It doesn’t surprise me that unified communications (UC) are starting to merge into the cloud space. With end users demanding instant, fingertip access to their voice mail, email, and messaging platforms, cloud is an obvious answer. So far, vendors seem to have struggled to bring the power of cloud to telephony while delivering the desired feature set and quality expected, but many of the cloud technology experts I chat with say that is about to change.
So why would your customers want to switch to cloud-based telephony and ultimately, a hosted UC platform? For the same reasons other technologies are moving to the cloud. If your customers are leveraging VoIP now, they have probably invested in the robust infrastructure needed to deliver quality voice. But what happens as the infrastructure reaches end of life, and it’s time to upgrade. Channel IT providers really need to start to explore voice options powered by cloud so when that time comes, they are prepared to offer the advantages of cloud, including those recently covered in a great article by B2B:
- Reduction of expenses, which can mean a need for less space, maintenance, security and, of course, the reduction in CapEx.
- Open access. We’ve already discussed that end users are accustomed to getting data everywhere and at any time, and telecom is no different. With Web portals and integrated communications tools, your customers’ employees can increase productivity and streamline collaboration with cloud-powered communications.
- Advanced features. Cloud PBX often includes remote call management features, voice messaging, and features like voicemail to email, all at a reduced cost when compared to traditional UC offerings.
- Scalability. Just as with other cloud offerings, hosted PBX offers the capacity to scale up or down a customer’s UC as needed, reducing expenses when usage is slow, and empowering quick ramp up as the company grows.
While the cloud PBX offerings are still working through some technology glitches, and customers may not be ready to take their talk to the cloud, it is certainly time for solution providers to start learning the ins and outs of cloud-based UC so they have all the answers their customers need when the time comes.