Look throughout the world, and you’ll find endless examples of how being streamlined makes something work a whole lot better. There are penguins, who switch from feathered space hoppers on land, to slick, torpedo-like assassins in water. There’s the motor car, which has evolved from a six-mph jolly little thing to the sleek, reliable machines we use every day.
And then there are consumer electronics and IT. Consider the first iMac from 1998 – its success is largely due to the way it veered from the norm of clunky, fiddly desktop PCs. The modern smartphone is, of course, its streamlined follow-up act – and we all know how that’s turned out…
So if streamlining is such a success story – and one that’s so widely repeated – why is the world of business IT and telecoms so slow on the uptake?
The answer to that is a blog or three in itself. In short, there are many complex reasons why. But none of them justify subjecting people to the agony of unwieldy and inconvenient business IT. You may have experienced this pain yourself. Let’s take a closer look.
The headaches of disjointed services
Every modern business uses voice, data and IT to varying degrees. And with that comes the first headache: a bunch of services and suppliers that do not necessarily work together as one. It’s a real problem, because none of these things work in isolation – they all overlap. And one area can have a domino effect on the other area.
Voice services, for example, are no longer limited to traditional on-premise PBX. Instead, there’s a wealth of Cloud options available – and many of those options make perfect sense for a lot of businesses. But such a route depends on strong connectivity and a secure infrastructure – and in such an instance, the Cloud voice setup becomes as much an IT issue as a ‘traditional’ telecoms issue. And so, having disjointed services just doesn’t fit with the way organisations work.
The second headache relates to the changeable nature of business. Irrespective of size, industry or structure, every organisation grows, shrinks and sometimes swings from one strategic goal to another. And so having disparate voice, data and IT services that are fixed in place and time just doesn’t work. They won’t grow with the business, flex to its inevitable changes or move with the needs of the workforce. And soon enough, the technology you adopted a matter of months ago becomes a real drain – or worse, entirely obsolete.
The final major headache is the one that’s most often the dealbreaker: cost. Having separate voice, data and IT services invariably means unnecessary outlay. This could be from the first installation, through to regular maintenance and upgrades, right through to the resources entailed in managing several suppliers. Nobody really wants to put aside an expensive chunk of the IT team’s time for liaising with multiple suppliers. But it happens all too often. And if you’re a small business owner, it’s highly unlikely you’ll have the time to do this yourself – you want to be running your business, not your technology suppliers.
A star is born
The reason I can write here about the headaches of business IT is because my whole career has been devoted to understanding them. So it made sense to develop something that eliminates these headaches in a simple, streamlined way.
I should say that when I’m talking about streamlining business IT and telecoms, I’m not necessarily referring to the hardware. Because it’s fair to say that the physical technology we use in our businesses has come a long way. Anyone remember the early mainframes?
Instead, I’m talking about how it all works together, for a seamless, frictionless experience. A setup that allows an organisation to concentrate on the day job – and tomorrow’s – rather than running and managing a million different technology services and suppliers. It’s precisely that situation that inspired Nebula, our own network environment that combines data, voice and IT services.
Like its namesake, Nebula is a cluster of lots of different things, which individually have their own unique qualities and beauty. And when combined, make for something rather impressive.
Obviously, with our Nebula, I’m not talking about astronomical objects and interstellar dust. But it does make me smile when I reflect on how nebulae are the birthplace of stars. Because I’d like to think that, in its own small way, our own Nebula has spawned experiences that are out of this world for our customers.
Here’s a few ways it does that…
Treating the headaches
Let’s look at the perennial headache of cost. Nebula bundles together voice, data and IT services into one package. On the surface, this sounds expensive – after all, in many areas, it pays to shop around. However, Nebula is very different in this respect. For example, within our networking infrastructure, we co-host our voice and IT services and so we manage it as a single entity. And that means you don’t have to pay the costs of the full environment, such as engineers, staff and management. You get a streamlined efficiency that invariably leads to cost savings.
How about the flexibility headache – where technology doesn’t adapt? Here’s where Nebula really helps. By combining voice, data and IT, Nebula allows total control that can be completely tailored to your needs.
An example of this: one of our customers wanted their telephone system to remain on site where they knew where it was, and where to turn to in case of a problem. But at the same time, they wanted the system replicated in a private network in case of any local problems. With Nebula, this setup was easy to deploy, and continues to be easy to manage. And it’s scalable and flexible to adapt to business changes.
It’s worth noting here that if you read the technology press, it’s always ‘Cloud, Cloud, Cloud’. In our experience, this doesn’t work for every business – and it really isn’t that simple. But Nebula goes a long way to serve the individual needs of every business in a simple way.
Finally, let’s think about how the lines between voice, data and IT have been irrevocably blurred – and the implications for business. Again, here’s where Nebula is the perfect fit. Taking an SME as an example, these organisations are the backbone of the economy. But often they have limited in-house IT skills or resources, and so it makes sense to use a service like Nebula that incorporates expertise in all areas of technology, with options that can be mixed and matched to suit the growing business.
A few other fixes for your technology pains
Beyond the main headaches I’ve described above, Nebula treats some other pains in a way you might find interesting.
First of all, although Nebula bundles together voice, data and IT services, it’s not necessary to take all of them. We’ve designed it that way because we know that every business has different priorities and needs for its technology.
Second, it’s designed to work for both commercial and public sector organisations, and for businesses of all sizes. We have a strong heritage in all areas, but we’ve found that Nebula has a particular appeal to SMEs.
Third, Nebula can improve your business data security. For instance, for one customer, we’ve incorporated a web-screening service that filters data before it even reaches the end user, protecting them from encountering harmful or malicious material.
Fourth, it works with all Cloud setups. So private Cloud and public Cloud – like Amazon, Azure, Google – can easily and simply be incorporated into Nebula.
The bottom line
I’ve intentionally avoided getting into too much techno-babble here. But I appreciate this blog is the tip of the iceberg. So…
- If you’d like more technical information about Nebula, then find out more here.
- If you’d prefer to talk, please don’t get hesitate to get in touch on 0333 400 2490.
- You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. I’d love to answer your questions.