SoundTel can help you decide on Cloud Based Communication vs. On-Premise Solutions
When we began this series of blogs, we started with a question: When choosing a communications solution that is best for your business, do you go with a tried and true on-site business system, or should you consider the latest communications technology and move to the cloud? We offered a checklist to help you make an effective decision on which system is best for your business:
- TCO – total cost of ownership
- Network Assessments and Service Level Agreements
- Call quality and reliability
- Obsolescence and scalability
- Flexibility and remote access
Throughout SoundTel’s series of blogs on cloud based communications systems, we compared these five considerations and more. Our first blog covered Total Cost of Ownership. We noted that like all technology these days, communications is moving to the cloud in the form of enterprise software as a service (SaaS). We noted the obvious advantages such as scalability, flexibility, ability to use a wide variety of devices from anywhere 24/7. But we also pointed out that there are other considerations including cost, both initial and over time, reliability and security.
Our next blog focused on an assessment of your businesses’ local area network (LAN) and a thorough understanding of what your provider is offering in terms of a service level agreement (SLA). We discussed how a careful analysis can determine if a cloud based communications system is even possible for your business, while a poor analysis can leave you with an underperforming network and/or force costly upgrades. Adding voice to a LAN requires a network capable of handling this additional traffic without degradation of call quality. Make sure you have a service agreement from your provider outlining assurances of sound quality, uninterrupted service and other guarantees.
The third blog in the series covered call quality and reliability issues for your communication system. Any reliable provider should be able to answer basic questions about call quality and their ability to deliver it, including the phone carrier they work with, how good their data center is, what kind of connection speed they will provide and who will install the equipment and train your employees. In terms of reliability, the provider should offer a solid Service Level Agreement (SLA) that offers the industry standard Five 9s Reliability: 99.999% reliability.
Our forth blog discussed obsolescence and scalability issues. One advantage of cloud based systems is that they are mostly software, which can easily be updated to avoid obsolescence. But make sure you know beforehand who is responsible for the costs of periodic updates: you or the provider. Another big advantage of a cloud based system is the ease of scalability. You purchase only the devices you need for your size business, and in many cases, employees will be using their own smart devices. Be aware of any cost involved with your provider for future changes, though. They will probably charge to scale up your system, and may even charge to downsize.
The final blog was on flexibility and remote access. We showed that cloud systems are inherently flexible since it is based mostly in software rather than hardware. But hardware based systems are not standing still, with many offering similar flexibility to the cloud, while providing, in some cases, superior hardware and software. Remote access through a cloud system was one of its first recognized benefits, allowing employees to work from any branch office, home or even a coffee shop, using a single desk number and still having caller idea, voice mail and more. New on-premise systems are adding many of the same features, blurring the lines between cloud and on site systems.
Now is a great time to update your current phones, either to the cloud or to a modern on site total communication system. Contact Soundtel now for a free CheckIn to assure your system is doing all it can for your business. Click the button on the SoundTel homepage, call 1-800-797-3663 or 425-481-5493, or email SoundTel for a free, comprehensive communications analysis.