Companies are increasingly shunning the pitfalls of on-premises systems, like high upfront capex costs, complex deployments, ongoing maintenance requirements, and in their place IT departments are favoring the flexibility and agility cloud technologies offer. Cloud benefits include a predictable monthly opex spend, easier (and quicker) deployments, evergreen software and (in many cases) 24/7 support.
Last year Cisco rolled out Spark Flex licensing as a way to help organizations shift from premises-based technology investments to cloud-based subscription models. Aimed at providing simplicity during the buying process, Cisco’s Spark Flex plans offer licensing portability for the enterprise that wants to take a slower, methodical approach to moving to the cloud. For instance, if a company isn’t quite ready or able to go all in when it comes to the cloud, Spark Flex allows for some workers or locations to continue to use on-premises solutions under their enterprise agreement while other workers/locations move to the cloud.
While this hybrid on-prem/cloud environment isn’t new, covering it all under a single enterprise agreement is an innovation. It also aligns with West’s longtime strategy of helping client’s move to the cloud at their own speed and under their terms. This method promotes a thoughtful and customized approach to the cloud, as it doesn’t require a rip and replace strategy. In fact, customers can continue to leverage their existing hardware until the full financial investment is realized.
How Does Spark Flex Enable Thoughtful Cloud Migration?
1. Cloud Migration at Your Speed
Spark Flex provides a customized path to the cloud, allowing companies to thoughtfully migrate as it makes sense for them.
2. Leverage Existing Technology Investments for Full Return
get the maximum benefit of on-premises infrastructure and continue to leverage existing hardware until the full capex value is realized. In the meantime, begin leveraging the benefits of an opex spend when and where you can.
3. Mix License Types Under One Agreement
with Spark Flex, you can pick and mix your plan according to your needs. There’s no need to have all users on a single license type, and no matter what the product, whether on-premises or in the cloud, all services purchases under Spark Flex are completely supported through one enterprise agreement.
4. Access to Cutting Edge Tech
While license portability has benefits for legacy WebEx, CUCM and other collaboration adopters, Spark itself is driving transformational change within the enterprise with its approach to persistent, team-based collaboration. It’s like the icing on the cake.
Spark Flex in Action: One Customer’s Story
West recently worked with a popular retail brand that was facing end of life (EOL) and end of support (EOS) for their corporate CUCM system. As a large, global organization with several thousand users, the company wanted to prioritize rollout of VoiceMaxx CE, West’s UCaaS solution that includes Cisco HCS, to their 50+ corporate office locations that were directly impacted by the EOL/EOS situation, while continuing to receive support and services for the retail stores that were still on newer versions of Cisco CallManager. The Spark Flex agreement also includes Cloud Connected Audio (CCA-SP) and WebEx Centers for meeting, training, support and events. When the time is right, the retail locations will also move to the cloud but until then, everything on-premises and in the cloud will still be supported under one licensing agreement and supported 24/7 by West.
Now, with VoiceMaxx CE (which includes Cisco HCS) and Cisco Spark, the company will have access the latest and greatest technology. They appreciate the freedom cloud-based UC technology affords, both in terms of IT time saved and the opex pricing model. All locations around the world will be united under a single contract, leveraging a modern cloud platform and ‘round the clock support.
Cisco Spark Flex: Is It Right for You?
With Spark Flex, the move to the cloud doesn’t have to happen overnight. You have a choice in how your company evolves and with West and Spark Flex, you can set a pace that makes the most sense. You can extend the value of your existing investments, take advantage of the cloud where possible, begin collaborating in a more meaningful way, and rest easy knowing it’s all supported under a single agreement.
If you’re thinking about moving to the cloud, West can help. Reach out to get personalized assistance from one of our experts. And you can learn more about the state of unified communications and hear case studies in our report, “Unified Communications in Transition.”
A version of this article originally appeared on NoJitter.com.
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