Digital transformation is creating significant changes in how businesses operate, as well as how partners sell into new markets. Desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) plays a significant part in this. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of why businesses deploy DaaS and why it’s important for you to sell into this market.
What Is DaaS All About?
Simply put, DaaS takes the end-user desktop environment and turns it into a cloud-hosted service. Users log into their DaaS workstation via an online portal, and using their internet connection, run the same productivity and collaboration tools as they would use on their traditional PC.
Why Are Businesses Using DaaS In Their Organization?
Businesses in all sectors are making the switch to DaaS. In fact, Gartner forecasts that the number of users for DaaS will grow by over 150% between 2020 and 2023, as more companies move their infrastructure to the cloud. Here are the top four reasons why:Secure Remote Working
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic rushed businesses to enable remote working capabilities within their infrastructure, significantly increasing the chances of threats and malware being introduced within their organization. Without the necessary preparation, a remote worker using a virtual private network (VPN) or remote desktop protocol (RDP) connection to the head office was also a target for malware that could infiltrate their local PC and exploit their connection to corporate infrastructure. Remote workers logging into corporate applications via their credentials from completely unprotected networks also posed serious risks.
DaaS solves these security concerns by enabling secure remote access with a fully encrypted connection, decoupled from the device. This allows users to log in from any device, over any network connection, from anywhere in the world, without worry. In the case of a security concern, the IT administrator can disable privileges or lock out the entire account instantly without further jeopardizing the company’s infrastructure.Disaster Recovery
Since user desktops are hosted virtually in the cloud, in the event of device failure, fire, flood or other catastrophic scenarios, users continue to work, logging into any device of their choice, from anywhere, anytime.Simplified Management
DaaS cuts down the time and hassle involved in having to manage and maintain individual users’ desktops, which is a big job the more employees there are. Users access their desktops via the cloud by simply logging into a web page to access all their tools. Software updates or security patches are performed from one centralized location, updating the entire infrastructure almost instantly. Users can conveniently log in with their personal devices, which is not a security problem because it’s the connection to the service that is secured. This can save the business on hardware costs too, by allowing users to log in to the service using their personal devices or by deploying Zero Client devices (cost-effective PCs with minimal hardware and software on them) where users simply log in to their accounts and work through the cloud connection.
Onboarding new employees is pain-free; with a few clicks, their accounts are set up and users can log into their environments and start working immediately, without waiting for a PC to get provisioned and possibly needing to be shipped to a remote worker.Enabling Remote Work
Remote work is on the rise more than ever now that businesses are more comfortable hiring talent away from the office. DaaS makes it easy to collaborate, improve productivity, and allows workers to transition to and from the office, since their desktop follows them wherever they go on whatever device they have.
Connected Workspace by Star2Star, A Sangoma Company
In addition to all of the DaaS benefits discussed so far, there are other considerations as well when it comes to choosing the right solution for your business. For instance, our DaaS solution, backed by industry leading Citrix workspace technology, combines our award-winning UCaaS with the secure, device-agnostic DaaS platform. With their communications backbone built-in to virtual desktops and SaaS software, users can leverage high-quality voice, messaging, and collaboration tools right from their DaaS web portal, transforming DaaS into a unique “Connected Workspace”. Everything from our softphone apps, voice, fax and video conferencing services, contact center, Microsoft Teams integration, and more are available to DaaS users from any device and location.
This level of connectivity is unmatched in the industry. We even went a step further and integrated UCaaS within the SaaS and legacy applications customers use most frequently. For example, Salesforce users can make a phone call to their customer within Salesforce without needing to switch to another device or window, keeping them focused and productive.
Connected Workspace is designed for ease of use. Users log into a Single Sign-On (SSO) web portal and simply click on the tile of the application they want to use, whether it be SaaS tools such as Salesforce, Office 365, their virtual desktop, or migrated legacy applications. Best of all, there’s no need to remember passwords to all these tools since the SSO takes care of logging users in, along with self-serve password resets. IT admins love the simplicity in that, as well as the ability to disable access on-the-fly, if needed.
For the first time, users have everything they need, from productivity applications to voice, video, and messaging, accessible from any device and delivered via the cloud, without security, network problems, or IT assistance. Connected Workspace essentially eliminates the “office” and transforms the business into a flexible, adaptable hub for productivity no matter where employees are logging in.
Why You Should Sell DaaS
Now that you know all the benefits and why your customers want DaaS, here’s what that means for you.Are You a Managed Service Provider (MSP) selling IT Services? Great!
You can add Star2Star’s DaaS platform or Connected Workspace solution to your IT offerings, and significantly increase your value to your customers. And the best part is you have nothing to manage, no on-site servers, or support to deal with. Star2Star handles all the hardware, software, support, you name it! You just handle the commission.Are You Hosting Your Own Cloud Services?
Eliminate the time and cost of self-hosting data centers and customer support. Keep your existing infrastructure while you migrate to Connected Workspace. There are no large upfront hardware purchases or capital expenditures to deal with as your business grows.Want to Diversify Your Product Portfolio?
Differentiate your business amongst your competitors and create additional revenue opportunities within your existing customer base when you add Star2Star DaaS and Connected Workspace to your portfolio.Simple Pricing Model & Flexibility
Star2Star DaaS offers a simple and predictable pay-as-you-go subscription model, making it easy to scale up or down on-demand. The Connected Workspace is also highly configurable, tailored to the users’ needs based on the tools they use, effectively eliminating the ‘one-size-fits-all’ model. This saves your customers a lot of money since they don’t need to choose between existing Office365, Virtual Desktop, Microsoft Teams, or Contact Center investments.Self-Serve Customer Management Portal
The Star2Star DaaS portal lets you completely manage your customers. Add new customers, add new users, and adjust the features for each, whenever you want and have the changes take effect almost immediately.
Poll: How Would DaaS Help Your Business?
Want to know more about Star2Star DaaS? Contact one of our DaaS solution specialists
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A business communication system connects to a phone. But how tightly integrated does the phone need to be? Does it just need to make and receive phone calls, or should it do more?
Let’s examine a few business communication system functions that enjoy tight integration with physical phones. Desktop phones now come with visual displays, and these visual displays enhance the user experience immensely. For example, when on the phone, a presence indicator to the rest of the UC system would show potential instant messengers that you are busy and on the phone. Provisioning of the phones from the admin is also tied to the system. For example, the admin can remotely set up your phone and even push updates to the phone. There are also many shortcuts the phone can utilize if it’s tightly integrated with the phone system.
So to answer the question at the end of the first paragraph, yes, it should do more. The phone needs to be tightly integrated. You want your phone to get the most out of your system and be a true productivity tool.
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Besides a proper multi-modal communication system that handles all that voice entails, what else will be needed in tomorrow’s Unified Communication system? The system of tomorrow will need to be able to handle new business communication needs deftly.
For instance, applications we all became familiar with in 2020 were the “curbside pickup” application or the “ready to come up for your appointment” application. Many businesses scrambled to deploy them.
And these applications needed to be tied into the communication system because they involved texting and maybe phone calls if there were questions. The ability of your system to create these applications linked to the UC system is critical for business success. Successful businesses discovered this. And successful companies are also thinking of ways to deploy other integrated applications to help them succeed even more.
Tomorrow’s reality for business communication includes multi-modal communication, where voice and video are essential, connecting to all types of networks is a reality, and tight integration with all your business communication functions saves you time and money. And it will also involve business efficiency and nimbleness. Make sure your UC system can do all of that and all of that well.
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In May, Omdia released their UC as a Service (UCaaS) Scorecard, ranking the top 10 UCaaS providers in North America. We are proud to say Sangoma not only made the list but earned the 5th spot. Omdia identified the leading service providers in terms of the number of seats for UCaaS in North America and then evaluated them based on the following four criteria:
- Financial stability
- Market share momentum
- Service development
- Customer reviews
Sangoma/Star2Star earned the 5th spot because we are in the top 10 in terms of the number of UCaaS seats in North America and because as a financially strong public company we received an excellent score on financial stability.
We will continue to do our very best to continue to place well in this report.
To read excerpts of the report, please go here.
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The concept of the “digital workplace” has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially as necessity dictates that organizations must increasingly rely on cloud-based services. This form of “as-a-Service” software supports virtual rooms for collaborating, communicating, and sharing work with others during times when person-to-person contact is not practical or possible.
Generally speaking, a digital workplace includes solutions like connected workspaces that support the tasks companies need to conduct business from various devices and locations. Connected workspaces offer many of the common tools, apps, and shared elements for working together while apart, and feeling continuously connected while doing so.
Digital Workplace Security & Flexibility
These cutting-edge productivity tools also feature embedded security elements to protect mission-critical workflows, including sensitive files and communications. This aspect–defending against network penetration–is almost universally crucial across any corporate environment.
In spite of the importance of security, however, it is hardly the only necessary consideration for the remote workforce enterprise. Organizations require a collaborative environment that is device agnostic. Users need to be able to collaborate, regardless of their hardware – and, in some cases, software – of choice. A virtual workplace must also support specific, common connected worker apps and collaboration tools, while simultaneously backing up one’s vertical integration plans as the application is moved up the supply chain.
Finally, there is always the need for automated provisioning to reduce and eliminate complexity within the day-to-day work environment. No longer are workers’ bound by extensive binders of notes when collaborating with their peers. Today’s workforce can have access to all of the tools and resources needed to accomplish complex tasks, potentially from a device no larger than one’s cellphone.
Connected Workspaces Are The Future Of Work
Of course, the benefits to deploying such a package are far more extensive than simply easing the burden of one’s remote workforce. One of the most practical reasons to use the software is to save money. Enterprises continually point to cost-savings benefits by eliminating physical facilities, overhead, and travel expenses. Plus, employees tend to be more productive and happy when they save money on gas, tolls, vehicle wear-and-tear, and other incidentals of travel.
This comfort has the added benefit of bolstering employee productivity. With all of the necessary tools and resources made virtually available (in addition to the added benefit of a full night’s rest), staffers can simultaneously work faster and accomplish more, regardless of their physical location.
As a result, whether the organization faces restrictions from a global pandemic, or simply needing a more personal touch from across the miles, digital workplace options are an effective answer to extending versatility.
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We’re starting to see companies calling their remote workers back to work. Some have been doing it quietly, and some have been doing it more publicly. Take a drive at rush hour in your city, and you’ll see this is already happening. In Dallas, where I live, it seems like it’s back to 2019 already during rush hour.
Yes, if vaccinated, you likely feel better about going back to work and interacting with people outside ‘your bubble’ again. But for a while, I think, it won’t really feel like normal. Many companies will likely still limit the number of people in a conference room, and many companies will probably not ask you to be in 100% of the time.
We all know the benefits of Unified Communications when working remotely. Unified Communication systems that enable your office phone number to ring your smartphone and your laptop so you can interact with customers while remote along with chat and video will still play critical roles for remote workers.
But for employees at the office, UC still plays a significant role. You can “leave” your office to work at a nicer or quieter part of the building and not worry about missing phone calls. You can still have video meetings and collaborate with co-workers via sharing files, no matter where they are. Make the UC system you got to know so much better over the past 15 months work for you.
While Internet-based communication such as social media, chat, video, chatbots and push-to-talk are gaining ground, and will continue to gain ground each year, at this time still the primary real-time business communication mechanism is still voice. As referenced in an earlier blog, video is garnering all the headlines and video calls with partners and even some customers occur regularly now, and will certainly stay around to become a way to continue to communicate, but video-centricity as a way to communicate with customers is short-sighted. Because the primary real-time communication mechanism is voice.
Making a phone call! And the making of a phone call, while sounding simple, has much that goes into it. For instance, there is a difference in making a domestic and international phone call. The dialing plans are different and the carrier interconnects are different. And call routing and setting up those rules within the business is also difficult.
As such, when considering what type of UC platform to buy, choosing one with roots in voice, but that can also handle video, is critical right now. As discussed above, while video-based communication was all the rage in 2020, and as it continues to play a role going forward, your entire business needs to take into account its needs before your business marries a video-centric provider. Did you make that choice for your business for the long term, or are you doing it because it helped you this year? What about next year, when you need less video and more of voice and SMS?
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Sangoma Technologies Corporation, a trusted leader in delivering cloud-native Communications-as-a-Service solutions for businesses of all sizes, today announced that they were recognized as a 2021 Visionary Spotlight Award (VSA) winner by ChannelVision Magazine, presented by Beka Business Media.
The 2021 Visionary Spotlight Award winners were recognized for their unique ability to navigate change, adapt to shifting buying patterns, and remain operational despite the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Sangoma’s highlighting achievement in digital transformation includes the expansion of their complete cloud portfolio to become the industry’s most complete UCaaS solutions provider. Sangoma’s product suite includes leading remote work technologies, custom development and integration options, and VDI for seamless connectivity to mission-critical processes from anywhere.
“On behalf of ChannelVision, I would like to congratulate all of this year’s VSA winners,” said Beka Business Media President and CEO Berge Kaprelian. “The companies on this year’s list are highly resilient and resourceful, having made it through the pandemic while remaining on the cutting edge of innovation.”
“We are honored to be recognized as leaders in digital transformation, especially in the midst of such difficult circumstances,” said Jim Machi, VP of Product Management and Marketing, Sangoma. “We owe it to our incredible Partners, Customers, and dedicated Employees for keeping us going. Our mission is always to move forward and create new and better technologies that help businesses thrive. We are pleased to have accomplished that and are looking forward to more exciting things on the horizon!”
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