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UC Roundup: Mitel on Shifting to Cloud, Windstream’s New Web Chat

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UC Roundup

COVID-19 has spiked interest in shifting to cloud for communications, and experts expect even more investment after the pandemic ends.

Cloud communications spending and demand have been growing at a double-digit rate for the past five years. And the global cloud PBX market is expected to be worth nearly $21 billion by 2023, according to a report from Market Research Future.

The combination of mobility and low cost is attractive to customers, who want the flexibility that shifting to cloud offers. The move to remote working due to the pandemic has proven the benefits of shifting to cloud. And shifting to cloud can foster more effective collaboration.

Mitel's Scott Peterson

Mitel’s Scott Peterson

We wanted to learn more about what’s driving this growth in cloud communications and issues involved with shifting to cloud. So we spoke with Scott Peterson, Mitel‘s senior vice president for the Americas.

Mitel recently announced its flagship private cloud service, MiCloud Flex, is now available on Google Cloud as a wholesale offering in the United States, United Kingdom and France. The service provides midmarket and enterprise organizations more choice in cloud models.

In addition, it offers Mitel channel partners more opportunities for growth.

In 2019, Mitel launched its UCaaS offering, MiCloud Connect, on Google Cloud, and says it has since seen a significant increase in demand.

Channel Partners: Can you give some examples of how cloud communications have benefited partners and their customers during the pandemic?

Scott Peterson: Once social distancing protocols started going into effect, businesses had to decide how they were going to ensure business continuity with empty offices. Cloud is purpose-built for ubiquitous access and communications. So partners and customers were able to make the transition with less disruption and focus on other needs of their businesses. For example, some customers transitioned to mobile devices and softphones for their contact center agents leaving their phone on their desks. Since it was part of their cloud license, only a few changes were made to ensure calls never stopped coming.

CP: Is it easier now for organizations to move to cloud communications? If so, how?

SP: It’s fair to say that cloud communications will be a part of more organizations’ long-term strategy. Mitel believes every organization will eventually go to the cloud, but each one has unique business needs with their own requirements. As a result, it’s important that communications be cloud-capable and IT decision makers have the flexibility to choose the cloud that’s right for them (public, private or hybrid), at a time that’s right for them.

CP: What are we likely to see in terms of cloud communications as normal business starts to resume?

SP: There will likely be greater investment in collaboration technologies, especially those that incorporate video communications. The migration to working from home may not have been as disruptive for customers on cloud. But the need to connect via video has proven vital in today’s environment. Before the pandemic, the novelty of video collaboration, which had been around for years, became a necessity as isolated employees sought normalcy in crisis.

CP: Are there any latest trends in cloud communications technology?

SP: There’s a lot of innovation happening in the cloud. Mitel saw a notable transition from team collaboration, which was hot a few years ago, to video collaboration, to environments that allow the use of voice, text and video communications to happen …

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