Over the last decade, cloud computing has become a viable solution for small businesses looking to compete with enterprise organizations. At the same time, VoIP’s value proposition has been improving at a remarkable pace. Today, merging VoIP communications with cloud services is an affordable and reliable way to enter the realm of Unified Communications (UC), and UC has become an essential element in the global business community.
Cloud services alleviate the strain of maintaining a complete in-house service infrastructure at a business location. Moving more of the organization’s service resources to the cloud has the immediate advantage of reducing staffing, equipment and maintenance overhead. Additionally, cloud services offer an affordable, offsite method of handling critical network services, including:
- Software Installation and Upgrades
- Network Access and Security
- Throughput and Bandwidth Management
- Disaster Planning and Recovery
Factors Driving Cloud Computing for Hosted VoIP Solutions
Diversity is vital in successful cloud deployment, but there are some generalizations that can be applied. As cloud services have gained visibility, VoIP’s value proposition has increased proportionately. Similarly, telephony has taken on new roles, including video conferencing, application sharing, and real-time collaboration between widely separated contributors. Two of the major factors that increase VoIP reliability are broadband bonding (joining multiple Internet lines together for increased bandwidth and throughput), and IP tunneling (creating a dedicated connection between two widely separated points). The in-house PBX system migrating to the cloud is a logical evolution of business communications.
Major Weaknesses of On-Premises PBX Systems
Providing an organization’s phone services in-house introduces some limitations on availability and VoIP reliability. Some of the biggest drawbacks to on-premises PBX systems are:
- Specialized staff and equipment requirements
- Maintenance and upgrade cost of on-premises equipment
You are essentially forced to specialize in a field that is outside the functions of your business, solely to provide business-related services. With a cloud-based phone system, maintenance and upgrades are handled by the cloud-services staff and those costs are distributed among all companies using those services rather than being paid by every company individually. Similarly, specialized machines are no longer necessary to achieve call routing and switching, reducing company overhead and encouraging the use of widely varied communication services such as WAN lines, DSL, cable, T1, DIA etc.
With a Strong WAN, Moving Your IP-PBX to the Cloud is a No Brainer
Provided that you are leveraging modern WAN Orchestration methods, such as Broadband Bonding, to solidify your Internet connectivity to the cloud, moving your IP-PBX into the cloud becomes an obvious next step to avoid any of the on-premises equipment disadvantages.
VoIP in a Global Market
Today’s successful businesses need to have a global reach. Cloud-based telephony services make that possible in ways that on-premises PBX systems could never match. The ability to create a direct IP connection between the home office, a client in another country, and company staff en route to a third location is beyond the scope of traditional PBX systems, but is a simple matter of establishing Internet connections if you are using cloud-based systems.
The popular move to cloud services is happening because those services give organizations more control over their communications. VoIP reliability is one important consideration, and another is project collaboration. VoIP is one of the newest participants in cloud networking, but it is also quickly becoming one of the most important aspects because of the improvements the cloud has to offer for your total communications architecture.
Cahit Akin, CEO, Mushroom Networks, Inc.
Mushroom Networks is the provider of SD-WAN (Software Defined WAN) and NFV solutions capable of Broadband Bonding that enables self-healing WAN networks that route around network problems such as latency, jitter and packet loss.