Hybrid Work = Cloud: How Partners Can Seize the Moment

Winning companies earn credibility if they ease clients' shift to cloud-based communication from on-premises systems.

July 22, 2022

3 Min Read
investing in remote work

By Zane Long


Zane Long

On-premises communications are going the way of the pager.

Of course, it may take some time, as many organizations are financially tied to or simply caught up in the complexity of their on-prem systems. But, as the world moves toward a hybrid working model, only the cloud can keep up.

Why Hybrid Needs the Cloud

The primary requirement for hybrid work is mobile flexibility. As employees rotate between the office, working from home, and business travel, the mode of communication they use changes day to day. A platform that provides the same easy-to-use experience no matter their location is essential. From laptop to tablet to smartphone, their communications must move with them — something on-prem, by definition, cannot offer.

The cloud brings other benefits, too. It allows front-line workers in the field to connect with colleagues to support customers in real time, as with disaster response. When people can respond faster, those affected see real impact.

The cloud also offers scalability on a level on-prem simply cannot match. Solutions such as unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) and contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) can be deployed without any hardware, skirting supply chain issues. Most importantly, the cloud allows partners to get their customers up and running faster, providing an agility that allows them to respond to any new challenge.

Finally, the cloud offers an advantage in the current fight for talent. Call it the Great Resignation or Reshuffle or Refocus, but the bottom line is people are looking for companies that offer flexibility in finding work-life balance. So, any organization which embraces cloud communications already has a leg up on the competition, and those who don’t will continue to lose out on quality people.

How Channel Partners Can Help Make the Move

To help organizations successfully make the switch from on-premises to the cloud, channel partners play a critical and valuable role.

To make the transition as seamless as possible, partners must first understand their customer’s individual needs and workflow. Through integrations and communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) capabilities, best-of-breed cloud solutions can tie into many of a customer’s most-used apps. This provides added value by cutting down on the need to toggle between screens, which leads to lost productivity and employee burnout.

Once a partner has a deep understanding of a company’s individual use case, the next step is to offer an all-in-one platform that integrates leading solutions in UCaaS and CCaaS. As customer experience becomes a critical differentiator for any organization, the ability to connect service reps with back-end knowledge workers helps companies stand out. Plus, the company sees added value from a single bill for all their communications services.

Enabling Hybrid Work Runs Through the Channel

With Gartner expecting 85% of all organizations to embrace a cloud-first principle by 2025, partners who focus on the cloud for hybrid work are best positioned to capitalize. By making it easy for customers to upgrade from on-prem, partners solidify their value as trusted, ongoing advisers.

Organizations everywhere are facing challenges to adapt to hybrid work. Partners who make the process simple gain credibility and help their clients future-proof now, both of which lead to long-term revenue.

The shift to the cloud is inevitable — it’s only a matter of time. So why not lead the way?

Zane Long is senior vice president of global partner sales at RingCentral, where he oversees RingCentral’s global channel partner division. With more than 21 years of channel leadership and management experience, he was the architect behind Channel Harmony. He is a three-time winner of the Channel Futures Circle of Excellence award. Prior to joining RingCentral, he held senior roles at Genband (Ribbon Communications), Cbeyond and Level 3. You may follow him on LinkedIn or @RingCentral on Twitter.

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