This may sound like a title to a change management book, but in this context, I would like to use it in context of collaboration technologies. Simplifying your collaboration platform is best done by adopting one that is also a cloud-based platform, specifically, cloud calling. But you don’t have to compromise on less performance and features. In fact, with the ability to manage from the cloud, your organization will gain a full feature set with lower costs overall.
When we started these conversations twenty years ago (with the introduction of Voice over IP, or VOIP), I keenly remember discussing the need to make any new device look and act like the one used previously. While we added a few features and did make our 911 platform more robust – it also grew more complicated at the same time.
So here we are at that crossroads again. But this time it is a generational change. One with long lasting impacts as we move workloads to the cloud. That’s why it’s critical we take our learnings from the past twenty years into account as we look for our path forward.
Meeting the collaboration needs of educators and staff
While these decisions are usually made at the facilities, public safety, and IT levels in our organizations, what if we looked at this differently from a persona standpoint? What if we get the robust features that an educator needs, with the ability to guarantee the needs of the facility, public safety team, and the IT department?
Educators are now mobile, agile, and connected. Our communication platforms should reflect this change. Text messaging, video chat, and voice services are all part of the daily channel of communication in our worlds. We have probably all seen instances where, if the school doesn’t provide the feature an educator needs, they will go out and get it themselves. These forms of “shadow IT” are more common than you think.
Transitioning to the cloud gives us the ability to reign in some of those practices. All while giving our educators and staff the access and communication solution that performs best for them.
Collaboration was meant for the cloud
Now for the good news. There are solutions that can meet these needs of all your key personas, and they are based in the cloud.
Cloud-based collaboration solutions offer many benefits that you may not be aware of. First, they provide a single form of identity and communication medium for your users. They can also repurpose many devices you have already invested in. Plus, they’re fully compliant and more robust for your public safety teams (including requirements for nomadic services and the Ray Baum’s act).
With a cloud-based collaboration solution, your IT department can avoid long, drawn out—and painful—upgrades. Or worrying about location and redundancy needs of an aging data center. Cloud-based collaboration solutions can also integrate with your current cloud platforms, simplifying identity, authentication, and configuration. These can be accomplished with a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) cloud platform that is easier to administer, analyze, and operate.
This is where Webex Calling comes in
Implementing a cloud calling platform gives you added flexibility, plus high-value features and enhanced security. For example, as a cloud-based platform, Webex Calling can be part of an overall collaboration solution or function as a stand-alone, providing features and functionality that add strong value for your users.
The ability to access local emergency management services is an additional feature that is vital for enhancing the physical security of your facilities. The interoperability with silent panic buttons within the teaching environment means that notifications and local, state, and federal E911 requirements are in place.
What about survivability? Webex Calling has multiple ways to address it, from the simple use of an application on your mobile phone, to multi-path network connectivity, to the standards of premise-based backup. It’s a cloud-based collaboration solution that can meet most any type of requirement you need.
Building your cloud calling solution for the future
Moving to a cloud calling platform is the generational change that we’ve been waiting for. It gives your organization added flexibility, high value features, and enhanced security. With Webex Calling, you set your schools on a solid path for the next 10 years. One that empowers your educators, administration, and staff with a technology that enhances their ability to teach.
Let’s avoid the mistake we, as an industry, made twenty years ago when we merely shifted the platform from one medium to another. We now have the rare opportunity to build a feature rich platform that can serve our educators and staff through a cloud-based ecosystem reflecting their current use cases and needs. And truly impact this and future generations for the better.
Register today for our next Cloud Calling webinar
Ready to learn more about cloud calling in K-12? Join our live webinar on February 8 hosted by our education collaboration experts.