Guest Author: This week’s blog post was provided to us by Tanya Williams, a freelance writer and blogger. She has been working with telecom companies for over 20 years, writing about new technologies and how businesses and business owners can take advantage of them. Her topics included IP based communications technologies, cloud computing, website developement, and many more.
Situation: “I have clients across North America, and some of my critical parts come from around the globe. I have a robust ERO system that helps me keep on top of production, deliveries, and collection. I have decided to move into Unified Communications to speed up everything. – Now, what part of my application should go to the cloud for my vendors and clients to see? What about safety and security?”
This situation may be specific, but is common among many business organizations. Clients and partners can come from different places all over the globe. However, the answer generally lies in the amount of information or applications that will be put in the cloud for general use across the organization, as well as issues relating to security and safety.
Here are some factors to consider when deciding what your company should put in the cloud.
- Provider Responsibilities: As an organization, it is very important to be comfortable with giving up a certain level of control to cloud providers. Organizations who choose to take advantage of deploying on-premise platforms typically own the unified communications application. Upgrades, enhancements, extensions and other integrations are done as needed. Cloud providers do allow a certain level of management to the users, such as managing their servers, but organizations may not have full control.
- Potential savings: When talking about savings which can be potentially achieved, it is vital to acknowledge that these savings are indeed, real. Research was conducted by Search Unified Communications in 2013 discussing the cost analysis of cloud technology vs. on-premises IP telephony. It concluded that a significant amount of savings is realized when incorporating this type of technology in businesses.
- Availability: Cloud-based unified communication services are practically available all over the world. However, only a few companies have the capability of supporting and delivering a single global cloud service through diverse geographies. Therefore, if you have partners, clients and sites distributed throughout Europe, North America and Asia, it is possible to acquire such technology with the help of a limited number of possible partners who can provide support to all sites.
- Services offered: For quite a while, cloud-based unified communications services lacked some features and applications needed to compare to on-premise solutions. Among such features are mobile extensibility, video and a wide range of end-points solutions. However, the evolution of the technology has increased the popularity of the cloud. Leading providers have developed various platforms that are derived from the original infrastructures, incorporating them to the existing platform.
- Cloud management: It is a common belief that by using the services offered by cloud technology, a user organization offloads itself from responsibilities, casting the burden to the providers. However, such relationships require a good partnership between the cloud provider and the organization. The overall success of the delivery of services requires access to the company’s internal network coming from the operations center to the provider.
Therefore, the abovementioned tips will certainly assist an organization in evaluating the services offered by cloud technology. It is vital to keep in mind that these applications continue to evolve rapidly. Taking note of any possible future enhancements can also help in making decisions as to the amount of information, and the number of applications that should be put in the cloud. Bottom line is that taking advantage of the benefits now can make an organization well prepared for further enhancements in the future.