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BT and Cisco cloud solution to help IT managers tackle ’digital dislocation’

New research reveals that stretched budgets and outdated systems prevent better collaboration in large organisations, with solutions emerging in the cloud


New independent research commissioned by BT and Cisco found that global organisations are increasingly facing a risk of ‘digital dislocation’ as employees demand new and better ways of collaborating and communicating while IT managers use workarounds to keep up with outdated technology.

With the sharp increase in flexible working, strong demand for better collaboration tools, rise of video culture in global organisation and pressure on IT departments to allow use of own devices (BYOD), IT managers are increasingly looking at cloud services as a solution to their stretched budgets and outdated legacy systems bursting at seams to accommodate these trends.

In a survey of 500 IT decision makers in the UK and the rest of Europe, three quarters (78 per cent) of those polled said employees don’t appreciate how difficult it is for IT departments to meet expectations. Only one in three of those polled said their communications platform is equipped to change with the business, with half (52 per cent) saying their telephone exchange (PBX) is outdated and 40 per cent saying their Centrex system needs replacing.

Cloud is increasingly seen as a solution to the problem with almost two thirds (63 per cent) of IT managers saying cloud will become the prevalent way for delivering voice and communication services in the future. In fact, 85 per cent of these managers are looking to deploy cloud collaboration services to help them meet demand.

More than half (58 per cent) believe that such cloud solutions can be kept up to date more easily, and almost a third (29 per cent) would prefer to pay for collaboration services on a no commitment basis.
BT and Cisco are addressing these requirements through the launch of the new One Cloud Cisco, a solution that lays the long-term foundation for voice, video and data communications. Based on the Cisco® Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), One Cloud Cisco includes a full range of collaboration tools including mobility, Jabber® presence and instant messaging, HD video and HD voice. It can be deployed on a pay per user basis with options for no term or call volume commitment, directly addressing the need within IT departments for solutions that are cost efficient, scalable and easy to deploy.

Reducing cost remains a business priority; organisations that have taken cloud technologies beyond trial have experienced on average a 24 per cent reduction in total operating costs and a 25 per cent improvement in productivity.

Combined with the BT One Voice portfolio of services, the new solution brings additional benefits to companies through substantial savings on international calls and mobile roaming charges with the Jabber mobile client.

The survey also reveals that two-thirds (63 per cent) of IT managers see security as the main obstacle to deployment of cloud solutions in general. BT addresses the security concerns through deployment of policies accredited by third-party agencies and an approach that eliminates single points of failure. BT Assure security experts can be deployed to ensure that any non-BT infrastructure used to deliver the service is equally secure.

Neil Sutton, vice president, Global Portfolio, BT Global Services, said: “At BT, we know that better conversations are key to a better future. The way people collaborate at work directly influences the quality of the decisions made in companies every day. It has never been more important not to compromise on the collaboration experience.

“By launching One Cloud Cisco we are offering our customers a new, hosted collaboration tool that is tightly integrated into our One Voice portfolio of services, offering what we believe will be a better experience and significant savings through our pricing policy and flexible service terms. Customers can take advantage of our global expertise in the field of unified communications to help them increase the productivity of their teams and improve the quality of conversations within their organisations as well as with their customers, partners and suppliers.”

Eric Waltert, managing director, Collaboration, Cisco Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia, said: “New technologies can transform enterprise collaboration, enabling employees and customers to use voice, video and data applications for richer interactions and improved productivity. Organisations that are not keeping pace with the latest collaboration trends are falling behind – and losing a considerable market advantage in the process.

“The rise in mobility has opened up new ways in which teams, employees and customers are choosing to connect and collaborate with one another to get things done. The key to success in this new world is having open and accessible communications that cross experiences – whether it be in a physical office, face-to-face through a video call, in a voice call, or in a converged connection through Cisco Jabber. BT’s One Cloud Cisco provides customers with a sophisticated collaboration and communication experience that corporate IT expects, while also offering the same intuitiveness and simplicity found in easy-to-use software-based consumer communication tools.”

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About the research – Digital Dislocation in the Workplace
Independent research commissioned by BT Global Services and Cisco polled 500 IT decision makers to gain insight into the expectations and requirements for cloud-based collaboration. Respondents were either the main or joint IT decision makers from a wide range of organisations in the private and public sectors with more than 500 employees. Research was conducted in September 2013 in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

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