Budgeting for the Cloud


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Budgeting for the Cloud

  1. 1. Budgeting for the Cloud—Preparing for a 2012 ShiftWhite Paper • November 2011
  2. 2. The next big shift that small businesses need to think about is Software as a Service, commonly called SaaS.SaaS has already gone main stream in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications, where servicessuch as SalesForce and SugarCRM are well established. The next major development is the wide scaleacceptance and deployment of cloud-based business communication solutions.Cloud-based communications can 1. Reduce your costs and complexity, with savings of up to 40% on business telephony functionality 2. Help manage on-going operating and feature upgrade expenses 3. Avoid management of system configuration, backups and warrantiesWhen compared to a premise-based solution, a cloud-based business communications solution makeseconomic and business sense. Most importantly, it allows you to focus on your top priority, your business.So, given that the financial benefits of moving to the cloud are clear, what steps should you take now to preparefor a cloud-based communications transition in 2012?Ask yourself three basic questions as you prepare your next budget. These decision points will help you prepareand take full advantage of cloud-based business communication services in 2012 and beyond. To learn more, please visit fonality.com or call 877- FONALITY
  3. 3. How do you want to reduce unproductive investments?If you are targeting a number of business growth opportunities, should you invest your capital in thesenew opportunities, or in the underlying communications infrastructure? After all access to and managementof working capital is a key challenge faced by many businesses like yours. The pay-as-you-grow model ofcloud-based solutions ensures you only pay for the services you use and need, without incurring additionalup-front costs. The lesson: you should stop investing and growing your existing solutions, as thisis not taking you where you need to go.When considering your operating expenses, does it make sense to invest in IT skills and people that don’treally help you grow the business or enhance the customer experience? Not really. Does it make sense topay for technology power and cooling requirements in each of your sites? No again. The pay-as-you-growmodel associated with cloud-based communications solutions includes the cost of maintenance, support andupgrades, largely eliminating the need for you to staff up in these areas. Your IT budget requirements woulddrop proportionately.The bottom-line is that transitioning to a cloud-based business communications solution allows you to moreeffectively invest in your business, while reducing the on-going costs of your communications environment. Ifthis sounds like a win-win to you, you’re right!Where do you want to focus your management attention?Most businesses would readily admit that the focus should be on growing the business, rather than onworrying about your communications infrastructure. Businesses that own their own communications systemsoften complain about on-going maintenance, backup, and operations costs associated with these systems.They also complain about the challenges of managing technology lifecycles and associated warranty andupgrade costs. In fact, most customer technology environments are dated, resulting in lost opportunities tomaintain and enhance customer service and employee productivity.Cloud-based business communication solutions allow your business to focus on all aspectsof evolving and growing the business, while the service provider manages the technology and deliversthe communications experience.As a result, a higher percentage of your budget can be applied to enhancing customer service and growingthe business rather than on underlying technologies. You win and so do your customers! To learn more, please visit fonality.com or call 877- FONALITY
  4. 4. How do you best avoid obstacles while adjusting to changingbusiness conditions?Flexibility is an important imperative, as who can really predict all aspects of how you will achieve your businessgrowth. Let’s examine four types of flexibility that you need to consider: 1. Site flexibility — it should be easy to add/drop and grow/shrink new sites in response to business realities. After all, you may need to quickly adapt to customer and competitive pressures. 2. Access flexibility — it should be easy to allow employees to access the network wherever they are, however they connect using whatever device they have. Supporting a mobile work force, while managing costs, is a critical business reality. 3. Geographic flexibility — it should be easy to expand or otherwise change you served market, whether local or remote, domestic or international. You wouldn’t want to miss growth opportunities as they arise! 4. Application flexibility — it should be easy to add new communications and business applications, whether they are employee or customer facing. If you are not moving forward in today’s marketplace, you are probably losing ground.Providing flexibility in changing business conditions, and has overcome the historical challenges with privatesolutions, is a key value proposition of cloud-based business communications solutions. For example, withcloud-based solutions, you only pay for the number of employees you have at a particular moment (i.e., noadditional costs for unused extensions), and adding a user can be done in minutes, not days. This makesbudgeting more predictable with lower risk.Preparing for the Shift Towards Cloud-basedBusiness Communications SolutionsCloud-based business communications solutions, the next big development in the SaaS world, provides forlarge opportunities for small and medium businesses like yours.The three key decision points discussed above, can allow you to fully leverage cloud-based businesscommunications solutions, and a better position for the shift towards Software as a Service (SaaS). Thiswill allow you to realize cost savings of up to 40% for business telephony, to increase flexibility in adjustingto business and market conditions, to reduce management overhead allowing you to focus on growing thebusiness, and to take advantage of powerful new capabilities and applications to enhance customer serviceand improve employee productivity. To learn more, please visit fonality.com or call 877- FONALITY
  5. 5. Fonality, Moving Your Business ForwardFonality is North America’s fastest growing business communications company anda leading provider of cloud-based VoIP and Unified Communications solutions for smalland mid-size businesses. With a unique software model approach, Fonality provides allthe features of legacy providers without the cost or complexity.Founded in 2004, Fonality has delivered more than two billion phone calls across the cloudwhile enabling more than one million users of open-standards based communicationssoftware. Investors include Intel Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Azure CapitalPartners. Visit www.fonality.com for more information or call 877-FONALITY. 5601 Granite Parkway, Suite 500 • Plano TX 75024 1-877-FONALITY • fonality.com