It may have taken cloud services a few years before they’ve been good enough for business utilization, but in today’s digital environment, cloud services have overcome the challenges of the past and emerged as a potential competitor to earlier systems. A great example is unified communications. While in-house systems have helped many corporate entities over the year, hosted UC, also known as unified-communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) has recently emerged as a great alternative for businesses who may not have the money necessary to implement an in-house system. Furthermore, UCaaS provides a number of benefits outside the standard in-house UC system.
An in-house UC implementation — installation of lines, IT troubleshooting and tweaking the environment to integrate with a business’s current IT environment – is a much more complicated venture than installing a hosted UC system, which requires little more than a few Internet lines (most of which already exist at most desks) and a few phones. There’s no need for substantial hardware or software upgrades, and users can begin using hosted UC systems in the fraction of the time.
This speed of change also helps in curbing downtime. When a disaster happens (and it will), it takes less time to find the problem, fix it and send the new code across the network. For most companies, communications that are dead in the water can actually freeze the amount of money actually coming into the business. Making sure disasters are recovered quickly (or that disasters don’t happen at all) is an exceptionally important aspect of staying competitive.
Outsourced Maintenance and Centralized Changes
For those companies without dedicated IT employees, keeping phone lines up and running can be a major hassle. With hosted services, however, that upkeep is outsourced to the service itself. Businesses require no dedicated IT staff, and they can expect their service to run with little problem. System-wide upgrades also happen with much less hassle than any in-house UC. Instead of needing workers to visit each work station, UCaaS can make changes from a single centralized location. One tweak is easily spread throughout the network, and software upgrades are done directly by the service.
As said earlier, an in-house system requires many more in-house resources for maintenance than UCaaS. This cost is further exacerbated by hardware purchases. UCaaS has adopted a pay-as-you-go method that keeps costs down and allows systems to remain scalable. Comparatively, in-house systems require large bulk hardware purchases and storage to make sure that any expansions of service can be taken care of without major investments.
UCaaS may be an evolving technology, but at this point in time, the level of service that hosted UC can provide when compared to in-house UC systems has started to push many companies to consider the new tech over old. There may even be a time when in-house UC become things of the past, as the benefits of UCaaS push its use past in-house systems and help it emerge as the de facto UC system.
Interested in more insight about UCaaS and the top-to-bottom benefits it can offer your company? Read our blog post, “UCaaS Drives Teamwork“.