March 5, 2014

Business Talks

After a rough few years, the midmarket is no longer putting off investing in technology.
According to KPMG, 60 percent of midmarket companies plan to increase capital spending, with
the highest priority being information technology.1
This makes sense when you look at some of the key challenges facing the midmarket today. A
new generation of mobile workers, the rising popularity of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), small
IT teams, tight budgets requiring low-risk strategies — all of these issues can be addressed with
the right technologies, especially those that provide unified communications and collaboration
(UC&C) capabilities.
As always, though, you can’t simply throw technology at the problem. In this report, we’ll take a
look at some of the top challenges the midmarket is facing, as well as considerations to keep in
mind when choosing a UC&C option.

TOP 4 MIDMARKET BUSINESS CHALLENGES

#1 CHALLENGE: PLANNING FOR GROWTH

Midmarket is anything but small. The U.S. midmarket is the fourth largest
economy in the world. After three quarters of decline, companies in this key
segment posted average gross revenue increases of 7 percent — stronger than
industry predictions — and added 1.17 million new jobs in 2012.

These companies can vary from 100 to 1000 employees or more, with anywhere from $100 million
to $1 billion in revenue.
There’s a lot of room to grow and change, and those opportunities will be
expanding in the years ahead. That’s why it’s critical to establish a system for
fast, effective communication between employees, partners and customers. In a
dynamic workplace, it can be all too easy for ideas to get lost, decisions to get
delayed and departments to become isolated from each other.
A UC&C solution can help break down these barriers to collaboration, but be
sure the solution can scale along with your business. If it can’t easily support the
addition of new users and functionality, the costs and headaches of constant
upgrades and maintenance will outweigh the benefits.

#2 CHALLENGE: EMPOWERING THE WORKFORCE

Your solution not only needs to support hundreds of users, it also needs to
support them wherever they go. The workforce is no longer chained to a
desk, locked inside the firewall, but at home, in satellite offices, overseas and
everywhere in between. Employees are also using smartphones, laptops and
tablets, often the same devices they use in their personal lives.
To stay productive and competitive, midmarket companies need to support
these consumer devices both on their network and anywhere workers travel.
The fundamental tools of unified communications — voice, video and
mobility — help your company stay in touch and nimble enough to respond
to changing conditions in real time.
Opening your network to a range of devices from anywhere in the world,
however, can be a serious risk. Security needs to be your top priority when
upgrading your collaboration technologies. Otherwise, you can find your
network vulnerable to hacks, data leaks, outages and unplanned downtime.

#3 CHALLENGE: STREAMLINING THE INFRASTRUCTURE

Often, improving security begins with simplifying your network. Many midmarket companies have limited IT resources,
which means you need an infrastructure that’s relatively easy to configure and upgrade. Your UC&C solution also needs
to be easy to deploy and manage. To accomplish this, many in the midmarket prefer to invest in complete, all-in-one,
pre-integrated solutions to minimize complexity and risk.
Before purchasing a particular product, it can be useful to assess your current network setup. A UC&C solution may
provide the communications capabilities you need, but is your network ready to handle the sudden increase in traffic?
Does it have the necessary bandwidth for video conferencing? A preliminary assessment can go a long way toward
ensuring you get the most out of your investment.

#4 CHALLENGE: MAKING A SMART INVESTMENT

Controlling costs is a key priority for most midmarket companies, which is why
it’s so important to choose carefully when it comes to UC&C. The benefits of
improving communication and collaboration can be felt across all departments,
but not all solutions are created equal. Investing in one that is powerful, simple
and complete — from a trusted, proven provider — can dramatically lower your
total cost of ownership.

THE AVAYA SOLUTION

The right UC&C solution can also help the other challenges we’ve discussed:
scalability, security and network readiness. Avaya can deliver this solution, a
complete offering based on its proven Avaya IP Office software which includes
networking, security and video collaboration capabilities.
Avaya IP Office is tailor-made for dynamic companies, ready to scale up
to 2,000 users. It’s easy to use and manage but powerful enough for the
demanding needs of your distributed workforce. And it delivers the lowest
total cost of ownership of all major vendors.
The end result? Improved operations with more effective collaboration, faster
decision making and enhanced business relationships. The things a company
needs to stay ahead of the competition and thrive.





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