Unified Communications (UC) systems are becoming increasingly popular as a way to provide employees with the ultimate communication functionality and flexibility. While businesses are eager to offer these solutions to their employees, IT is often burdened by the time and effort required to implement such systems.
One of the best ways to overcome common obstacles is to use a cloud-based (rather than on-premise) UC solution. For the forward-looking enterprise, a cloud-based UC system is the best way to leverage all that UC has to offer in terms of cost savings, access to the latest features, centralized management, and decreased downtime.
Cost and Management Efficiency
As UC technologies and features continue to expand, so does the cost of these systems. A cloud-based solution can bring relief to the IT budget in multiple ways:
- Cloud hosting eliminates the need to purchase and manage onsite hosting infrastructure.
- There is greater budget flexibility through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) licensing models, many of which require no capital investment and have small operational costs.
Access More Features
A cloud-based UC platform will enable organizations to quickly roll out the latest and most sophisticated UC technology:
- The newest UC features will be added to cloud-based solutions first. (On-premise patches are provided much later.)
- The flexibility of the cloud means that the most advanced UC functions (and greatest variety) are offered through the cloud; not all options may be available on-premise.
- This includes such capabilities as mobile compatibility, conferencing, messaging/chat, standard mobile features, presence, and more.
Centralized Online Management
One of the advantages of cloud-based UC systems is that many come with an online web portal that allows users to access and manage communications systems and settings.
- Both users and IT administrators can easily manage devices and toggle settings in the online portal.
- The increased level of user self-service results in decreased helpdesk and support costs.
A cloud-hosted UC solution takes pressure off of internal teams to maintain the hosting infrastructure. This allows organizations to leverage the power of the cloud and decrease the risk of downtime.
- The cloud not only eliminates downtime risks caused by power outages, natural disasters or infrastructure hiccups, but it also offers more convenient and efficient maintenance periods.
- Cloud-hosted systems also broaden the general user population’s ability to access the system by allowing users to connect via multiple devices (regardless of whether they are in the office).
By deploying a UC system in the cloud, both users and IT administrators will be better able to reap the many benefits of this technology. A cloud-hosted system provides greater cost savings, expanded access to features, centralized management capabilities, and increased uptime—which are especially valuable features in a competitive IT market.
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