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Keeping cloud VoIP deployments up to par

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The ongoing adoption of cloud computing in the office is encouraging decision-makers to recognize the potential associated with migrating various technologies to the hosted environment. Because communication is a critical component of today's business world, many firms are beginning to adopt cloud VoIP services to improve flexibility, collaboration and connectivity between employees working in the office and those telecommuting.

A recent No Jitter report highlighted the benefits of cloud VoIP, noting that it can support a growing remote workforce, enhance business continuity efforts and even improve total cost of ownership. However, companies cannot simply accept the cloud and begin using it. Instead, executives need to plan the migration carefully in order to avoid missteps and miscalculations that could end up negatively affecting operations in the long run.

Quality and compatibility

If any aspect of an enterprise's communication platform does not meet expectations, efficiency can suffer and force organizations to overcome obstacles that could have been avoided with effective planning. No Jitter said decision-makers need to ensure their hosted PBX system provider has configured quality of service (QoS) parameters into the network, reducing the chances of outages, interruptions or slow response time. If QoS is not incorporated into a cloud VoIP service, companies will not be able to enjoy the full benefits of the technology.

In addition to configuring QoS, executives should be sure that the reduced hardware needed to operate in the cloud is compatible with the service, the news source reported. If the workforce's mobile devices are not supported by a particular cloud, for example, individuals outside of the office will have trouble connecting to the network. This will invite a number of unnecessary problems that could have been avoided by taking the time to ensure all platforms are compatible with the cloud.

Avoid common cloud pitfalls

The emergence of the cloud during the last several years has introduced monumental changes to the business world. Unfortunately, this movement has not been without challenges, as companies of all sizes have encountered numerous challenges by impulsively following the crowd and jumping blindly into the cloud, No Jitter said.

With the proper planning, however, executives can be sure they avoid these problems altogether, enabling them to embrace the cloud for all of its perceived benefits. No Jitter said decision-makers should ask probing questions surrounding the service-level agreement, voice quality and disaster recovery capabilities. Organizations also need to ensure that the cloud VoIP system will support the ongoing bring-your-own-device movement that is rapidly making its way through the private sector.

A separate report by Symantec highlighted how enterprises should focus on developing robust cloud usage policies for employees instead of prioritizing the devices that will access the cloud-based business phone system. When the general workforce is aware of what could potentially go wrong in the cloud, individuals are more likely to be careful when using the hosted services, reducing the chances of encountering problems.

Symantec said executives should also plan to adopt hosted services that are platform-agnostic, meaning they will be able to support a wide range of devices without issue.

As the cloud continues to gain momentum in the private sector, enterprises and small businesses should look to migrate their business phone systems to the hosted environment to improve agility, collaboration and flexibility, gaining an advantage over rival firms still using outdated platforms. When companies take the time to plan their cloud communication migration, they will more likely experience success.