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Unified communication and collaboration solutions are becoming increasingly popular, but before adoption businesses need to consider which configuration is best for them. Although many companies may be tempted to select an on-premises UCC system, a cloud-hosted UCC configuration is a far better option because of these five reasons:
1) More cost-effective to implement
When first obtaining an on-premises UCC solution, companies likely need to purchase a number of pieces of equipment, including servers, telephones and other related hardware components. With a hosted offering, however, much of the underlying infrastructure comes via a cloud computing solution, ensuring that initial procurement costs have little or nothing to do with physical equipment, according to Forrester analysts Henry Dewing and Art Schoeller.
“With a hosted solution, the service can be available quickly and easily, without having to install and implement servers,” unified communications expert Blair Pleasant wrote in a recent UCStrategies article. “Users can have a hosted UC solution up and working in hours, rather than months. There are little or no capital expenditures, except for the phones in most cases. Companies only pay for the services needed for the end users on the system, and can scale up or down as needed, paying only for what you need at the time.”
2) Less equipment to maintain
A UCC solution, whether it is hosted on-premises or in the cloud, will require some equipment. Invariably, that hardware will break down or malfunction. As such, the more hardware a company has on site, the greater the risks connected with it over time, Dewing and Schoeller noted. While the costs associated with a hosted and on-premises option may be roughly equal after year one, this is likely not the case in year five or 10 due to the myriad maintenance costs related to keeping on-site equipment running. With a cloud-based solution, these costs are essentially offloaded onto a third-party company.
3) More scalable and flexible
With more employees spending a lot of more time away from corporate headquarters, enterprises need a UCC solution that can support all employee efforts at any time. Whether an end user is on the road or just working from home, that worker can access a hosted UCC suite via the cloud. Companies utilizing on-premises systems will have a much more difficult time equipping off-site workers.
4) More predictable pricing
Since companies often obtain hosted UCC via a monthly subscription, it is easier to budget for than other options, Pleasant wrote. In comparison, many providers of on-premises options ask businesses to sign a minimum three-year deal. Monthly subscription plans allow corporations to allocate funds toward a configuration as needed, ensuring that the system put in place today is best suited for meeting immediate communication and collaboration needs.
5) A more reliable option
As situations like the flooding in southern Alberta earlier this year illustrate, relying too heavily on on-premises IT infrastructure can lead to disastrous results like unplanned downtime. With a cloud computing solution in place, however, business leaders can rest easy knowing that the UCC solution will still work effectively no matter what is happening at company headquarters.
Once businesses finally realize that cloud-hosted UCC solutions are far better than on-premises offerings, they will need to determine what available options can best meet their unique needs. As one of the largest managed IT services firms in Canada and the company behind FlexTEL, FlexITy has the knowledge and business expertise needed to make sure that a hosted UCC offering can yield the highest possible return on investment for an organization.