Bernardo Federigi Bernardo Federigi - 4 March, 2021 - 9 ’ read

Imagicle + Cisco UCM Cloud. Take your UCs to the cloud.

The journey to the Cloud has started. Read on and discover why Cisco UCM Cloud and Imagicle UC Cloud Suite are the ideal combination to ensure a smooth, efficient transition to the Cloud.
More than 2 years ago, I wrote a blog post comparing UCaaS and On-Premise UC. At that time, I couldn’t find a winner for this challenge. The final decision depended on the particular needs of each specific organization.
 
Today, On-Prem deployment is still there, and (maybe?) it will be for a long time. Yet, the journey towards the Cloud has started – also accelerated by the transformations in communications imposed by the emergency of the last year – and it seems to be unstoppable.
 
Those that were key decision drivers, pushing the needle of the balance toward the Cloud or toward On-Prem, became mandatory needs that cloud vendors have to satisfy.
 
If before companies decided to remain on-prem as they wanted a solution more secure, more customizable, and compliant with every regulation, today they want a safer cloud, customizable, and ready for any regulation. The cloud is no longer an option: it’s a must.
 
Now it all becomes a matter of finding the best Cloud calling vendors, able to ensure a seamless transition to the Cloud without disruptions or training. And, above all, they have to integrate with all the complementary tools companies are already using and don’t want to lose after the migration.
 
This post explains why the Cloud is a road with no return and why Cisco UCM Cloud and Imagicle UC Cloud Suite are everything that mid to large companies need to migrate their unified communications (UC) and collaboration to the Cloud.
 
So, no doubt delay, let’s venture out.

The March to the Cloud.

According to Gartner’s research, 90% of IT leaders won’t purchase new on-premises-based UC infrastructure in 2021. And, by 2024, 74% of all new unified communications purchased by organizations will be cloud-based.

Cisco UCM Cloud First!

But let’s try to understand the reason behind this fast transition.

Among the drivers that are pushing companies towards Cloud calling solutions are:

  • The current migration from a traditional to a modern, digital, smart workplace. As we mentioned, this trend experienced a significant acceleration due to the unprecedented emergency we are going through. COVID-19 has changed our lives and forced us to rethink our way of working: according to Gartner, 74% of companies plan to permanently shift to more remote work.
  • Current PBXs are reaching the end of their life cycle, and companies need to refresh or migrate them to new solutions, getting state-of-the-art technologies.
  • Faster access to new features and capabilities, including emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analysis. Typically, cloud-based providers are the first ones to deliver such services, and with no interruptions.
  • The need to reduce the time spent by IT staff for provisioning, break-fix, and maintenance so that they can focus on the business’s core activities. In other words, it means cost savings in several areas, especially in maintenance and operational support.
  • The requirement to get more predictable costs by shifting to subscription-based pricing models. 

Cisco is at the forefront of these market transitions, with its products and offers’ constant evolution. Cisco’s Cloud calling portfolio (currently the most comprehensive in the market, covering calling, meeting, messaging, and contact center workloads) is basically composed of two platforms: Webex Calling and Cisco UCM Cloud.

Cisco UCM Cloud Market SHare
Now, while Webex Calling is the solution dedicated to SMB and Large Enterprises from 1 to thousands of users – multi-site friendly, fitting not-complex calling environments, and allowing minimal third-party integrations – Cisco UCM Cloud is the solution, hosted and operated by Cisco, for large enterprises with more than 1,000 users (500 for existing UCM prem migrating), allowing customized integrations and ready for complex calling needs.
 
Cisco UCM Cloud is powered by Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager collaboration (CUCM) technology, hosted in Cisco’s Webex data centers worldwide. The service offers all the traditional Cisco services like voice, video, mobility, IM&P, Webex, and Webex Meetings, providing an ideal migration path for existing on-premises UC Manager customers.
 
You can find more details here.

What about the must-have apps you can’t give up on?

Well, we figured out which is the best Cloud calling platform for your needs: now you are ready to begin your journey to the Cloud!
Wait a minute: are you sure you’re not leaving anything behind?
What about the tools you’re using every day and that are integrated with your calling platform? I’m talking about your call recording solution, the attendant console your operators can’t do without, your digital fax and call analytics solutions, and so forth: all the must-have applications that you expect to have available in the Cloud, too.
In short, as companies migrate their Cisco UCM instances to the Cloud, they have to decide how to keep third-party integrations
It’s not just a matter of apps: it’s a matter of user experience. When moving to a cloud calling solution, customers don’t want to change their habits. They want the same end-user experience and admin interfaces.
And here’s where our Imagicle UC Cloud Suite comes into play, offering a seamless transition to the Cloud without end-user disruptions and training, granting the same level of security and customizations as always.
 
Let’s see how!

Imagicle UC Cloud Suite. The power of Imagicle UC apps + the benefits of the Cloud.

With Imagicle UC Cloud Suite, all the Imagicle winning apps are available on the Imagicle Cloud through a smart subscription offer; a private instance immediately available, hosted, secured, updated, and monitored by Imagicle.

 
Imagicle UC Cloud Suite

One suite. One experience. Everything you need to work with a smile.

Imagicle UC Cloud Suite includes a complete set of UC apps into a single suite. Best in class Call Recording, Attendant Console, Advanced Queueing and Auto Attendant, Call Analytics, Contact Manager, Digital Fax, and Hotel Services
 
All the apps can be managed through a single pane of glass, while users can access them from IP phones, Cisco Webex, Cisco Jabber desktop-mobile clients, browsers, and mobile devices.
 
The apps are available à la carte, per single, or bunch of users/channels, powered by dedicated elastic resources with unlimited data retention. 
 
By the way, did you have to switch to smart working too? Well, then Imagicle UC Cloud Suite is definitely what you want. All your apps will be just a click away, making your job as efficient and smooth as ever, wherever you are. You will be able to manage incoming calls, monitor costs and resource allocation, find a contact within seconds, send a fax and much more from the comfort of your desk without reducing the quality of your communications and collaborations.
 

Looks the same, but it’s very, very different.

Imagicle UC Cloud Suite is hosted and operated by Imagicle on a dedicated, secure, and reliable instance available for every GEO based on AWS Data Centers. 
This topic needs some more insights.
 
Nowadays, ISVs are talking about the Cloud. All of them have a cloud offer based on some of the leading cloud providers. But it’s easy to mistake an actual private cloud solution with a simple“off-prem” solution, limited to“server virtualization” on AWS.
 
As Imagicle, we have been starting our investment in the Cloud more than 3 years ago. We launched a series of value-added cloud services available for on-prem and hosted customers, like Cloud Licensing and Proactive Support.
Above all, we have created a DevOps team dedicated to developing and managing Imagicle UC Cloud Suite that allowed us to optimize and fully automate operations on the Imagicle Cloud, granting the setup of a new customer instance, including HA, in a few minutes.
SW updates/upgrades are also automated and can easily manage hundreds of instances per day. Moreover, we’re strongly investing in native cloud technologies aimed at improving lifecycle, automation, network interconnection, and, bottom line, customer experience.

 

Perfect match with Cisco UCM Cloud.

Imagicle UC Cloud Suite offers different ways to connect customers to their private instances flexibly and securely, both through partner connection and customer connection.
In the first case, the partner aggregates customer access to the Imagicle Cloud via Equinix, VPN or SD-WAN. In the second case, the customer has direct access to the Imagicle Cloud via Equinix, VPN, or SD-WAN.
 
So, for a Cisco customer running Cisco Meraki or Viptela SD-WAN, connecting to their Imagicle UC Cloud Suite instance will be just a matter of extending their network with another site, thanks to the Imagicle native support of SD-WAN termination.
 
There’s no need for premise satellite or equipment. We’re talking about a full cloud solution with state of the art peering connectivity: an exclusive offer in the market, to cover all the UC Apps (Attendant Console with Advanced queueing and Auto Attendant, Call Recording, Call Analytics, Contact Manager, Digital Fax) from a single Suite, with a single peering.
cloud customer connect
 
Both through partner connection and customer connection, the Imagicle UC Cloud Suite can leverage the existing PSTN lines, allowing the customer to go live immediately.

Security first.

One of the most common fears customers have about the Cloud is insufficient security. After all, they are entrusting their data to another party. They will probably ask themselves: wouldn’t data be safer on a server inside the company?
In short, no!
 
As Imagicle, we put data security in the foreground from the very beginning, taking care of it at many levels:
  • physical security. The Imagicle Cloud is based on AWS, so your private instance can rely on the top-level security of a leading cloud provider;
    product security and security by design. We develop our apps with our Secure Software Development Lifecycle approach;
  • OWASP Vulnerability. We keep your apps updated against the top 10 known vulnerabilities while performing penetration testing… and we don’t take into consideration OWASP framework only, but also end to end vulnerability assessment based on solution leaders on the market, from the hosting services (following the best practices) to the OS and third parties to Imagicle Apps;
  • privacy. We adhere to privacy and data protection programs as per international regulatory organizations;
  • information security. We’re completing the ISO 27001 standard’s requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an information security management system (ISMS)
GDPR, OWASP, ISO 27001 logos

Always up to date.

Imagicle UC Cloud Suite grants 3 seasonal updates, continuous security updates, and daily back-ups with zero downtime and no IT operational costs for the staff.
During the maintenance activity, core services, i.e., the ability to make and receive phone calls, are not impacted for the end-user.

A single predictable cost-reducing TCO.

As I wrote at the beginning of this post, one of the main drivers that push companies to the Cloud is to have more predictable costs. And, by shifting to subscription-based pricing models, you’ll get it!
 
But there is more good news about adopting Cisco UCM cloud + Imagicle Cloud suite: a lower Total Cost Ownership (TCO).
 
Customer-hidden costs, including computing, consumption, backup and IT, networking, and security activities, as well as third parties licenses (Windows OS, backup solution, etc.), are high. These costs should be added to the Imagicle UC Suite On-Prem SW and support costs to make a correct comparison with the Imagicle UC Cloud Suite offer, including them all in a single subscription. Last but not least, it is worth considering the costs of service disruption and relative time/efforts for disaster recovery while On-Premises.
 
Moving to the Cloud, SW products, SW support, hosting, and operations costs will be included in a single, clear, predictable subscription with a lower TCO.

Imagicle. The only UC Suite with happy people inside.

As I said before, besides the technical aspects, at the end of the day it’s always a matter of experience
 
As Imagicle, we have all hands on deck to provide you with the best customer experience in the industry, delivered by experts obsessed with making customers happy.
 
It all starts with our Imagicle Advanced Services team, which has already deployed thousands of successful projects of any scale worldwide, integrating leading calling platforms and guaranteeing the success of the adoption of your new Imagicle Cloud services. 
 
Then there’s the ImagicleCare Services Team focused on exceeding customers’ expectations, with friendly professionals ready to provide excellent tech support in 7 languages, in your local time zone, with the time coverage you need.

Wherever you need it.

 
The service is available for production, PoC, and Lab in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Nevertheless, a private instance can be activated in more than 20 DCs worldwide on request.
 
Imagicle UC Cloud Suite

Not ready for the Imagicle Cloud yet?

Imagicle UC Cloud Suite works with your Calling Platform Cloud, Hosted, On-Prem.
You can move to the Imagicle Cloud by migrating your calling platform at your own pace. In fact, if you’re not ready for the Cloud yet, you can use Imagicle UC Suite On-Prem or hosted in your data centers, but you should consider the differences below.
cloud on-prem

Conclusions.

Long story short, three years after my first comparison of the UCaaS vs. on-premise UC, we can say we have a winner on the podium. As a matter of fact, we are at the point where everything is ready for companies to migrate their UCs to the Cloud.

However, the real issue is now identifying the proper“cloud sellers” for the business, which can grant an actual easy transition without giving up the tools that have always made the difference in daily work quality.
The Cisco platform dedicated to large companies, Cisco UCM Cloud, will be the platform of choice for many enterprises worldwide. On the other hand, these companies don’t want to give up the apps they are used to for daily operations, such as the attendant console to handle incoming calls, call recording tool to record them, or fax managing applications, just as they cannot decrease the level of reliability and security of communications.

That’s why Imagicle UC Cloud Suite is Cisco UCM Cloud’s ideal match to move your UCs and Collaboration to a solid cloud calling solution while ensuring the same unified and simple user experience with improved scalability, flexibility, and security.

 
Well, I’m done for today! But if you want to know more about this outstanding integration and see all its potential in real-time, all you have to do is register for our dedicated webinar on March 17! Check out the calendar, pick your language and save your spot!

Don’t give up on the things you love. Take them to the Cloud.
 

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