Although cloud computing is today’s media darling, the underlying concept behind it dates back to the 1960s. Essentially, the cloud refers to an IT model of enabling convenient, on-demand access to a shared pool of computing resources hosted in a centralized data center. This simplifies administration, eliminates on-premise hardware, gives access irrespective of physical location, and provides the opportunity to only pay for what you use.
But the cloud is not just about traditional IT, it extends beyond traditional computing and into communications. The concept of cloud communications doesn’t differ tremendously from that of cloud computing. It has the same centralized benefits but offers on-demand access to communications applications. These include voice, video and unified communications.
There is one important difference. Unlike many traditional cloud computing services, such as storage, cloud communications needs to be in real-time. Humans will not accept the sort of delay that computers do. And while you might wait three seconds for a web page to load, that sort of lag time on a call is simply unacceptable. Service providers from a telecoms background understand this and are much less tolerant of delays than those from an IT background.
Read on for the seven reasons to choose communications in the cloud for your organization.
1. Cloud provides anytime, anywhere access:
Universal connectivity is key, with applications being delivered to your PC, laptop, tablet, desk phone, mobile or smartphone whenever and wherever they are most needed. Ultimately, this means employees can connect to their chosen communications application whether it’s voice, web conferencing or instant messaging, from almost any device on any network, anywhere.
2. Access big-business technology whatever your size
Cloud communications offers smaller firms access to exactly the same technology and applications that large organizations have been enjoying, but with one major difference: you don’t own the systems. That means you’re not subject to the headaches of managing, maintaining, integrating and upgrading the kit. Nor are you forced into carrying the cost of operating your own data centers.
3. Enjoy higher levels of security and reliability
Because public cloud communications services are consolidated and maintained by service providers in secure data centers, smaller and mid-sized businesses can enjoy enterprise levels of security and reliability at typically much higher levels than most could achieve on their own.
4. Only pay for what you use
Companies using public cloud communication services only pay for what they use and no more. The result is a more flexible, often more predictable and always more cost effective communications environment.
5. And slash your communications TCO
Cost reduction is a major factor in the success of the cloud. By reducing or removing many of the issues associated with deploying a conventional PABX telephony system – from installation planning, technical training and support through to maintenance, upgrade cycles, and disaster recovery planning – you’ll avoid the onerous financial, time and resource challenges of operation.
6. Improve business productivity
By adopting unified communications in the cloud employees will be more collaborative, more mobile and more productive. Better communications will result in faster, more informed decision-making and customer service will improve as teams become more accessible and more responsive – even when dealing with enquiries from social media channels.
7. Future proof your communications
With technology moving apace, communications networks need to become more agile and better able to meet the growing demands the business, its workforce and its customers are placing upon it. Moving to the cloud will help you meet the demands for increased mobility, social collaboration, security and cost reduction, because you won’t be hindered by the inflexibility of an on-premise telephony infrastructures designed over a decade ago.
Martin Northend is Marketing Director for OpenScape Cloud Services at Siemens Enterprise Communications (News - Alert). Read the five minute guide on OpenScape Secure Cloud for more details on cloud communications.