Just how practical the cloud is for enterprises as well as small to medium-sized business is the topic du jour. And for good reason.
IP-based cloud solutions can dramatically change the way that businesses operate and interact with customers, explained Jeff Dworkin, director of marketing of Sangoma in a recent blog post, as he enumerates many of the benefits associated with cloud-based services.
“Cloud services can significantly lower operating expenses, capital expenditures and TCO, especially when compared to costly premise-based hardware and applications. Cloud solutions also offer greater flexibility by enabling features and functionalities that customers once considered impractical, due to technical limitations or inaccessible, due to cost restrictions,” Dworkin explained.
Though the productivity gains and efficiencies generated from cloud communications are convincing, Dworkin said, “leveraging IP cloud-based technologies can still be an expensive, disruptive, and complicated undertaking – especially for users that still have legacy TDM infrastructure within their networks.”
The economic downturn of 2008 caused businesses to look more to the cloud for financial reasons, which are still part of that shift, but other factors like flexibility, time to deployment, and efficiency are now playing a bigger role.
“As more businesses rely on geographically-dispersed locations and mobile employees to conduct business, IP-powered UC solutions have become a preferred method for enterprises and small businesses to facilitate voice and data communications between multiple parties and locations,” said Dworkin. “Where UC solutions were once considered too ‘high ticket’ or unproven for many businesses, the economical efficiencies bought forth from cloud-based UC providers has created an escalating demand.”
As more businesses adopt cloud-based services, it is becoming more evident that cloud communications gives businesses a low-cost way to leverage the best communications services and applications, he adds.
“While these new solutions are justifiably appealing to customers, communications providers are the ones responsible for delivering these disparate solutions to users throughout the organization, regardless of network infrastructure, device, or location.”
To further illustrate the movement toward cloud communications, contact centers are seeing significant changeover. Ovum (News - Alert) recently predicted in the next five years the world-wide compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of premise-based contact center agent positions to remain relatively flat at below about 2 percent. For hosted contact centers, however, analysts are painting a much more positive picture with projections of a CAGR from 2009 to 2016 of up to 19 percent for hosted agent positions.
Want to learn more about cloud communications? Then be sure to attend the Cloud Communications Expo, collocated with TMC’s ITEXPO East 2012taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. The Cloud Communications Expo will address a growing need of businesses to integrate and leverage cloud based communications applications, process enhancement techniques, and network based communications interfaces and architectures. To register, click here.
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Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TMCnet, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin