Slack vs. Microsoft Teams for Enterprises

Does my enterprise need a chat solution?

According to a study by McKinsey, “the average computer-using worker spends 20% of their week searching for internal information.” This means that enterprises need a way for their employees to easily communicate with one another to share information and cut down on time spent searching for documentation that other employees already have. 

One way of doing this is through email, but with already full inboxes and the ‘I’ll get to that later’ mentality associated with this form of communication, it is not the most efficient way for coworkers to communicate. 

To solve this problem, enterprises need to implement chat platforms into their organizations that employees can use to easily community and share information. With all of the options available on the market, it can be tough to find the right one. 

In this article, we are going to go over two of the most popular chat platforms for enterprises, Slack and Microsoft Teams. 

What Chat Solutions are Available for Enterprises?

Although many live chat platforms offer similar solutions for businesses of all sizes, enterprises need to find a solution that aligns with their budget, business operations, and ability to manage the software.

Solutions range from lesser-known platforms like Ryver and Chanty to more well-known team chat solutions like Discord, Google Chat, Slack, and MS Teams.

For larger organizations, going with a more well-known platform provides your entire team with easier use of the software and more ability to integrate with other software you are already using. To help your enterprise decide what platform is best for your operations, we are going to go over the two most popular choices for large organizations: Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Why use Slack for your enterprise?

One of the most well-known enterprise chat applications is Slack. 

Slack was built with enterprises in mind and is flexible to every organization’s needs. Whether your employees decide to use Slack’s desktop/smartphone app or web browser platform, you can rest assured your data is protected while your team communicates.

Apart from in-house collaboration, Slack also offers enterprises the ability to securely communicate with external organizations through the platform. This means no more back and forth on client emails. Instead, different teams can communicate quickly and securely from one platform.

One of the most beneficial features Slack offers for enterprises is its ability to seamlessly integrate with outside applications you are already using. Connect Zoom, Outlook, Google Drive, Gmail, and so much more to make sure messages are never missed and employees can easily navigate between software applications. 

If Slack sounds like the right fit for your organization but you’re not sure where to start, Cannon Group can help. Our team has 20+ years of IT telecommunications experience to help you assure you are making the right decision. Contact us today to get started using Slack in your enterprise!

Slack is a great option, of course. But what about Microsoft Teams? 

Why use MS Teams for your enterprise?

Depending on the size of your enterprise, another great chat platform to consider is Microsoft Teams. The platform offers a range of plans (from free to a per-user price) depending on your business’s needs and also integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft and third-party applications.

If your enterprise already runs on other Microsoft products, for example, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, etc. it is easy to integrate your files and other documents across platforms so employees have easy access wherever they are.

Enterprises can also easily use Microsoft tools to host live webinars, meetings, PowerPoint presentations, share Word and Excel documents, and more. Keep in mind that if you need to integrate applications from outside of the Microsoft suite of tools, the process to do so is a little more in-depth.

Teams is great for enterprises that need the ability to send and receive direct messages within their organization, send company-wide messages, or break into more granular sub-groups, or ‘Teams’.

Other features that MS Teams offers for enterprises include: 

  • Webinar tools
  • File sharing
  • Teams rooms
  • Teams Phone calls
  • Device management
  • Information protection

Although we have only shared a few of the features that Teams offers for enterprises, these are some of the most useful that clients have reported. If you think Microsoft Teams is the right enterprise messaging solution for your organization, you’re in luck! Our tech migration team is well versed in Microsoft Teams and can help you seamlessly migrate to the platform.

How to Integrate the Right Chat Platform into your Enterprise

Finding a new chat platform and getting it up and running for your enterprise is easier said than done. There are numerous problems that could arise along the way taking away even more of your IT team’s time and resources. 

For example, many organizations deploy their chat platforms without the right governance or security measure in place. Down the line, this can lead to major problems if there is a hack or data leak. On the other hand, some organizations simply don’t know how to leverage these platforms to their advantage. 

Instead of adding more to your teams’ plate to configure and train users on new chat software, schedule a consultation with Cannon Group. Our telecom experts will help you find the best solution for your enterprise and implement it with ease. This means no extra projects for your team!

AT&T vs. Verizon SD-WAN for Enterprises

SD-WAN is ultimately the new generation of WAN. It is a new and better way to build and manage long-distance networks and is especially important for enterprises. With SD-WAN, changes to your enterprise’s network can be easily centralized and managed across the entire WAN all through a central management portal.

If you are looking to lower costs, increase performance, easily set rules and policies and automatically distribute and implement them across your organization, SD-WAN is for you. But what other advantages are there for SD-WAN and should you go with AT&T or Verizon for SD-WAN? 

Instead of stretching your IT department too thin and piling on more research and implementation tasks, keep reading to learn more about SD-WAN providers and how Cannon Group will ease the decision and migration process for you. 

What are the Advantages of SD-WAN?

Configuring new or existing network infrastructure is much easier with SD-WAN than it is with traditional WAN. 

With SD-WAN, changes to your enterprise’s network can be centralized and managed across the entire WAN. This is all done through a central management portal that helps lower costs and increases performance. You can also set rules and policies, and automatically distribute and implement them across your enterprise. 

The 3 main advantages of SD-WAN to highlight are: 

  1. Increases agility by simplifying network policy configuration and management.
  2. Provides higher performance by intelligently leveraging multiple paths, including broadband connections.
  3. Brought together, it provides better agility and performance to lower IT operation costs.

Apart from knowing the advantages, in order to successfully implement a new SD-WAN infrastructure into your enterprise, you need to know which service providers best fit your needs and how to choose the right solution. 

Who Provides SD-WAN Services?

There seems to be an almost unlimited number of SD-WAN service providers to choose from, which makes finding the perfect fit for your enterprise a daunting task. Two of the top providers for enterprises are household names we all know: AT&T and Verizon. 

Apart from the big two, there are some other notable providers, including Cato, Fortinet, and Cisco Maraki. While these are not the only providers on the market for your enterprise to choose from, we are going to narrow in and focus on the benefits of Verizon and AT&T SD-WAN. 

Benefits of AT&T SD-WAN

AT&T SD-WAN with Cisco is a great option for most enterprises. Its service offering encompasses centralized management options, a secure multi-domain architecture to easily connect your assets, and a predictable user experience with cloud architecture. 

If your enterprise is looking for an SD-WAN solution with strong analytics capabilities for analysis and planning, AT&T SD-WAN with Cisco is a great option. The strong analytic capabilities of the system bring advanced insights and visibility into your network performance, which allows for data analysis and useful planning of what-if scenarios.

Although the analytical capabilities of AT&T’s SD-WAN solution alone are a home-run, there are a number of other features that enterprises will benefit from. 

Enterprises that utilize AT&T SD-WAN with Cisco benefit from: 

  • Centralized management
  • Integrated security that protects users, devices, and applications
  • A highly secure multi-domain infrastructure
  • Increased productivity with cloud and on-premise application performance

AT&T’s SD-WAN with Cisco allows enterprises to leave behind the problems associated with traditional WAN infrastructures by easily connecting cloud, campus, branch data centers, and colocation facilities. This flexible SD-WAN infrastructure allows your employees to connect from a variety of devices from any location.

For enterprises looking to improve performance, security, and reporting, AT&T SD-WAN is a perfect fit. 

At Cannon Group, we understand that when you know you’ve found your perfect solution, it can be frustrating not knowing where to start the implementation process. If your enterprise has decided to go with AT&T SD-WAN with Cisco but needs an extra hand in migrating — or if you need help assessing how it would look in your infrastructure, we’re here to help ease the process

For enterprises not so sure about which SD-WAN solution to go with, don’t worry, we’re not done going through your options yet.

Benefits of Verizon SD-WAN

Verizon’s Managed SD-WAN solution is going to make your enterprise’s WAN work smarter, not harder. 

We understand that people across your entire organization are requesting faster speeds, better upload time, and more bandwidth. With requests from all over the place, it’s hard to know where to start. Verizon’s Managed SD-WAN helps your network deployments work together more efficiently so you don’t have to worry. 

Verizon’s Managed SD-WAN solution helps you build a personalized SD-WAN solution that routes all of your applications to the right destination, so there is no confusion or slowdowns. As a partner, Verizon handles your SD-WAN design, configuration, and maintenance. 

It’s important to use your network for private data, so Verizon SD-WAN helps you find the perfect solution to use your network for critical applications. This way, private data stays private, and less critical data can be sent over public networks. 

Apart from building a personalized SD-WAN solution and helping you protect your data, Verizon’s SD-WAN solution offers intelligent path control, application optimization, and secure connectivity.

If your enterprise’s goal is to use bandwidth more efficiently, Verizon SD-WAN is the solution you’ve been looking for. We know that implementing a new infrastructure is a huge task, so we are here to help. Make sure you chat with a Cannon Group expert when you make your move to Verizon SD-WAN. 

Should my Enterprise use AT&T or Verizon SD-WAN?

With all of the benefits and services that both AT&T and Verizon offer for their SD-WAN customers, it can be impossible to make a decision between the two. We know that running your enterprise is your main duty, so let us help you in making the tough technology decisions. 

Instead of spending hours researching options only to find yourself left with more questions than answers, schedule a consultation with a Cannon Group representative who will guide you through the tech assessment process and help you find the perfect solution for your enterprise. 

Until then, check out this quick breakdown of the benefits of AT&T and Verizon SD-WAN: 

Centralized ManagementSimplified Network Management
Integrated SecuritySecure Connectivity
Multi-Domain InfrastructurePersonalized Solution
Bandwidth InsightsOptimized Bandwidth 

How to Choose the Right SD-WAN Solution for Your Enterprise

Didn’t find the solution that’s right for your enterprise? That’s ok! Cannon Group is here to help you source and find the best SD-WAN solution for your enterprise. 

If you’re unsure of whether to go with AT&T vs. Verizon SD-WAN for your enterprise or don’t think either of these is the right fit for you, we’re here to help. Our experts will take time to understand your complex IT infrastructure and workforce to find the best solution. 

To find your enterprise’s perfect SD-WAN solution, fill out this form to get started! One of our IT experts will get back to you in the next 48 hours. 

Transformative Technology Transitions: Five Challenges Your Enterprise May Face

The Market for enterprise mobility solutions is projected to grow at a staggering CAGR of 28.9% from 2022-2027. Statista claims that by 2025, there will be nearly 75.44 billion Internet of things technology (IoT) devices. Unified Communications spending is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 4.1% (Gartner). And 91% of Fortune 1000 companies are investing more in Big Data and AI. 

In today’s increasingly modern world, if your enterprise is not keeping up with all the new technology, its dying. 

And quickly. 

But transitioning from old to new comes with many challenges. According to McKinsey, 70% of large-scale transformational initiatives don’t even make it to completion. 

So, as your enterprise seeks out more transformational solutions, here are five hurdles to a successful large-scale technology transition that you and your IT department have to watch out for. 

Problem #1: Resistance to adoption

Human inertia – especially technology inertia – is hard to overcome. It can feel impossible to get employees to leave their old way of doing things and move toward new and better tools. 

An interesting survey by PWC found that while 92% of C-suite executives say their technology experience their company provides is satisfactory… 68% of staff members agree. One shortcoming many enterprises have is understanding and investing in their entire infrastructure of technology and not just in siloed experiences. When technology doesn’t work together or fit into an employee’s workflow, it becomes difficult to adopt. 

And education surrounding the new technology is wholly important. If people aren’t confident in a technology, they may revert back to an old and more comfortable way of doing something. Good news, though, in that same PWC survey, employees reported a willingness to spend about 15 hours per month learning a new technology. That’s across sector and across select major countries. 

Some ways Harvard Business Review suggests to encourage adoption after a technology transition are:

  • Incentivizing the technology use through gamification apps or periodic competence appraisals and rewards. 
  • Investing in the infrastructure as a whole, not just in siloed spurts. Supportive technologies are just as important to the key transformative ones. 
  • Make sure to include a robust technology education program as a part of your technology transition plan. 

Problem #2: Lack of Budget

As discussed earlier, it’s often more effective to conduct a full digital transformation as opposed to a handful of siloed technology changes. Because when technology works together, it works better. 

But that’s expensive. 

There is an irony that plagues most IT departments. Implementing digital transformations may promise to reduce operational costs. But companies have such high current operational costs that they can’t approve the necessary budgets to really make a full transformational initiative work. 

That’s when it’s time to turn to your complex invoices. It’s not rare for enterprises to waste upwards of 20% of their budget on less-than-ideal technology contracts. So, one huge way to free up working capital in your environment is to get control and visibility of those complex invoices and look for new carriers & renegotiate contracts. A tiring process in itself. 

Check out Cannon Group’s Strategic Sourcing process here →

Problem #3: Poor Change Management Strategy

Many IT departments often underestimate the scale and scope of a transition. Planning and outlining the resources you need ahead of time is important to get right. If you aren’t planning for the many failures you may encounter, then you are planning to fail. 

Along with resource planning, a true vision needs to be set and, with it, strong communication of and alignment to that vision are key. As Brent Gleeson, a contributor to Forbes, puts it, two things that can kill a transformative initiative are under-communicating a powerful vision or over-communicating a poor vision.

If you are working inside of a large organization, it can be easy to neglect some of the stakeholders and their needs as they relate to a certain technology. When you’re planning your change management strategy, you should take a deep inventory of everyone who this new technology would affect. Getting their initial buy-in can be helpful later on. 

Lastly, strong project management and clear communication along the way will get your initiative through the finish line. Without clear deadlines, weekly status updates, and a project manager pushing things forward, transitions can drag on. 

Which can lead to team fatigue and, ultimately, failure.  

We assign a dedicated project manager to every one of your projects. They, along with our experienced negotiators and financial analysts, ensure every short-term and overarching deadlines are hit with efficiency and cost-effectiveness at top of mind. 

Problem #4: Not having enough agility

If you don’t have the budget you’d like, then you definitely don’t have the agility you need. Break/fix fires are everywhere in IT departments and take up time – your only real non-renewable resource. 

Most problems teams face when setting out to accomplish larger technology transitions is that their team’s attention to the project is laser focused at first but diminishes as other urgent priorities pop up. Because larger scopes have larger timelines, it’s very easy for them to get put on the backburner and eventually go cold, so to speak.

Digging into your infrastructure for efficiency savings and freeing up working capital is one way to help with this agility. But often, tapping into managed/outsourced IT solutions can help add agility to your in-house team members. You can either outsource the more mundane day-to-day tasks such as complex invoice management — of which many people still do by spreadsheeting (which is a bad word in our CIM program) — or you can look for help with the actual technology transition itself. 

Check out Cannon Group’s Complex Invoice Management capabilities here →

Problem #5: Gaps in Digital Understanding

According to a survey taken by Capgemini, 77% of companies say their team is actually missing the digital skills necessary to transition to more transformational solutions. When staring at a major technology infrastructure change, unless someone on your team has direct experience with a new solution, there can be a large learning curve. 

This is where expertise is invaluable. Reaching out to consultants who have tangible and successful experience with major transitions and newer technologies can save your enterprise from extremely costly mistakes you might otherwise encounter. 

Check out Cannon Group’s Case Studies here →

Get In Touch With Our End-to-end Technology Consultants 

At Cannon Group, we are an end-to-end technology consulting and managed services firm who can help assess, migrate, orchestrate, and manage any technology. All while using a combination of integrated software and human expertise to gain full visibility on your IT spend and, in turn, keep your costs contained both now and in the future. We’ve been driving digital transformations for 20+ years and have helped hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies. 

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