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Cloud-based tech solutions maximize opportunities and minimize obstacles across many business functions — from automating workflows to discovering actionable insights for big-picture network management, the cloud can be a company’s savior. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is no different and is an increasingly important part of cloud investment strategies.

That’s why many are pivoting to UCaaS from a unified communications (UC) platform to manage communications technology for cost savings, agility, and streamlined remote collaboration. With nearly half of employees working remotely at least some of the time, employers are spending more to simplify this new reality, with Gartner projecting more than 22% growth for 2022 in cloud service expenditures.

While the cloud drives positive outcomes, a looming recession may cause organizations to slow investments in this and other tech areas. And transitioning UC to a hosted UCaaS service can be challenging. But knowing what to ask up front can save headaches, doubt, and costs — not just for today, but repeat savings.

To help, we’re sharing answers to the questions many SpyGlass clients ask about how to set up a financially-savvy UC technology transition to maximize the benefits of the cloud without breaking the bank.

1) When it comes to investing in cloud-based UCaaS, should I take an “all or nothing” approach?

Unified communications continue to gain traction as they quickly scale collaboration, communication, and productivity for decentralized teams. That said, for every 100 SnapShot Audits SpyGlass performs across the U.S., only a handful of clients have deployed a complete UCaaS-hosted solution.

Some folks held off on a full cloud transition due to locked-in investments in on-premise solutions. For example, VoIP or ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) services contracts typically automatically renew every three to five years. For traditional phone systems, it’s seven to 10 years. As a result, organizations kept a portion of their UC on-premise while moving select applications to the cloud — leading to extra costs.

Migrating to a hybrid solution is often the first, simplest step, and at times offers the best of both worlds. On the other hand, hybrid models can lead to clunky integration and unnecessary billing complexity along with less agility and decreased functionality.

A better approach is to completely understand your total cost of ownership (TCO) of all technology assets and services. Technology expense audits find excess fees that negatively impact your bottom line.

One of our clients explains it best: “Our technology and telecom setups are so complex — it’s difficult for people in the accounting department or someone in my position to know if we’re getting charged the correct amount,” shares national metal distributor Coast Aluminum and Architectural Controller Kelly Stewart.

“We had added some branches and everything (in terms of technology services) got a little bit more robust. For minimal work on our side, SpyGlass helped us realize reduced expenses that help us with the bottom line.”

Think you’re already a lean machine? SnapShot Audits find savings opportunities in over 99% of all engagements.

2. What are some of the challenges — and costs — in transitioning to a UCaaS service?

Transitioning to a UCaaS service seems simple: essentially you buy licenses based on users and then connect the endpoints. But the shift isn’t without challenges and hidden costs, including:

  • Increased bandwidth needs: Moving to the cloud means rethinking your network architecture to guarantee the right amount of bandwidth to connect endpoints. Bandwidth needs and potential costs can increase with UCaaS—and may be overlooked in billings.
  • Devices: Desk and mobile phones remain, while necessary additions and upgrades like webcams and wireless headsets can be expensive, adding to overall service charges.
  • Existing technology services: Automatic renewals or termination penalties for existing technology can slip through the cracks. A proactive, thorough TEM audit takes full inventory of current on-premise technologies to prevent unexpected added costs.

3. Does UCaaS reduce redundant technology service costs?

Yes and no. UCaaS provides flexibility and scalability to simplify UC connections. But the shift to the hybrid work environment has caused many existing business assets to sit idle, even while you pay for them. For example, a Motus report found unused phone lines cost companies over $10,000 per 100 devices every year.

Idle and forgotten telecom waste is a challenge across the wide variety of industries SpyGlass serves. Unused cloud solutions can similarly add up, negatively impacting your bottom line with:

  • Lack of visibility of user licenses across the organization or within departments
  • Staff credit card subscription purchases with automatic renewals
  • Poor user adoption due to lack of training

Careful inventory is key, and unnecessary collaboration tool subscriptions are on the SpyGlass technology audit radar.

A thorough technology expense audit is the ideal proactive move to a full or partial UCaaS transition — and the best repeat move once your UCaaS solution is in place.

The time is now to gain valuable tech service cost clarity.