Communications & Collaboration: Anywhere, Anytime
A private cloud-based communications platform gives enterprises control while helping drive down cost and complexity.
Cloud-based communications and collaboration. Sounds like a great idea, doesn't it? For a large enterprise though, which type of cloud-based C&C solution is the best, or makes the most sense?
Let's take a quick look at the three cloud models.
Public cloud is the model in which infrastructure is located off-site and services are provided over the Internet. Clients pay data center providers for hosting functions, maintenance, upgrades, etc. This is typically the cheapest type of cloud solution, but may not offer the security, reliability, or control that a large enterprise requires. Public cloud services do scale fairly easily, again for a price.
Private cloud is the model in which infrastructure and services are typically located on a private network. A private cloud provides the most security, reliability, and control of all cloud models, making it the preferred choice for large enterprises. The drawback is that the enterprise not only must purchase and own the data center but maintain it as well. Should an enterprise need to grow the data center's size, it will likely need to account for additional expenses.
Hybrid cloud is a model that provides some of the benefits of both public and private clouds. For instance, hosting is done on the public cloud, while security access is controlled from the private cloud. This model requires robust communication between the public and private clouds and the ability to federate all other features in those environments. Plus, a similar private cloud infrastructure still needs to be in place for whichever components are maintained on the private cloud.
The three different cloud-based models provide businesses with a variety of options. The question then becomes, "Which model is the best one for your business?"
To find the right answer for them, enterprises need to consider everything from the basic costs of ownership and maintenance to business requirements and future expansion capability to flexibility, scalability, and security.
A better solution for the enterprise is an open, private cloud-based C&C platform. This type of solution directly addresses security and reliability issues, while at the same time providing cost savings comparable to a public cloud solution. Open APIs and SDKs allow an enterprise to develop its own applications, take a best-of-breed approach, and use third-party applications, or utilize some combination of both.
A solution like this provides the enterprise with many benefits that are not currently available from other UC or C&C solutions. These include the ability to:
- Cap existing legacy hardware investments - Enterprise infrastructure today may contain a mixture of older/outdated IT hardware systems, PBX systems, and other legacy hardware that make management difficult. An open communications platform enables an enterprise to cap spending on legacy network silos. It lets an enterprise embed a communications engine into its private cloud, using a single common communications backend to provide all C&C services. This allows the enterprise to use only what it needs, when it needs it, instead of paying to maintain a large, inefficient system that has multiple unused or unwanted features. By identifying which PBX services are required, the enterprise understands how to manage those services in a cost-effective way and bring them into an environment that moves the organization forward. Once achieved, the process of turning down PBX silos and deploying full-service, cloud-based C&C capabilities can begin.
- Adapt the communications experience to meet the needs of employees, customers, and business partners - Enterprises can evaluate how they deliver C&C services to end users and approach the communications tools from the perspective of how employees throughout the organization will use them. The enterprise can increase efficiency by providing optimized services for the business while designing customizable user experiences to integrate third-party applications into the existing system.
- Transform communications into a feature readily embeddable in any application, website, or connected object - Open APIs provide the ability to build and launch new apps quickly and easily, while ensuring that all of the apps inherit user privileges and interconnection. This eliminates the need for reconfigurations, increasing both IT efficiency and employee productivity. The ability to develop and launch new apps quickly and easily also reduces the cost of introducing new services, enhances the user experience, and drives collaboration, productivity, and innovation.
An open, private cloud-based solution moves the enterprise beyond traditional UC solutions and positions the infrastructure as a driver for innovation, not just a cost center.
In addition to the above benefits, a private cloud-based solution:
- Reduces IT complexity, allowing the enterprise to control its own information and communications technology infrastructure
- Integrates existing and future technologies
- Provides a platform for future expansion
- Unifies applications from multiple vendors into a single, cohesive user experience
- Allows the enterprise to choose the best C&C solution for its needs, instead of a vendor-dictated solution
- Breaks vendor lock-in
- Reduces costs
In short, an open, private cloud-based solution is what the large enterprise needs to provide C&C services. This enables the enterprise to improve productivity and efficiency while increasing agility, scalability and flexibility and providing the ability to focus on business objectives.