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March 2009 | Volume 12/ Number 3
Integrator’s Corner

The Best of Both Worlds: Hybrid Hosting for VoIP

Having matured and increased in complexity, IP telephony (IPT) is now subject to the same operational scrutiny as other enterprise applications. As a result, many now consider IPT a “non-core” asset and are seeking new ways to operate it cost-effectively without consuming vital IT resources.

Hosted Voice over Internet (VoIP) has traditionally been one ways. However, for large and medium size companies with sophisticated communication needs, a completely hosted solution may not meet some fundamental requirements, such as custom Day 2 operational and architectural support. These organizations also usually have class-1 or class-2 data centers, so hosted IPT unnecessarily dilutes the return on their data center investment.

An alternative approach is “hybrid hosting.” With hybrid hosting, the organization still hosts its own infrastructure but outsources Day 2 support. Hybrid hosting off-loads routine and non-strategic work to a specialist company, but keeps the company’s IT staff involved for better customization and control. It usually has better cost structure and ROI. And it enables the IT organization to focus on supporting the core business and on adapting IPT, which can unify multiple modes of communication, to best meet the business needs of their company.

To determine the right hosting solution for your organization, ask the following:

  • What architectural support will be required? This depends on the complexity of the environment and the potential complexity of users’ communication needs. Organizations with a high percentage of mobile or high-skill workers communication-driven workforce management (such as contact centers) need ongoing and specialized architectural support.
  • What operational support is required? To determine this, unbundle the work done by your teams and classify it into categories. Categories can include various activities such as physical hosting of equipment, monitoring, incident resolution, local support, user support, logical Moves, Adds and Changes (MACS), physical MACS, capacity planning, network evolution, etc.

Answering these questions will put you in an excellent position to request specific services and to evaluate potential solutions and vendors. IT

Gus Bekdash is a Managing Consultant at Forsythe (

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