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Unified Communications: Cloud Vs. On Premise

on September 15, 2014

One of the biggest questions for businesses looking to establish a unified communications system is whether they should do so using a hosted (or cloud) solution or an on premise solution.

Unified communications is an idea that is currently having a huge impact on the way that people interact with each other in the enterprise. By integrating email, phone calls, instant messaging, and video conferencing, it is much less difficult for professionals to choose the right channel to communicate with colleagues and clients. One of the biggest questions for businesses looking to establish a unified communications system is whether they should do so using a hosted (or cloud) solution or an on premise solution.

Unified Communications In The Cloud

Hosted unified communications solutions are the kind provided to client companies off-site by organizations that specialize in delivering these kinds of services. These companies have their own servers and communications infrastructure that allows clients to choose exactly what type of services they want and how many users they want to support.

One of the biggest benefits of cloud-based unified communications for businesses that go this route is that they do not have to worry about having a dedicated IT team to manage their unified communications system. There is also no need to be concerned about having space for servers, and scaling your unified communications system up or down is much easier with hosted solutions.

Unified Communications On-Site

On-premise or on-site unified communications systems are managed by the company that uses them. With this type of unified communications, businesses have their own servers, phone lines, and dedicated IT personnel whose job it is to manage unified communications systems and make sure that they are functioning properly.

One of the main advantages of unified communications on site is that these kinds of systems give a company much more control over their unified communications. If something goes down or malfunctions with an on-site system, companies can immediately dispatch an IT professional to get to the bottom of the issue and restore full functionality to the system. Another big advantage of on-premise unified communications is that it provides a more robust set of features: companies that need to have a full range of phone features, for example, often prefer on-premise hosting. On-premise hosting is also preferable for companies who would face a catastrophic incident if their unified communications systems went down for a prolonged period of time, such as healthcare networks, law enforcement, or security agencies.

Which Is The Better Choice?

There is no clear answer in the question of whether cloud or on-premise hosting is preferable for companies in search of the best unified communications system for their needs. While cloud hosting may allow your business to conserve your budget by only having to pay for the specific unified communications services that you need, on-premise hosting is desirable because it gives companies a greater degree of control over their unified communications.

To determine which kind of solution is best for your organization, you should ask some key questions about your company’s size, security needs, budget for unified communications, and potential for growth in the future. These answers will help you come to a conclusion about whether on-premise or cloud hosting is better for your organization’s unified communications needs.