Cloud computing is all about connection. Connecting with employees, clients, data and other business applications. Here are some cloud computing services you should keep in mind as you consider switching or upgrading your current video conferencing, voice and data infrastructure.
Cloud Based Video Conferencing
There are two different types of cloud based video conferencing.
- Person to Person or Person to Many
Some examples of this are WebEx, Lync or Marco Managed Video (MMV).
- Room to Room (also known as Telepresence)
Most commonly used in conference rooms today.
Wherever you are, you can connect and collaborate through a hosted video conferencing option. Rather than purchasing, maintaining and/or upgrading a vast network of hardware, your company can leave those concerns to your cloud provider. In return, you get access to video conferencing in the cloud that is HD-capable, scalable and interoperable with a variety of systems.
Private cloud solutions usually involve Telepresence. In this case, a provider would help design and implement a solution that fits your company’s communication requirements. Your provider can also be relied on to manage the hardware and provide help desk support and training for the equipment.
Hosted voice phones look just like normal phones with a handset, cradle and buttons. But, instead of connecting to a standard phone line, these phones have an Ethernet connection that carries phone calls over an IP data network. This configuration allows you to save money on phone services because your calls will travel over a data network or the Internet, rather than requiring separate phone lines. This cloud-based service can be deployed over a public or private cloud; hybrid applications don’t currently have a position in the hosted voice market.
For businesses using a public cloud, a hosted voice option can be easily created and delivered by a hosting provider. Typically, this public cloud-based voice service is best for businesses with less than 50 users, or organizations that rely heavily on remote employees. It saves your business the expense of a traditional phone line and supporting infrastructure.
In a private cloud environment, a provider would design and implement your on-premise voice system. These systems are best for more complex and larger organizations. These hosted voice solutions provide the best quality connection and communication among coworkers, clients, vendors and more.
Business applications, storage and other functions can now be hosted on off-site servers, or in other words, the cloud. This reduces your need to purchase, house and maintain computer servers on-site. In the cloud, document storage and computer applications are hosted off-site and connected to your on-site or remote computers via the Internet. This cloud-based access and storage can be deployed over a public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud.
For businesses operating with a public cloud, a hosted desktop option is available. Your infrastructure is located in a data center, which can be located anywhere in the world. Typically, you'll see the public cloud data approach work best for smaller organizations.
Alternatively, cloud service providers can offer an on-premise data solution, also known as a private cloud. This infrastructure is entirely dedicated to your organization (unlike a public cloud where infrastructure and the cost to use it is shared among many organizations). Generally speaking, the private cloud approach is arguably better for larger businesses that perform more complex tasks. However, small businesses can also require the capabilities of a private cloud.
Most mid-market businesses benefit most from a hybrid approach, due to their line-of-business software requirements. Some of these applications won't work well in a public cloud environment, so it's important to have a private option available. This combination of cloud types can get very complicated, requiring an experienced specialist to guide the design, configuration and implementation.
When considering your business's options, remember that performance and security are typically best when the equipment is hosted on-site. This gives private clouds a major advantage. However, along with these enhancements comes a higher price tag.
An experienced cloud services provider will work with you to provide the required cloud-based voice, data and/or video conferencing services necessary – and in the right cloud environment – for your organization to be successful.