Jan 15

Cloud communications are the future - for those that understand it


If there's one thing to remember about modern business communications, it's that they must be in the cloud to be of the most use. This is something that everyone needs to keep in mind, whether you're a provider of these connections or a user of these business tools. There are powerful new ways for professionals to connect and, more importantly, collaborate from remote locationsand organizations need to make sure that they are investing in the right tools for the job.

"Even if you personally work in an office, other team members likely work elsewhere," wrote No Jitter contributor Dave Michels. "UC technologies such as voice over IP, IM/presence and video are certainly key enablers, but not the end-all. Effective collaboration requires new methods, practices and disciplines."

Unified communications in the cloud are becoming essential for modern companies to possess. This is not only something for enterprise decision-makers to keep in mind, but also channel partners and resellers. Those who make these kinds of assets available must understand that their customers are expecting new capabilities from those who provide their UC networks.

For vendors and resellers alike, understanding both the industry's jargon and technology is the key to success. Nobody wants to do business with someone that doesn't know what they're talking about, especially when it comes to something as vital as business communications solutions. Lack of knowledge can be an unfortunate problem in the world of telecom reselling. Should a channel partner use terminology incorrectly or not quite grasp the technology they're selling, they could be setting themselves - and their clients - up for some serious failure.

Channel partners have to pay attention to industry definitions and technological directions if they want to succeed in this competitive industry. In the constantly-shifting enterprise telecom landscape, it's important to be up-to-speed on end-user expectations and even their common misconceptions in order to provide the best service possible.

Jan 15

Cloud communication on the rise in small businesses


As communications continue to evolve, businesses are increasingly falling into two categories - those with cloud communications and those without. For established companies, it might make the most sense to upgrade existing systems if possible. There's no reason to abandon legacy circuits if they're still in perfect working order and can be assisted by processes like SIP trunking in order to meet the needs of modern employees. Generally, the biggest focus in this area is trying to eliminate the cords and wires that keep workers bound to their desks.

"When you think about reducing the cables in your office and becoming more mobile, you generally focus on networking and power cords," wrote PC Magazine contributor Fahmida Rashid. "Just as Wi-Fi can free your computers from the network switch and router, you can use voice-over-IP to simplify your phone setup. If your office is extremely small, you are likely getting by with a handful of phone lines into the office or just routing all calls through one person. Standard cordless phones may let you move around the office, but running multiple phone lines on a business plan gets quite costly."

For organizations that are just starting out, the idea of investing in an on-site, legacy business telephone system is making less sense. Since more companies are pushing for cloud service that enables mobility, why not just cut out the middleman and go right to the provider? A growing number of SMBs are realizing that the telecom landscape is changing. In order to keep up with evolving needs and requirements, cloud communications are going to be essential, and having them deployed off-site offers an incredible advantage.

Desk phones dying off
It shouldn't be much of a surprise that smartphones are becoming the technology of choice for connected individuals. In both personal and professional settings, traditional handsets are beginning to fall by the wayside - especially when it comes to small business phone systems. Even when seated at a desk, landline phones are still segmented from every other channel, like email. An employee these days needs to have a unified communications experience available to them through a computer or smartphone, and the siloed telephone as we know it is no longer cutting it.

This is one of the reasons that a growing number of small businesses are turning to the cloud for their communication and collaboration needs. According to VentureBeat contributor Tom Bressie, almost 90 percent of small businesses are currently leveraging the cloud in one way or another to improve their daily operations. It stands to reason that a great deal of cloud communications initiatives are counted in this figure - application hosting accounted for between 45 and 49 percent of cloud usage in organizations with 100 to 499 employees. Cloud spending is further expected to reach $180 billion in 2015 and $235 billion by 2017.

Phone systems for small business need the cloud
There is a prevailing attitude that the cloud needs to be considered in a variety ways by all organizations. The benefits are far reaching - money can be saved and productivity can be increased, among other advantages. This applies to many different areas of enterprise operations.

"The days of businesses lining up PCs equipped with costly software packages in new offices when they launch are long gone," wrote The Guardian contributor Tina Nielson. "In-house servers and off-site back-ups are also just options rather than essentials. Thanks to the cloud, startups are spoiled for choice when it comes to setting up their technology platforms."

This is especially true for communications initiatives. Rather make a costly, time-consuming investment in a physical legacy system, turn to cloud communications instead. Theses types of networks can provide all of the benefits without the unwanted stress that comes along with them. In order to enable employees with the ability to roam and work remotely, cloud communications - managed and maintained off-site - are going to be essential to possess.