We've got a number of posts on No Jitter this week that address the migration from customer premises equipment (CPE) to cloud communications systems. Taken together, they reinforce the idea that, like any transition of an installed base from one technology to another, this migration is going to be a long one.
Two of our posts demonstrate the fact that you've got to listen to what vendors say, but also watch what they -- and their customers -- do. Writing about Avaya’s latest financial report, Dave Michels notes that the company saw year-over-year growth of 11% in its contact center business.
"Most of this revenue is attributed to premises-based solutions," Dave writes. "This conflicts with the widely held misperception that premises-based solutions are dying, though Avaya's cloud-related services grew to 11% of total revenue (9% last fiscal year)."
The story is similar for another major contact center vendor, Genesys. Sheila McGee-Smith's latest post on the company is titled, "Genesys, Cloud Believers," but the post makes clear that while Genesys may believe in the cloud, it's pretty ecumenical when it comes to the CPE-cloud issue.
After citing statistics that show the company's commitment to the cloud as its long-term path, Sheila quotes Genesys CEO Paul Segre: "We are totally committed to our premises customers. We have customers that want to move quickly, and we have customers that aren't ready to move (to the cloud). We respect and will support all of them."
My last proof point on this topic is Darin Ward's post,“How I Upgraded 50 Facilities to Cloud-Based Voice" a piece I can't recommend highly enough. Ward is a senior voice architect at a Fortune 500 company, and his nicely-written story is a window into the life and work of an erstwhile self-described "voice guru" who has navigated the transition from telecom to IT, and now must partner with colleagues inside and outside of his enterprise to plan and execute the upgrade described in the title.
Ironically, Ward's piece -- when set against the Michels and McGee-Smith posts -- shows why vendors are taking the positions they're taking relative to the cloud and CPE. A well-executed cloud migration isn't likely to be a flash-cut. Protecting the company's investment in communications and sustaining the same level of capabilities across the migration is a complex task for a project of any significant size. It's a project that requires coordination among multiple stakeholders. And it has to be led by someone who knows what they're doing.
Not every enterprise is going to have all of those elements in place, which could delay or lengthen a migration. Not every enterprise will be able to prioritize this kind of effort when weighed against its other IT priorities. Add it all up, and what you get across the industry is a prolonged technology transition.
Luckily, prolonged technology transitions are something we at Enterprise Connect feel very comfortable with; it's been a major topic at our event for most of the going-on-29 years we've run the show. So a good chunk of the program for Enterprise Connect Orlando 2019 is focused on just these kinds of migration issues. You can see the full program here; I encourage to register before Jan. 11, which is when rates for our Conference passes go up. I hope we'll see you in Orlando.