Enterprise networks have been undergoing massive change. The convergence of voice and data networks, retirement of legacy PSTN and POTS lines, adoption of unified communications, the mobile revolution, and cable providers’ entry into telecom. It is impossible to sit passively on the sidelines without at least attempting to change and take advantage of new opportunities.
Microsoft has introduced new features to Office 365 such as unlimited conferencing, international calling plans, and Cloud PBX which routes calls so enterprises don’t need to operate PBX equipment. Earlier offerings from Microsoft required users to install communications software on their own servers; this made their services prohibitively expensive for some enterprises. These moves follow the trends of reducing complexity and moving away from corporate data centers. This service will also make Microsoft more competitive with Cisco and Alphabet’s cloud-based communication services.
This model may prove to be a compelling alternative to maintaining costly on-premise PBX systems, but it may not be feasible until Avaya, Polycom, and other suppliers ship phones that can connect directly to these cloud services. In the meantime, telecom managers need to think about how they are managing dramatic changes to enterprise networks. This revolution requires software to manage network assets, automated capabilities to track service order requests, automated software to ensure discontinued services are removed from billing, and reporting to track everything from consumption to billing.
Microsoft and other firms are offering aggressive prices and the promise of additional cost savings, but these cost savings will be elusive if organizations fail to discontinue services that are no longer needed. In short, organizations must bring TEM programs to the revolution. These dramatic changes require more resources and control procedures to manage the transition and constant change that enterprises will be experiencing.