Even though it's not all that old, the field of unified communications has already experienced several major leaps forward. It has evolved from a cutting-edge technology to a basic business tool that is becoming more popular and commonplace every day.
Perhaps the single biggest development in this area, though, is the shift into the cloud. While on-premise UC is still very common, companies are increasingly embracing cloud-based UC systems, and with good reason. With cloud telephony, businesses can enjoy all of the benefits of both UC and the cloud combined into a single, top-quality platform.
Cloud Cost SavingsThe move from on-premise UC to cloud telephony is, essentially, no different from the general movement toward hosted IT services. The benefits are tremendous and wide-ranging.
The first and most obvious benefit of cloud-based UC is cost savings. With an on-premise approach, companies have traditionally needed to invest in a significant number of expensive pieces of hardware. These require ongoing and time-consuming maintenance to ensure high-quality UC performance.
With the cloud, though, this is no longer the case. Instead, companies only pay for the unified communications services they need as they use them. This maximizes cost-efficiency, eliminating the risk that the organization either over- or under-invests in on-premise UC hardware. The responsibility for maintaining the platform is also outsourced to the UC service provider, allowing IT personnel to focus their energy on higher-level issues.
Always OnAdditionally, cloud-based UC delivers a superior level of reliability, thanks to its redundancy. A cloud UC provider will typically have numerous servers in different locations. This means that even if there is a problem at one data center, another will be able to instantly pick up the slack, virtually eliminating downtime. For an on-premise UC platform, though, a natural disaster can have a serious impact on performance and availability.
Scaling UpFinally, and crucially, cloud-based UC can easily scale up or down to meet a company's changing UC needs. If the firm takes on additional employees in a second office location, those personnel can quickly and easily gain access to the firm's hosted UC platform. When companies rely on on-premise unified communications platforms, this process can be much more difficult and costly.
With all of these advantages, it's easy to see why cloud-based UC is quickly becoming the new normal. Firms that fail to react will be in danger of falling behind their more advanced, agile competitors.