UC in the Cloud

UC in the Cloud: Understanding the Benefits and Challenges

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  September 01, 2011

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY

UC in the Cloud: Understanding the Benefits and Challenges is the subject of a panel at ITEXPO (News - Alert) West, which is being held this month in Austin, Texas.

Speakers on this panel include Jeff Wissing of ADTRAN Inc.; Brad Forsythe of Interactive Intelligence; and Srinivas Mantripragada of RedShift Networks Inc. Moderating will be Frank Stinson of IntelliCom Analytics (News - Alert).

INTERNET TELEPHONY recently spoke with Forsythe, technical sales consultant

at Interactive Intelligence, to get a flavor of what to expect from the session.

Forsythe says that interest and adoption of unified communications technologies and solutions remain high. Lots of Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert) customers, he says, want to move to VoIP across the entire enterprise.

Meanwhile, instant messaging seems to be getting more and more popular, he says. Part of the appeal of IM, he notes, is that it allows people to IM at the same time they are communicating another way – so they may be talking to a client while IMing with co-workers.

Presence management also is always big in the UC world, adds Forsythe, noting the importance of giving customers the capability to share their presence either with everyone or with select subgroups.

Video is also a top-of-mind means of communication on the UC front. If you have remote employees, says Forsythe, video can be a good tool to connect with them face to face.

As for UC in the cloud, Forsythe says Interactive Intelligence has heard a lot of interest from customers in a hosted UC offering. Interactive Intelligence offers hosted UC today, he says, adding that customers have the ability to at any time move to that model.

He adds that often there are some limitations to going with a hosted model, but the Interactive Intelligence is trying to keep those limitations to a minimum. By limitation, Forsythe explains, he’s referring to the fact that in a hosted world – where platforms are shared among multiple customers – there’s often less customization.

Of course, he says, how important that is depends on the needs of the customer. Typically, he adds, the benefits of cloud UC far outweigh the challenges because it’s less capital intensive, offers quicker turn up time, and Interactive Intelligence offers a high number of features, whether premises-based or cloud-based.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi