Monthly Archives - October 2021

Your Top Cloud Migration Questions Answered: Part 2

In this blog, we follow up on part 1 in our series with answers to more of your top cloud migration questions. Our second installment focuses on the specifics of handset migration, and how migration to MiCloud Connect affects your communications features, functions and configuration capabilities.  

What If My Current Handsets Are Not Compatible With MiCloud Connect? Do I Have To Purchase New Ones?

Right now, we’re offering a number of incentives to help more of our customers migrate from their on-premises Mitel solution to MiCloud Connect, which is our flagship global cloud solution. And there are great incentives related to handset upgrades. 

In North America, we include a free handset upgrade for customers who aren’t already using compatible phones, such as Mitel 6900 series or 400 series IP phones. We even include free shipping for the upgraded handsets.  

We’re also offering other incentives, such as free installation, free implementation and special pricing for monthly subscriptions to further reduce the costs of transitioning to the cloud. 

For details about all of our various incentives to help with cloud migration, reach out to your Mitel partner, and they’ll be happy to provide the information you need. 

Will I Be Able To Retain My Current Communications Functionality If I Transition To MiCloud Connect? 

Absolutely. After you migrate from your Mitel on-premises solution to MiCloud Connect, you will be able to do everything you were doing before. Plus, you’ll have access to a world of new capabilities that are available through MiCloud Connect. 

We can maintain all of your existing functionality after the transition because the MiCloud Connect platform is very versatile. We can even implement all of your current features and functions in the same way they’re implemented in your current Mitel solution. For example, if your current solution is set up to alert technicians when a voicemail message is left, or to escalate voicemails to multiple devices or email addresses, we can build that same functionality into MiCloud Connect. Even your choices for music while people are on hold can be loaded into the MiCloud Connect platform so the user experience is identical. 

How Do You Manage The Cloud Migration Process? 

We’ve put a number of people and processes in place to ensure we complete every cloud migration in the most effective and efficient way possible and deliver all of the requested features and functions. Our dedicated team of cloud migration experts covers the complete migration path so every aspect of your transition to the cloud is considered and addressed. 

We also use tools that help to automate and accelerate your transition to the cloud. In fact, we’re testing migration tools in the field right now, and they’re getting tremendous feedback.  

The migration tools we work with automatically detect all of the functionality that’s being used on the network and generate an audit report. You can then confirm the report includes all of the functionality you currently have and determine whether there are any capabilities you no longer need. Once you’ve verified the list of features and functions you want to continue using, we create the cloud versions of those same capabilities. 

The migration tools also help us to quickly and easily replicate your current feature set. For example, we can extract details about button programming on your phones and how button labels and phone lines are set up, then simply upload that information into the new cloud system. These kinds of efficiencies dramatically reduce the amount of time from discovery to go live. 

By making decisions based on the audit report, you can ensure you’re only paying for the functionality you’re actively using and that the number of users you’re paying for matches your current staffing numbers. We’ve had cases where customers had purchased 100 licenses at one point, no longer have that many users but didn’t get around to cleaning up the system programming. Migrating to the cloud is an excellent opportunity to rectify those types of discrepancies. 

Can I Combine My On-Premises PBX And Phones With Applications That Are Hosted In The Cloud?

We do have cloud-based applications, such as Mitel MiTeam Meetings, which allows you to take advantage of seamless, real-time video conferencing and collaboration on a subscription basis. But, in the end, we’re trying to get our customers to the point where they can access all of the available cloud features and functions at an affordable rate and turn them on and off as needed. 

Fully migrating to the cloud gives you considerably more flexibility to meet different users’ requirements for voice, chat, video, file sharing and other features, and to accommodate different work styles. You can also mix and match service plans. We don’t limit you to one subscription for the entire company.  

Can I Manage All Of My Users And Locations And Make Programming Changes To MiCloud Connect? 

Because MiCloud Connect is provided as a managed service, you have a lot of flexibility. These tasks can be managed for you by Mitel, 4Sight, or you can take care of these tasks yourself. It just depends on how you want to set up the service.   

There’s also a lot of flexibility in terms of how individual settings can be configured. For example, permissions can be set in the way that best matches your users and the way your business functions. You may want to set permissions company-wide, based on users’ locations or their role in the organization.   

This blog post was first published by Mitel.

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Your Top Cloud Migration Questions Answered: Part 1

Every year, more businesses are migrating to communications solutions that are delivered from the cloud instead of using traditional on-premises equipment. If you were to take a snapshot in time, it would show that 54 percent of businesses are currently looking to move to the cloud. That translates to about 23 million individual users.

How does cloud migration help future proof communications? The following points will help you understand what cloud communications mean for your business.

Why Are Businesses Moving Away From On-Premises Communications Solutions?

Businesses are looking for different capabilities than they’ve had in the past. They want their staff to be able to work from different locations. They want to be mobile, and they want software and tools that help them better engage with customers. 

There’s also the “millennial factor.” There’s a whole generation of individuals who prefer to send a text message or have a chat session rather than pick up the phone and call someone. Businesses need to support all of these different types of communications channels.

For businesses that are expanding and merging with other companies, cloud-based communications are a great way to provide a consistent set of capabilities to new teams, support new branch offices and engage with customers in different regions.

Another key driver is the need to streamline operations to focus on the core business and ensure processes are aligned with communications tools and interaction styles.

And finally, when it’s time to refresh, renew or replace existing on-premises solutions, the cloud just makes a lot of sense. 


What Makes Cloud Communications Solutions Future Proof?

A truly future-proof cloud communications solution delivers the best of everything:

  • A consistent set of features and functions no matter where people are
  • An intuitive and simple, but powerful, user experience across all features and functions
  • The flexibility to mix and match new and advanced features with essential features and to change feature bundles and licensing as needed
  • The ability to integrate with customer relationship management and other backend systems
  • Extremely high reliability
  • Affordability
  • No downtime during installation and implementation

It sounds like a wish list, but it’s all possible. Mitel MiCloud Connect allows teams to work from anywhere using voice, chat, video, file sharing and other capabilities. It’s very reliable, provides a consistent user experience across mobile phones, desk phones and desktop apps and it’s available through flexible and interchangeable subscriptions.

How Are Cloud Communications More Cost-Effective Than On-Premises Solutions That Are Paid For?

The key is to compare total cost of ownership for on-premises and cloud solutions.

With on-premises solutions, you may have already paid for the hardware and licenses, but you have to consider the many additional costs these solutions require. Those costs include:

  • Telecom services
  • Ongoing license renewals
  • Ongoing PBX maintenance and upgrades
  • Space, power and cooling costs for backroom equipment
  • In-house technical staff to maintain, administer and manage the solution

With a cloud solution, there are very few fees to consider and no hidden fees. You pay your subscription fee, the costs of the handsets and connectivity you need and that’s it. Even if you bring in new hires after the cloud solution is deployed, the cost of training them is included in the monthly subscription fee.

If you compare the total cost of an on-premises solution over its lifetime to the total cost of a cloud solution over the same period of time, you’ll see why we say cloud solutions are the more cost-effective approach.

In fact, we have models that show there’s a minimum 60 percent savings in the total cost of ownership with cloud communications. If you’d like to see the models, please reach out to us today and we will be happy to talk you through all the details.

How Do We Roll Out Cloud Communications Across Multiple Sites, Offices Or Locations?

We have a number of technologies and processes in place that allow us to be as flexible as possible during rollouts. For example, depending on the connectivity that’s being used, there are different ways for cloud solutions to communicate with legacy systems. 

In addition, we can provision cloud solutions to support many users, but not activate all of them or charge you for them until they’re needed. This makes it easy to add users at different sites when it makes sense. The licensing flexibility we provide is particularly helpful to businesses with seasonal requirements where they may need to give more people access to communications services around holiday periods or in the summer.

We can also do phased migrations and staged rollouts based on different sites, office locations, sections of offices, departments and other criteria. The users involved in each phase are fully trained in how the solution works and how phones can be programmed so they’re ready to start using the solution as soon as it’s live. 

How Does 4Sight Handle The Transition From On-Premises Solutions To Cloud Solutions?

We have a huge amount of experience helping companies make their move to the cloud. We understand what works and what doesn’t. 

We’ve put a lot of thought and effort into how we can make the transition to the cloud as seamless as possible for our customers and how we can protect their existing investments. For example, if you have Mitel 6900 series or 400 series IP phones, you can reuse those phones with Mitel MiCloud Connect. 

There are a number of other ways we simplify your transition to the cloud, and we truly believe no one makes your move to the cloud easier than we do.

This blog post was first published by Mitel.

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How Do Hybrid Workplaces Boost Employee Engagement?

The world came to a halt owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. It forced most of us to try out a new working arrangement. That is when work-from-home and remote working policies came into consideration.

However, some jobs require fieldwork and cannot support the work from home setup. In such a scenario, a hybrid workplace can strike a balance between the two.

This working model has enormous advantages. It gives employees a sense of freedom and fulfilment at work. But, there are some challenges that employers and employees are facing for the first time. At the top of this priority list are employee engagement and employee wellbeing

But let’s first reflect on the definition and advantages of a hybrid workplace.

Meaning Of A Hybrid Workplace

The hybrid workplace supports a distributed workforce.  It includes both in-office and remote workers. It is a scenario in which employees occasionally work at the office and complete the rest of their work from home at their convenience.

Advantages Of A Hybrid Workplace.

  1. The hybrid workforce is more productive, promotes holistic well-being, and thus more economical.
  2. It attracts employees of all ages and retains them by enhancing job satisfaction.
  3. Both your employees and your company will profit financially from a hybrid workplace. You save money on operating expenses. Your employees save money since they don’t have to commute to work or buy lunch.
  4. By reducing the number of people in the office during a pandemic, a hybrid workplace is a great safety protocol.

The Hidden Traps Of A Hybrid Workplace

It Is Difficult For Women, Digital Introverts And Junior Executives.

The pandemic particularly hit women’s lives massively. Because of the pressures of home-schooling their children, many mothers chose to be furloughed. Their male counterparts, on the other hand, continued to work full-time, although remotely.

In the hybrid work model, there is a significant risk that men’s and women’s attendance at physical workplaces will be imbalanced. It will have more women choosing to work remotely for a longer time. As a result, women are likely to fall behind in promotion possibilities and might lead to an increased gender pay gap.

Meanwhile, extroverts have a greater chance of fitting in at hybrid workplaces. They are more likely to wish to return to work. But introverts would most likely want to continue working from home. This division of different workplaces runs the risk of creating a digital divide.

The employees who work in the office can participate and contribute more effectively. But those who work from home fall behind and are side-lined.

Introducing and nurturing new talent is a daunting challenge in the hybrid workplace. There are several advantages to working in a physical location that would be lost or lessened in a hybrid setting.

For example-

  • They will face the inability to understand the organizational structure and culture.
  • They will have limited exposure to their colleagues and leaders.
  • It will affect trust due to a lack of communication and team-building activities.

Lack Of Proper Equipment Impacts Productivity.

Equipment can range from laptops, stationeries, mobile phones, office supplies to internet connections and ergonomic furniture.

Let’s not deny, we’ve all worked from our beds during the pandemic. Numerous studies suggest that working from a bed can be harmful to both the mind and the body. Poor working posture can cause headaches and back pain, affecting productivity.

When most companies provide this equipment and supplies to in-person employees, refusing to provide or reimburse remote and hybrid employees for these expenses is a clear sign of a hostile work environment.

There Is Ever-Increasing Isolation And Resentment Among Employees.

Social isolation is an evil that comes along with a hybrid workplace. This isolation is often caused by employees’ feelings of exclusion rather than a lack of engagement with their co-workers. According to a 2020 Igloo survey, nearly 60% of all teleworkers say they don’t have access to specific information because managers shared it in person. Furthermore, 55% say they’ve been left out of meetings because they aren’t physically present.

Long working hours (a supposed by-product of remote work) that result in overwork can also lead to genuine burnout for these employees

Eurofound study discovered that mobile employees have much greater stress levels. For example, 41% of them regard themselves as “very stressed,” compared to only 25% of those who do not work remotely. Furthermore, 42% of teleworkers (at home or on the go) say they wake up multiple times per night (compared to 29 percent of those who do not telework).

A Hybrid Workplace, If Not Appropriately Managed, Can Negatively Impact Employee Engagement.

It also has its own set of other complexities, particularly when it comes to fostering employee engagement. It erodes the proven organizational norms that trust, cohesion and shared experiences are necessary for culture and performance.

It calls for the creation of two distinct cultures: one in the office and one online. As a result, managers may find it difficult to supervise and engage their distributed teams.

The Top 4 Ways To Keep Employees Engaged In The Hybrid Workplace

1.Encourage Creativity
We must be creative in bringing people together to facilitate a high level of connectivity amongst distributed workforces. Managers should check on employees to learn about their interests, hobbies, or how they spent their weekends. Contests and activities like a fun zoom icebreaker session can help employees feel more connected and foster team bonding. Doing these is especially crucial for younger generations who look for meaning, purpose and connection in their work.

2.Provide The Right Equipment
Even if employees work from home, organizations must be conscious of their working environment. Simple things like their desk setup, availability of a high-end microphone or speaker, and adequate lighting can enhance the employee experience.  It must promote comfort and alleviate medical issues for remote workers. So, leaders must provide employees with the necessary equipment ahead of time.

3.Minimize Burnout
We need to help employees set limits, especially since the current work-life balance is practically non-existent. Advise them to turn off email and work notifications after working hours and encourage them to take breaks during the day. Encouraging them to participate in some wellness activities can help them feel and perform better.

We can minimize burnout by having well-defined meeting agendas with specific goals. Identify the people who need to attend a meeting, for example. It can make the most efficient use of everyone’s time while also making each employee feel valued and productive.

4.Prioritize Employee Recognition
Workplace incentives and perks must be well-structured to engage the employees. It would help if you recognized extraordinary effort, new ideas, team contributions and leadership by implementing a great employee recognition program.

As new technologies emerge, the hybrid workplace will continue to evolve. However, the ultimate goal that every hybrid workplace should strive for will revolve around the above employee engagement practices.

This blog post was first published by Mitel.

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