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Hosted UC Takes Headache Out Of Cloud Communications

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The cloud has afforded countless businesses with modern levels of agility and productivity. Professionals in the present day have found that their personal devices and services tend to be more effective than the solutions provided to them in an enterprise setting. As a result, workers have pushed back by bringing their own machines and programs into the workplace. Bringing a consumer smartphone into the office is one thing - it has been well-established by now that the devices are not the issue so long as they are addressed appropriately. The biggest problem that shadow IT has on its plate is the presence of unapproved hardware and systems handing mission-critical data and messages.

"The risk is that the result will be an uncoordinated and siloed IT setup with duplicated services and uncontrolled costs across the organization," said Claranet CIO Andy Wilton to ITProPortal contributor Darren Allan. "CIOs need to move beyond the gatekeeper function and embrace a new world, in which they are able to provide the tools and support that business unit heads need to make effective, coordinated IT decisions."

One area that specifically needs to be highlighted in this way is communications. Especially among millennials, the use of deskphone handsets is beginning to dwindle. Employees would much rather be able to use their smartphones to make and receive calls - among other forms of connection. Ideally, this will not involve the tracking of and reimbursement for employee phone plans, nor will businesses need to work with consumer mobile providers in order to keep everyone in the same sphere. But unless a company has the staff and on-site capabilities to handle the construction and maintenance of cloud unified communications networks, it may be more appropriate to seek out a hosted service of these systems.

Hosted UC is a powerful way for companies to get their networks into the 21st century at an expedited pace. For those organizations that have to retire old systems and strategies in favor of modern connectivity, it might be time to give hosted solutions a shot.

Cloud Communications Systems Increase In Popularity

Generally, when something has outlived its usefulness, that means it's time for a replacement. Previously when talking about communications networks, this meant installing a system that was designed to last a number of years. But the standards for functionality have changed significantly in recent history, and it has shown that the pace of technology requires solutions that are a little more "future-proof" than traditional legacy systems.

Should a business telephone network be in dire need of retirement, it is no longer advisable to swap it out for a similar set-up. Instead, enterprises need to start looking at hosted solutions to keep their staffers connected. One of the biggest reasons for this lies in how effortlessly hosted cloud communications can be leveraged as compared to legacy circuits. Because these systems are created and maintained off-site, the costs associated with things like upkeep can be eliminated from the company budget.

According to TMCnet contributor Tracey Schelmetic, this can be especially important to keep in mind when considering a cloud contact center to improve customer engagement.

"Even large enterprises don't have unlimited IT budgets, and going with a patchwork approach of multiple premise-based installations means spending a lot of time and money troubleshooting problems and doing routine maintenance, something that hosted solutions providers take off their clients' hands," Schelmetic wrote. "Large enterprises need to remember that quality must come first in customer support, and the errors, delays and troubleshooting required in most premise-based solutions aren't doing their customers any favors." 

This is not all just hype or speculation - an increasing number of businesses are moving toward unified communications-as-a-service set-ups for their offices. According to TMCnet contributor Rory Thompson, a recent study from Wainhouse Research predicts that the UCaaS market will be worth $5.3 billion by 2018. This is due in part to the rising popularity of hosted cloud services across the board. Hosted UC is a natural conclusion on a business landscape that prizes managed cloud for other means such as data center access.

Overcoming Cloud Stigmas

There are a number of people who are not convinced that the cloud is what it's cracked up to be. Some people believe it to not be secure enough for enterprise use and that it has no long-term value. The thing about the cloud, however, is that it is no less secure than more traditional technology. Make no mistake - the cloud is a valuable asset, but that depends on how it is being handled.

This is another reason that hosted cloud communications are advisable to implement. Having a dedicated team handing the upkeep of these systems means there is less of chance for disaster. In-house IT workers have a lot on their plates today, and being able to take some of that workload away will give them more time and energy to handle other mission-specific tasks.

But this is not the only reason to love the cloud. Modern professionals have spoken, making it clear that they will provide their own solutions in the workplace if they are not in the wheelhouses of their employers. But permitting unapproved apps to access company servers and information is a bad idea. This means that there will need to be investments made in cloud communications solutions. Staffers see the cloud as a valuable tool, and it's time that the people managing them got on the same page.