The adoption of different cloud based Unified Communications applications, such as Web conferencing, voice, and video are getting more and more popular. As a matter of fact, several companies are planning to use, or are now implementing cloud based IP telephony services. Services for instant messaging, cloud based video, email/calendaring, as well as social computing are also increasing.
Why the trend? For many companies, the opportunity in reducing UC expenses, implemented together with the capability of the business to improve agility is a good option. Moreover, transferring to cloud services allows IT resources to act and think strategically. For companies who haven’t switched to cloud yet, understanding the need to do so is already influencing their decision making.
As part of a company that is looking into implementing cloud services in your operations, it is very important to make the right decisions. After all, each decision will affect the productivity of your company. Each choice should be favorable to your company. In order to guide you through the decision making process, consider the three common questions, as well as the answers to each one of them:
Am I losing control?
Simply said, companies that deploy platforms on premises own the United Communications application. Thus, they can choose to upgrade based on their schedule. They have the liberty to do enhancements, extensions, and integration of UC applications depending on what is fitting. Most importantly, these companies also own the data generated by the applications. Several cloud providers provide options that will work especially for the security conscious companies. As a result, it is possible to manage servers in the data centres. They also come with security certifications, which can demonstrate their management and data protection capabilities. Still, companies are given the liberty to decide. All this being said, there are still some organizations that are concerned with their data privacy. They are not convinced enough, and as a result, they do not fully relinquish their hold on on-premises applications.
Can the cloud give me all I want?
Years ago, these cloud based services were known to lack applications and features used for an effective on-premise solution. They failed to offer integrated, and broad feature sets that include mobile extensibility, video, and different options on end points. The good news is, those days have dramatically changed. UC providers, as well as their partners, have created cloud based platforms which come from on-premises offerings. This enables them to have the similar feature sets as the on-premises and clouds. In turn, it eases the process of migration of the existing customers by allowing them the ability to reuse currently existing end points.
Can I manage the cloud?
It is a common knowledge that the cloud exists as an alternative option to on premise equipment management. A company employs cloud services in order to offload support to the provider. However, United Communications performance highly depends on different factors, which are generally outside the control of the cloud provider. These factors include architecture, LAN bandwidth, wireless LAN capabilities, PC performance (especially for softphone applications), and Power over Ethernet. Quite successfully, the delivery of cloud services continues to require a partnership, a good one, with the cloud provider. This allows potential access to the internal network from the operations centre of the provider’s network.
Considering the questions above, as well as the answers to those questions should prove to be a good guide to the evaluation of the overall capability of the cloud services. Keep in mind that the cloud UC applications evolve rapidly. Therefore, if you think that the cloud technology is somewhat unclear to you right now, you may check again next year and compare the updates to your needs.
Michelle Patterson helps companies understand and adopt new technologies in all aspects of their operations. She is currently working on new communication technologies that are promising a paradigm shift.