eyeing the cloud and weighing solutions like MiCloud Flex.

With so much to consider, the job of evaluating communication services can be incredibly difficult. But the more you understand what you need and what's available in the market today, the easier the choice becomes.

Here are the 10 most important features to prioritize as you compare private cloud solutions.

Your 10-point checklist 

1. Better customization

Businesses always mix and match technologies to suit their business needs, which is why every IT environment is unique. A one-size-fits-all unified communications and collaboration solution isn't going to cut it for many organizations.

With MiCloud Flex, you can easily integrate popular back-office cloud solutions, such as CRMs, ERPs and other applications. What's more, we can handle even the most complex integration needs. Mitel Professional Services practice has over 30 years of extensive integrations experience. With Mitel, your cloud solution transforms into a communications hub that enhances productivity and collaboration.

2. Enhanced security

When it comes to security, compliance and availability in sensitive mission-critical IT workloads, there can be no shortcuts.

That's why MiCloud Flex is built on Google Cloud, the same infrastructure Google uses for its end-user products, several of which serve over one billion users each day. The system is deployed in a dedicated and secure environment. Cloud access provides a deeper level of security due to private and secure network links, and the platform offers the necessary compliance to meet regulatory requirements.

Plus, your employees benefit from a highly reliable and secure communications system that delivers the same features and functionality whether they are in the office, on the road or working from home.

3. More control over upgrades and maintenance

When you move to a public cloud unified communications solution, you’re typically at the mercy of general maintenance windows, with little to no control over when updates occur. This is both frustrating and inconvenient.

Instead, MiCloud Flex offers complete control over maintenance and upgrade windows. You can perform upgrades and other maintenance activities during a specified time frame of your choosing. Our approach reduces the overall impact of a system outage, increasing reliability and performance.

4. Advanced contact center integration

Most providers can only offer a third-party, standard out-of-the-box contact center through a partnership. Third-party contact centers introduce additional complexity, and any troubleshooting requires the intervention of third-party support teams.

Mitel owns and develops its contact center solution, which is fully integrated with our cloud communications platform. The MiCloud Flex Contact Center is an omnichannel contact center designed to enable exceptional customer experiences anywhere, anytime. It leverages Google AI capability, drastically reduces the complexity associated with integrating multiple tools and generates deep insights into data and performance.

5. Easy migration

The process of migrating from an on-site system to the cloud can be complicated. The last thing you want to do is rip out the existing system in its entirety and replace it. With MiCloud Flex, you don’t have to.

Our robust migration strategy provides an easy path for moving customers from MiVoice Business to the cloud efficiently and effectively. Our customers have the option to maintain existing hardware, including end points, gateways and controllers, with either a hybrid or full cloud model. You’ll see a faster ROI accompanied by a low learning curve since your end users are already familiar with the system’s features and functionality.

6. Direct control over system hardware

Most private cloud unified communication solutions are dependent on third-party phones, leaving you with no direct control over your phone portfolio or roadmap.

Mitel has a robust family of desktop end points that enhance the communications experience for businesses at any level. Organizations can choose from a wide range of Mitel 6900 Series of devices and wireless DECT phones with MiCloud Flex. We own and develop the hardware and software for our systems, giving you full control over the roadmap.

7. Complete integration with end points

A private cloud communications system in which the phones aren’t integrated with the unified communications application won’t provide you with enough value or functionality. Mitel end points are fully integrated with collaboration applications, creating a harmonized ecosystem that improves employee productivity.

8. Simple licensing model

No matter how you choose to deploy your private cloud communications platform—on-site, cloud or hybrid—your licensing model needs to be simple. It's one of the most common themes we hear from procurement departments.

Complete feature and application transparency allows you to scale appropriately without having to worry about your investment.

9. Cost-effective third-party and custom integrations

When working with other private cloud communications vendors, you'll often find that third-party and custom integrations use proprietary code. This is a slow and costly process that you won't experience with Mitel. REST APIs allow our customers and third-party developers to deliver custom integrations faster and at a lower cost.

10. Enhanced reliability with less downtime

Downtime is a major concern for any business. If your vendor must manually bring up the secondary data center whenever you lose communications, you'll be offline much longer than you need to be.

MiCloud Flex provides automated failover to a geo-redundant data center. As a result, our customers experience minimal downtime with no customer intervention required to activate failover, providing better business continuity.

Any decision that impacts your whole workforce will of course require an exhaustive selection process. But the above checklist should help you focus on the most critical features.

Keep in mind that MiCloud Flex offers much more than what we’ve outlined above. Our cloud unified communications and collaboration solution offers numerous features that will make the difference in the flexibility, reliability and security of your deployment and your overall peace of mind. To learn more, visit the MiCloud Flex page or contact your Mitel rep.

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