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A Seamless Shift to the Cloud

26 May 2015 by Scott Sterling

Some people might think moving a critical system like telephone communications to the cloud means downtime, a high learning curve and frustration. Shimano American, the North American division of the legendary bicycle manufacturer, disagrees.

They partnered with Insight to help find a telephone solution that could grow with their business and consolidate the systems of their five locations – making the shift to the cloud seamless. Insight’s recommendation was a cloud-based, VoIP solution provided by 8×8, Inc.

“When we compared vendors, we went feature by feature,” Shimano American’s Mike Davis recalls. “8×8 was one of the truly hosted solutions that didn’t have any [on-premises] hardware, and we found it would allow our people to roll calls seamlessly to their cell phones. A lot of our employees travel — domestically and internationally — and need a phone connection to work. With 8×8, we can talk to Japan without paying international phone rates, and our employees have the ability to work remotely.”

A turn-key solution

A key consideration in any shift of this magnitude is the effect the move will have on the end users. Downtime equates to lost efficiency. Confused users equates to lost efficiency. Lost efficiency equates to lost money.

Cloud-based architecture eliminates many of the issues that can cause end-user stress:

  • Because there is very little to no on-site hardware, the downtime required to set up the machinery is nullified.
  • In Shimano’s case, although there are other features like laptop and device calling, 8×8’s solution used much of the existing hardware. The users didn’t need to relearn a new phone system to be able to accomplish the same tasks.
  • Lines are added or deleted through an administrative console, not by running new wire through the ceiling and patching it into some grid.

Less stress on the technical personnel

On the administrative side, ramping up to a cloud system is actually more like ramping down. Maintenance and technical support is outsourced to the provider, freeing up IT staff for more of their core responsibilities. That’s even more cost savings.

The result? A happy IT manager.

“We had zero downtime — which we’ve had in the past, owing to the age of our hardware,” Davis says. “Initially, our users didn’t even see it as a transition — just a phone on the desk. They’re still discovering all the new features.

Whether you need a business phone system to fully integrated unified communications and cloud contact center solutions, 8×8 delivers flexible communication solutions that are simple to sue and scale on demand.