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February 16, 2011
As Cloud Computing Proliferates in 2011, Many Are Turning to Virtual PBX
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
 

The year 2011 is expected to be the year of the cloud. What does that mean for you? In essence, it means that it is time to start watching for those solutions and applications that can run effectively in the cloud. One feature SMBs and SMEs are finding delivers considerable benefit is that of the virtual PBX


According to a Washington Post report, companies in the SMB and SME sector of the marketplace have already discovered that the integration of voice and data into a single hosted communications platform can provide access to new and emerging technologies, as well as capabilities, at lower investments and at a faster return on investment. 

These companies are using cloud computing for things like a virtual PBX (News - Alert) to manage their server, voice and data instead of having to manage three separate systems. As cloud-based services continue to gain in popularity throughout 2011, new opportunities will emerge for service providers seeking to help fiscally cautious businesses to extend their post-recession budgets and to do much more while spending less. 

Among the trends to watch, the most important could be that of the virtual PBX. This platform can help smaller businesses to communicate like Fortune 500 companies without the excessive cost. In addition, those employees who are mobile can be reachable at one number, whether they are in the office or on the road. Co-workers simply use direct-extension dialing or outside callers can be transferred within and between locations without experiencing a hard hand-off. 

Remote access to voicemail is also available through the virtual PBX, as well as remote configuration to user features and handsets, content filters and wireless-based backup, and recovery systems. Some features are readily available now, while others are on their way to help make communications within the workplace more efficient and cost-effective. 

Aside from the versatility of the virtual PBX, there are other trends to watch as the cloud becomes the platform of choice in 2011. These trends include hosted video conferencing and telepresence, PC over IP, secure network-wide online storage and converged communications. 

The idea in cloud computing is to allow the organization – no matter its size – to effectively communicate and operate at the enterprise level without the enterprise cost. Complex solutions can be implemented easily, and hardware and software solutions will no longer be necessary as everything is managed on the cloud.


Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Charles West


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