What happens when you invite about 100 consultants to the Canadian Telecommunications Consultants Association conference in Ontario, and ask which is better – cloud or premise?

As the host Steve Leaden points out, it’s not a black or white answer.

I was pleased to present several case studies on Mobile UC, plus be a member on a panel on Cloud versus Premise. The only thing that is clear is the opportunity for consultants to help their clients understand the differences. Joining me on the panel were representatives from Cisco and Avaya.

It’s quite clear many vendors do not have the experience that M5 Networks has in building a customer service oriented business, that is more than throwing racks of gear in a collocated facility and try to roll out a service. The consultants were in full agreement that the organization that can address the service problem at 2 p.m. in 5 minutes not 5 hours is going to be the organization that wins.

So if service is the differentiator, is service in the cloud the answer for everyone?

Based on the consultant dialog, the answer is not necessarily. The reality is the CIO is usually the cloud master, whether a company system runs in a third-party service office, or in the closet via a private cloud. And for businesses that just prefer to have someone else manage it for them, a hosted offer make sense – if the service if focused on delivering world-class service.

ShoreTel is fortunate to now offer both solutions. The legacy guys paid the price by taking complexity and making an IP version of complexity, which still result in those five hours of troubleshooting when things go sideways during a WAN outage.

It’s nice to know ShoreTel customers don’t face that problem. Probably because they shouldn’t have to in the first place.

Digital transformation has become a top initiative for business and IT leaders. In today’s business world, sustainable market leadership is no longer based solely on which company has the best products or even the best people. Instead, organizations that are agile and can quickly adapt to rapidly evolving market trends will become market leaders.

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