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Simplifying Your Office in the Cloud

26 May 2015 by Scott Sterling

When you think of “the cloud,” a lot of benefits come to mind. Constant availability. Cost savings. Mobility. But what about simplicity?

Although there were many reasons the famed bicycle manufacturer Shimano’s American operation went forward with Insight’s recommendation for a cloud-based telephone system, what they ended up finding out was that simplicity might have been the largest benefit of all. In contrast, Shimano’s existing telephone architecture was very complicated. “We needed to consolidate,” explains Mike Davis, Shimano’s senior manager of IT. “We had five companies in North America: two on the same [phone] system, all the others on independent systems.” Traditional phone systems come with a set of headaches that users regularly encounter and cloud-based systems can solve those issues.

  • Users can plug a headset into their laptop for a virtual office solution, no matter the location.
  • 8×8’s mobile app allows calls to be routed to most devices — iPad, other tablets or smartphones.
  • Videoconferencing runs through the same architecture.

“A lot of our employees travel — domestically and internationally — and need a phone connection to work. With 8×8, we can talk to Japan without paying international phone rates, and our employees have the ability to work remotely,” according to Mr. Davis. The person in the office most grateful for VoIP cloud solutions might be each location’s administrator.

  • Adding or removing lines is as easy as creating new users in an administrative console — no more phone technicians needed.
  • 8×8’s billing is a flat monthly fee rather than a system based on minutes and long distance.
  • No more on-premises equipment. New features are “blown down” from 8×8’s data centers rather than requiring highly technical upgrades that probably require system downtime.

As you can guess, all of these benefits add up to cost savings. Mr. Davis can attest to that. “We’re saving money on our phone bill, on our overall maintenance costs. And of course, we’ve gained more flexibility.” In terms of man hours gained and frustration saved, these are benefits that make moving to the cloud well worth it. From a business phone system to fully integrated unified communications and cloud contact center solutions, 8×8 delivers flexible communication solutions that are simple to use and scale on demand.