Unified communications (UC) offer businesses a cohesive platform for all their communication needs. From voice to video conferencing to email, and more, businesses need a reliable UC solution to ensure their operations and customer interactions run smoothly. With options for cloud-based and on-premise UC platforms, companies must carefully consider which model will best meet their needs.
Cloud-based unified communication (UC) provides communication and collaboration tools to businesses through the cloud. Rather than being hosted on-premises, these tools are provided as-a-service through a third-party provider. While a company may need to invest in some initial hardware, everything else is hosted by a third-party provider via a subscription fee structure.
Because a provider hosts cloud-based UC options, the required up-front investment is minimal. Businesses don’t have to make substantial initial investments to build an infrastructure or hire a large IT team to manage it. This provides cost-saving opportunities that can be attractive, particularly for smaller businesses. This also means that businesses can get their UC platforms up and running quickly since they don’t need to build the infrastructure. Instead, the provider sets up the platform with staff able to access it within days. The provider takes care of all the setup, maintenance, and adjustments, making it an easy-to-use solution for businesses.
On-premise private branch exchange (PBX) provides services that offer businesses unified communications services in-house. Rather than being hosted in the cloud, on-premise PBX platforms are on a company’s premises. A business works closely with a provider to build a communication system and IT infrastructure that meets explicitly their business operations needs.
An on-premise PBX approach provides businesses with better control over their UC systems by allowing the platform to be maintained by an in-house IT team. With on-premise PBX, corporations control all aspects of their platform. This means they can implement enhanced security measures as they deem necessary and have options in place that they can fully control in the event of a disaster or other disruption to reroute communication options.
A hybrid approach combines the best of cloud-based and on-premise options to provide a UC solution that gives businesses ownership over their platform and the flexibility of cloud-based services. With a hybrid model, companies invest in the hardware required to build their UC platform as they would in an on-premise PBX approach; however, they also use the cloud to provide this platform across all of their business locations. In this way, all of a business’s various office locations can access the same UC platform without investing in hardware, creating their infrastructure, or finding their provider.
Different businesses will require other solutions to meet their needs. Factors such as business size, costs, team needs are all considerations for determining which UC platform is right for a particular business:
There are various other factors businesses may also consider as they choose their UC platform. Fortunately, with cloud-based, on-premise, and even hybrid options, companies are bound to find the solution that is right for them and meets their specific UC needs.