UC Solutions: The Benefits of Hosted Vs. On-Premise

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Perhaps a few years ago, the idea of adopting a hosted Unified Communications (UC) solution over an on-premise solution would have been challenging. The features of hosted solutions didn’t match up to those of on-premise based vendors. As we head into 2016 however, the idea is not nearly as daunting, with the gap having closed and hosted solutions having all the features and functions of their on-premise counterparts.

Although your budget is a great rationalization for choosing a hosted solution, these days many arguments exist beyond cost. When considering a cloud-based solution, look at other business reasons, such as ease of deployment, scalability, increased productivity, timely updates, and much more.

As for hosting, you can choose between managing the hosted solution (End User Managed Software as a Service) or a hosted and managed solution. Here are some business benefits for considering a hosted UC Reporting solution.

  • No/Low Capital Expenditure Evaluating the costs associated with an on-premise solution would cause even the largest corporations to look for ways to ease upfront costs. Add up software licenses, installation and support fees, plus the cost of building (and eventual maintenance) of a server and storage infrastructure, and you’re talking about a huge initial outlay of capital expenditure. Minimize these expenditures with a low, scalable (pay only for what you need) monthly service fee with a cloud-hosted solution. Take advantage and use your budget more efficiently by covering those monthly recurring charges as an operating expense.
  • Expert Application Management Significantly lessen the pain of transitioning or implementing a solution when you let a hosting company save you administration time. When they dispatch an implementation specialist to get you up and running in the cloud you can alleviate employee IT tasks and leave them to their jobs where they may be of better service. IT no longer has to re-allocate resources to running and maintaining servers; allowing them to spend more time with Mobile Device Management (MDM) and application provisioning, or other user-related issues, such as your help desk. A hosted service solution gives employees access to applications immediately through the use of a browser.
  • Evergreen Updates Keeping your application software and operating system environment current is more important than ever. By subscribing to a hosted solution, the vendor will perform all necessary updates to ensure the application software and operating system environment are up-to-date and delivering the latest features.
  • Audited & Certified Security Utilize systems from companies with stringent datacenter certifications and audited security such as SSAE-16 (formerly SAS 70) certification. Benefit from the high standards set for compliance for vertical markets by looking for solutions that meet requirements for HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley. You want your data to be treated confidentially and safeguarded against hackers or other security breaches.
  • Optimal Expandability Expand or contract the number of user stations, trunk gateways, and data sources being serviced and pay only for what is used. A hosted solution provides deployment flexibility in spades. The cloud is beneficial in the way that legacy systems never were. Doing away with the big “roll out”, use the cloud to extend any feature to any worker through your enterprises’ networks in less time. Gone are the days where your deployment strategies had to be centered on the location and available technologies.

When you move UC to the cloud, you win back time, resources, and productivity. So, factor this into the total cost of ownership when comparing costs of on-premise software with hosted and managed services. Now that the cloud’s benefits and features have caught up to—or even surpassed—on-premise solutions, there’s no reason not to seriously consider the advantages.

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Darlene Jackson is a published writer with many years of experience in digital publishing, advertising, and public relations. Her diverse assignments include stints with Chicago Public Media, The Chicago Tribune, and various print and online media and communication outlets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree at Northwestern University.

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