We’ve all heard recently about the benefits of moving our telephone systems ‘to the cloud’.
For years we’ve talked about cloud computing and its advantages for businesses, but increasingly companies are now reaping the rewards of cloud telephony.
We’ve seen how the new technology could save business up to 50% on costs as firms don’t need to pay for line rental, infrastructure and the maintenance costs of a conventional phone line, as it is all connected via the I.T. network.
But do companies really know who to turn to when it comes to providers?
Businesses in the north need to be aware that not all providers supply the same ‘cloud’ so to speak, and it’s worth investigating before purchasing.
You might say there are the cirrus, stratus and cumulus of providers.
In short, there are two main strands- carrier cloud and open source cloud.
Carrier cloud is a hosted service managed by a global carrier and then distributed by different providers, whereas open source cloud, as the name might suggest, is software created by individuals within the ‘techie’ community.
There have been many articles on the pros and cons and the ‘this versus that’ on cloud, and it can be very confusing for companies at times, who know very little about the developing technology.
Open source cloud is a software package which essentially lets companies engage in some cloud DIY.
Lauded as being a cheaper alternative, many companies choose to use these applications, but when they dig deeper, they begin to see cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better.
What if something goes wrong?
Open source means businesses here can’t go back to their provider where help is at hand.
Increasingly I hear of companies essentially having to ‘Google’ their complaints and issues in the hope of others helping them in a forum setting.
There is no immediate global customer service help that a carrier would provide as the open source developers themselves certainly aren’t on answering customer queries 24/7.
And what about security?
Open source doesn’t have the budget that a global carrier would have where huge amounts of money is pumped into the cloud to make it as protected and safe for companies as possible.
As hosted telephony is a fully managed telephony service, it allows your business to work more securely and, in turn, more effectively.
Make sure your head isn’t in the cloud when it comes to getting the most for your business.
First Published: 09/07/13
Image courtesy of nirots at FreeDigitalPhotos.net