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Communications a key part of the cloud's growth

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During 2011, cloud computing emerged as a key enterprise and small business technology, enabling organizations to get more done while using fewer resources. According to a recent Washington Post report, most experts expected this type of revolution to take place during the past year. However, they anticipated data-focused plans to make up the core of the cloud. Despite this expectation, voice and communications-based solutions became prominent cloud options in 2011, changing the face of the business phone services and other collaboration tools.

The news source explained that integrating voice and data into a more streamlined hosted communication systems has become much more prominent among businesses during the past year. This has paid major dividends in the cloud's development and for improved business phone services among enterprises and smaller companies.

The practice of bringing data and voice together was founded on the concept of the hosted or cloud PBX, a system that involves moving an organization's PBX infrastructure to a third-party site where it is managed and maintained by the vendor. This means businesses no longer need to purchase their own PBX hardware or worry about managing it. The report said this trend has allowed businesses to get the most out of their telephony technologies, improve operational efficiency and introduce cost-efficiency into their communications platform. Without the cloud, this is not nearly as easy.

The news source explained that the growing reliance on cloud computing for communications made voice services essential in the enterprise. This led to the convergence of the global telephone network and directory, presence technologies, unified messaging services, voicemail, text-to-speech capabilities and other telephony applications that can operate on a single IP network.

As cloud computing enables more robust communications infrastructure in a diverse range of settings, small businesses are advised to begin investing in conferencing technologies, according to a recent Gaebler report. Conferencing systems, whether they are based on the web or in video or telephone systems, can eliminate many travel costs and other operational expenses that businesses incur during the collaboration process. In an economic environment where small companies need to find a way to get more done with fewer resources, conferencing technologies are emerging as a key telephony tool. Cloud-based solutions for collaboration add to the savings offered by conferencing by allowing businesses to outsource hardware and management.