The early adoption of Cloud Unified Communications (Cloud UC) has typically been driven by the smallest of small businesses as their barriers to transition are relatively low and the immediate impact of cost savings can be substantial compared to on-premise solutions. As the market has been maturing over the last couple of years, we now see more midsize and large enterprises starting to trial and deploy Cloud UC in controlled environments across Asia Pacific.
Traditional premise-based UC solutions may offer the promise of seamless features across voice, video and collaboration applications, but more not than often, these fail to integrate and interconnect on many levels. A cloud-based approach offers a solution to this challenge because it addresses interoperability issues, while offering a myriad of other benefits.
Still, proponents of cloud-based UC often face the challenge of convincing stakeholders within the organisation that a cloud based approach is the way to go. Here, we dispel some common myths related to security, reliability, cost and transition.
#1: 'IT'S NOT SECURE'
Early adopters of cloud-based solutions have come to realize that the security environment of most service providers far surpasses what they could provide for themselves. This is because any service provider of a reasonable size will have a larger team with greater expertise in the area of security.
#2: 'IT'S NOT RELIABLE'
Cloud UC is as reliable as your Internet connection. If you have high-quality, stable Internet access, your solution can be very reliable and even deliver HD quality voice. There are a myriad of free or low-cost tools to test the effective throughput and quality of your Internet access. Various resources also exist to ensure you have the quality-of-service (QoS) needed from a connectivity standpoint. Session border controllers (SBC) can play a critical role both at the edge and core of communications networks to ensure QoS, prioritization of media and enhanced media.
A common mistake businesses make is to try and add VoIP to their data network when they don't have enough bandwidth for their traditional networking needs. A good Cloud UC provider can help identify and troubleshoot such potential road bumps to deployment. It also makes sense to invest upfront and get the required bandwidth you need since you will still be saving money in the long run as you are adding new feature capabilities.
#3: 'I'M NOT GOING GET THE SAME SUPPORT'
Beyond economic reasons, many early adopters often switch to Cloud UC because they are frustrated with their current on-premise service provider. Before signing any contract it is important to understand the service level you will be receiving. If you require around-the-clock, 24/7/365 service, be clear about that need as you negotiate your support plan.
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