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Hybrid Cloud Communications Grow in Popularity

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The cloud has opened up new ways for businesses to complete tasks and keep employees connected at all times. With these capabilities it's no surprise that communications are being increasingly hosted through these platforms. Unified Communications (UC) and Voice over IP (VoIP) both have on-premises and cloud options, as vendors aim to provide the best solution for users. However, for organizations, the choice does not have to be one or the other. Hybrid cloud communications gives companies an optimal system for their specific needs and continue to evolve for better performance.

Numerous Reasons To Transition

Although the benefits of the cloud have been well-documented, there are some decision-makers who are hesitant to fully move to the cloud. However, a hybrid solution alleviates this problem by allowing businesses to migrate only the resources they choose. This way, they can keep any sensitive assets on-premises while having the redundancy they require if their systems were to fail.

No matter how much an organization decides to put on vendor support, this means that there will be less hardware and software for the internal IT team to manage. Bobsguide contributor Tim Pickard noted that hybrid solutions will reduce overall expenses while still supplying a reliable system. This means that if a business experiences any downtime, the provider should keep the cloud supported, allowing the affected employees to continue working as normal.

"All of these benefits lead to happier customers, clients and employees, and a more flexible, scalable and cost-effective business," Pickard wrote. "Best of all, it only takes a few weeks to get your business set up."

Effective Use Of Hybrid Cloud

While anytime, anywhere access of business resources is certainly a benefit of the cloud, organizations have increasingly been attracted to hybrid options for a variety of cases. A VMware white paper noted that hybrid cloud enables secure, on-demand access, while enabling the flexibility to move workloads as needed. These characteristics are beneficial for the main use cases for hybrid implementation, such as Web and mobile app development, hosting and testing. Many other companies have leveraged this type of platform for disaster recovery, collaboration and extending the reach of existing resources.

In order to fully unlock the power of a hybrid cloud, there are some considerations that must be made, but it will not require a complete mindshift from current operations.

"Creating this seamless hybrid cloud experience requires some fundamental components, including a common management and orchestration platform, unified networking, a common security model and one place to call for support," VMware stated. "This means an organization can remain in control using all the same procedures and tools they already know, and the key stakeholders can get to the cloud faster without having to re-architect the application."

Cloud Communications Already Changing Business

The cloud has become a prominent asset in organizations, and vendors are striving to make use of this technology in their solutions. As eWeek noted, ShoreTel developed a common platform that enables companies to deploy the same applications across its systems, whether on-premises, in the cloud or a hybrid of the two. This initiative allows users to migrate to the cloud at their own pace without missing out on vital resources.

For an offering like UC solutions, the cloud will provide greater flexibility. If decision-makers want to host their voice systems on-premise, but have their chat and conferencing features in the cloud, they can do that. Businesses can make their communications system truly match what they need. This will not only ensure more reliable availability, but will also enable companies to use and pay for only the assets they require.