It might have arrived a little later than other technologies, but the cloud is now making space for a newcomer: unified communications.
Dax Nair, Alllstream’s director of marketing, spoke to his hosts on Kitchener’s 570News B2B talk show on Sunday about the advantages of hosted collaboration solutions (HCS), which is also the name of Allstream’s latest product. The cloud model, with all its advantages, makes unified communications and collaboration more accessible and affordable than ever, he said.
It was about time that hosted collaboration became more prominent in the IT landscape, having emerged years after providers began offering software, networking, virtualized storage and many other computing resources as a service, Nair added. But today, he said, it’s here, and for several reasons, companies are “really lining up to adopt” virtualized communications infrastructure.
One is that different customers have different needs, Nair said. A hosted collaboration platform, whether it’s delivered via an off-site managed cloud or an on-premise private cloud, allows each to use only the specific communications and collaboration tools they want.
There’s no point in firms spending millions on UCC when they only need it for a few hundred employees, he added. And a cloud-based system will automatically adjust itself according to changing demand. “If you have 500 users, you buy for 500. And if that becomes 480, you buy 480,” said Nair.
As well, with monthly or pay-per use billing, companies have an easier time doing their financial planning. Nair said that it’s “very unusual” for on-premise UCC systems to offer such flexibility.
Another advantage of HCS is automatic refreshes of the system and a single point of contact for technical support, Nair said. “That really drives productivity. You can always reach the person who knows what the answer is” without having to leave a voicemail and wait, he said.
One important caveat for buying cloud-based UCC is that the network between the customer’s location and the provider that carries the calls has to be robust enough to ensure consistent call quality, Nair said. Any hosted solution provider must be able to meet your quality standards.
Learn more about Allstream HCS by registering for the Webinar on June 12, 2013.