cloud communciation solutions for mid-market companies

Large firms get more press and have deep pockets. But mid-market firms are the drivers of economic growth. Mid-market is responsible for one-third of the private sector employment and GDP

What Do We Define as Mid-Market? What Are the Challenges in Today’s Market for These Companies? 

Traditionally, businesses in the USA and Canada are divided into three categories: small businesses, mid-market businesses, and large corporations.  

The Mid-Market businesses are then further divided into: 

  1. Core mid-market: 100 to 999 employees. These companies are usually established businesses with a stable customer base, aiming to scale operations while managing costs effectively. 
  1. Upper mid-market: 1000 to 5000 employees. These firms often focus on strategic growth initiatives, mergers and acquisitions, and expanding their market presence while ensuring they remain agile and responsive to market changes. 

Mid-market is usually categorized based on the annual revenue range, but we have explained them based on the number of employees.  

The mid-market companies are too large to be considered small businesses but not quite as large as enterprises. They face unique challenges that can often hinder their growth and operational efficiency.  

For the sake of this article, we will focus only on the core mid-market businesses and the challenges they face.  

What are the General Challenges in the Core Mid-market space? 

Core mid-market firms face several significant business challenges, including: 

  1. Resource Limitations: These firms often have constrained budgets and limited manpower, making it difficult to invest in new technologies and innovative solutions. A core mid-market firm might struggle to upgrade its IT infrastructure due to budget constraints, impacting its operational efficiency. 
  1. Scaling Operations: As they grow, core mid-market companies must manage increased operational complexity while maintaining efficiency and quality. 
  1. Developing an IT Outsourcing Strategy: Core mid-market firms often struggle to develop a robust IT outsourcing strategy. Limited internal IT resources can lead to difficulties in identifying the right outsourcing partners and ensuring seamless integration of outsourced services.  
  1. Technology Integration: Implementing and integrating advanced technologies can be costly and complex, requiring careful planning and execution. Implementing a new CRM system might be delayed due to the high costs and limited IT resources. 
  1. Creating Innovative Products and Services: Innovation is crucial for mid-market firms to stay competitive, but it poses several challenges. Limited R&D budgets and resources can hinder the development of new products and services. 
  1. Regulatory Compliance: Navigating industry regulations and ensuring compliance can be resource-intensive, especially without dedicated compliance teams.  
  1. Improving Business Growth: Sustaining and accelerating business growth is a constant challenge for core mid-market companies. They need to identify new market opportunities, expand their customer base, and increase market share while managing operational efficiency. 
  1. Market Expansion: Entering new markets requires significant investment and strategic planning, often stretching their limited resources.  
  1. Talent Acquisition and Retention: Attracting and retaining skilled employees is challenging due to competition from both ends of the market spectrum. 
  1. Driving Innovation: Driving innovation within mid-market firms requires a strategic approach and a supportive organizational culture. These companies often face barriers such as risk aversion, limited financial resources, and resistance to change. 

What Are IT Challenges in Mid-Market Companies? 

  1. Cost Centers vs. Innovation Centers: Mid-market companies often struggle with the perception of their IT departments as mere cost centers rather than innovation hubs. This mindset can limit the resources allocated to IT, stifling innovation and technological advancements. 
  1. Doing More with Less: These companies frequently operate under tight budgets and limited resources. IT departments are expected to deliver high-quality solutions and maintain systems with fewer staff and smaller budgets than their larger counterparts. 
  1. Aligning IT Priorities with Corporate Objectives: Aligning IT initiatives with the strategic goals set by the C-Suite is a common challenge. While the company focuses on growth and innovation, IT resources are often bogged down with routine maintenance and break-fix tasks, diverting attention from more strategic projects. 
  1. Driving Out Low-Level Functions: To free up resources for strategic solutions, mid-market companies aim to eliminate low-level IT functions. This involves outsourcing non-core activities to focus on high-value projects that drive business growth. 

Why Are Mid-Market Companies Outsourcing to Cloud? 

Outsourcing to the cloud offers mid-market companies several benefits: 

  • Cost Efficiency: Cloud solutions often reduce the need for significant capital investment in hardware and infrastructure. 
  • Scalability: Cloud services can scale according to the company’s needs, allowing for flexibility and growth without significant upfront costs. 
  • Focus on Core Business: By outsourcing IT functions to the cloud, companies can focus more on their core business activities and strategic initiatives. 

What Does Cloud Mean from a Communications Perspective? 

From a communications perspective, the cloud represents a shift from traditional on-premise systems to more flexible, scalable, and cost-effective infrastructure. 

Cloud communications involve using internet-based services for various communication needs, including voice, messaging, video conferencing, and collaboration tools. 

Explaining Cloud Communication (Moving from On-Premise to Cloud) 

Moving from on-premise to cloud communication solutions involves transitioning from physical hardware and infrastructure to virtualized services hosted by cloud providers. This transition provides numerous benefits, including: 

  • Reduced Maintenance: Cloud providers handle system updates and maintenance, freeing up internal IT resources. 
  • Improved Reliability: Cloud services typically offer higher uptime and reliability compared to on-premise systems. Cloud services are typically monitored 24/7, backed up daily, and run on more robust infrastructure which enables higher uptime and reliability compared to on-premise systems.
  • Lower TCO: Cloud communication solutions can offer a lower total cost of ownership 

There are various cloud communication delivery models prevalent today. Below are two of the most popular models.  

UCaaS – Shared & Proprietary 

Most UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) providers offer cloud communication solutions using a proprietary platform that multiple businesses share.  

These providers maintain a common infrastructure serving many customers on a subscription basis. Some notable players in this space include: 

  • RingCentral: Known for its comprehensive UCaaS offerings, including voice, video, messaging, and collaboration tools. 
  • Zoom: Offers robust video conferencing and unified communication solutions. 
  • Vonage: Provides a wide range of communication services, including UCaaS and contact center solutions. 

UCaaS providers typically offer a standard feature set and pricing model which is not very flexible and can get very expensive as the number of users grows. For organizations in the mid-market space that are focused on growth and differentiation, standard solutions can be limiting.  

Mid-market companies often require more customization and tighter integration to optimize both the employee and customer experience.  

Dedicated UC Solutions on Public Cloud 

Dedicated UC Solutions are extremely flexible and can be deployed on a dedicated instance in a managed public cloud environment. This setup offers the benefits of robust and cost-effective public cloud infrastructure while ensuring better manageability, flexibility, security, and lower cost.  

Leading public cloud providers include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Flexible UC Solutions that can run in Public Cloud environments include: 

  • 3CX: A complete unified communications solution with features such as video conferencing, live chat, and mobile apps. 3CX is known for its cost-effectiveness, ease of installation, manageability, and flexibility, making it an extremely attractive option for businesses of all sizes.
  • FreePBX (open-source software solution): An open-source phone system that allows users to manage and configure their phone system through a web-based interface. While being quite flexible, being open source means support is available through a community of users instead of being a vendor-backed commercial product. 
  • Mitel: A traditional PBX and UC vendor offering a range of products including cloud-based unified communications, VoIP phones, and contact center solutions as cloud services. 

Dedicated UC solutions on the Public Cloud typically offer a much richer feature set, with more control and manageability, more flexibility, and a capacity-based vs user-based pricing model that allows the customer to benefit from economies of scale.   

What Is RingOffice and How Can We Support All Options to Cloud? 

RingOffice is a North American Cloud Communication solution provider, a 3CX Titanium Partner, and Total Solution Provider. We offer comprehensive support for transitioning to cloud communication solutions through Shared UCaaS or Dedicated UC cloud servers.  

Our expertise includes: 

  • Assessment and Planning: We assess your current communication infrastructure and plan a seamless transition to the cloud. 
  • Implementation: Our team works with you to plan the implementation process, ensuring minimal disruption to your operations. 
  • Management and Maintenance: Post-implementation, we provide ongoing 24/7 monitoring, daily backups, and system maintenance to ensure your communication systems run smoothly. 
  • Technical Support: We also provide ongoing Remote Administrator Support to help you deal with system administration, change management, training, and technical support. 

By partnering with RingOffice, mid-market companies can benefit from a tailor-made cloud communication solution designed perfectly to fit their business’ specific needs and challenges.