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Clarity key when investing in cloud telephony

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Cloud computing is a relatively new technology that changes enterprise IT so dramatically that it is difficult to easily capture its impact on operations. Furthermore, the technology is vast and diverse in nature, creating a variety of usage models that frequently leave businesses stumped as to the best ways to deploy the cloud. According to a recent MSPNews report, understanding the cloud and its capabilities is essential to choosing the best way to implement the technology in business settings.


At its core, the cloud is a collection of servers and other similar devices that host applications and other IT services. These resources are then delivered through the internet to end users that lease these assets. According to the news source, it is important to distinguish between this, the true cloud, and other services that look similar, but are different when it comes to core financial models.


The report said businesses are increasingly turning to solutions in which they purchase data center resources that are managed by a third-party vendor, thinking they are getting into the cloud. Instead, they are gaining access to managed services or colocation. These technologies offer considerable benefits, but typically require companies to purchase the hardware that is housed at the vendor's location. In the cloud, hardware and IT resources are completely separated. This allows organizations to only pay for the systems that they actually use and not have to spend to invest in hardware on any level.


One area where this relationship is particularly important to recognize is in cloud PBX infrastructure, the report said. Because the cloud can be delivered in a variety of models, including public and private, it can be difficult to discern when a vendor's plan is truly a cloud service, or when businesses are really colocating a PBX they own at a third-party's facility. While this arrangement offers clear gains, they do not add up to what a true cloud can offer.


Cloud PBX services can revolutionize a business' telephony infrastructure. In these setups the PBX hardware is owned and operated by the third-party vendor, and the client rents access to this infrastructure, essentially leasing the literal PBX. The internet is used to deliver PBX resources to end users, and the system operates as if it were on premise, except without the need for capital costs to buy the hardware or operational spending to maintain it.