How IP telephony can lift you to the cloud

Whether they opt for public or private, IT departments have work to do before unified communications applications are ready to take advantage of the latest compute model. Third in a five-part series

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This is the third post in a series that explores five reasons to revisit the business case for deploying IP telephony and VoIP in your organization. Read part one: 2 ways to dramatically lower VOIP TCO and part two: Keep talking — no matter how bad things get

If you are an IT manager keenly scouting the horizon for new technologies or business applications that will make your organization more productive and successful – and make you an acclaimed hero with the C suite types – then you could be forgiven if your thoughts drift constantly in the direction of the ‘The Cloud”.

The cloud is a big thing. Everybody is talking about it. Even allowing for the usual hype – and there is no lack of it – the benefits that the cloud deployment model is promising to enterprises are quite compelling: substantial savings, remarkable scalability, simplicity of management and operations, rapid provisioning capabilities and more. The idea of placing the company’s servers and applications in a private or public cloud and accessing them through an IP network on a “as needed”  basis  has, at some point, ceased to be revolutionary and enjoys today healthy rates of adoption in the business world.

For many applications, the Internet fits very well in the role of cloud IP access network. Not, however, for real time applications like most applications included under the Unified Communication umbrella: voice, video, conferencing, etc. This is especially true if your organization still relies on TDM equipment and infrastructure for local telephony and access to the PSTN.

To fulfill and complete your vision of a cloud-based enterprise IT infrastructure, you need to bring your unified communication applications into the corporate cloud. And this is where IP Telephony proves again to be one of the essential ingredients. With an internal VoIP system (IP PBX), IP terminals, solid SIP trunking connectivity to PSTN and data access through a QoS enabled MPLS network, you will have in place all the elements for a successful  cloud-based unified communications environment.

Even if the network you manage is a small business network, and that makes you wonder whether the cloud model can really work for you, adopting an IP telephony infrastructure and becoming “cloud ready” still makes a lot of sense.  It places you in a position from where you can chose to subscribe to a hosted unified communication service, a very cost-effective way for small businesses to enjoy the benefits of enterprise grade applications without upfront investments and the associated management headaches.

In other words, current business communication trends, such as the movement to the cloud, provide further reason to have another look at IP telephony. This technology, about which we thought we knew everything already, is proving to be not only an ROI success and pillar of business continuity, but also a gateway for future productivity gains.

For more in-depth insights, read the Gartner Inc. report, “The Business Case for IP Telephony Revisited: Five Reasons Why the Time to Evolve Is Now featured on our resources page

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