Cloud computing technologies are increasing the integration of telecommunications, IT and the Internet. This is creating seismic changes in the marketplace—advancing the global transition to IP-based voice/data/video communications.

What does it all mean for your organization?  More opportunities to transform the way you conduct business and increased competitive pressures to enact change.

Cloud Computing: The Basics
The hype surrounding cloud computing can be confusing. What is it, exactly? The National Institute of Standards and Technology defines cloud computing through five essential characteristics, three service models and four deployment models.

Characteristics:

  • On-demand self-service – Services are set-up by end users, without assistance
  • Ubiquitous IT infrastructure access – Available on-demand through an Internet/private IP network connection, using a range of devices: mobile phone, laptop, tablet, workstation, etc.
  • Location independent resource pooling – Leverages providers’ pooled resources to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model
  • Rapid elasticity – Services are provisioned/released to scale on-demand, according to consumer demands
  • Pay per use – Service fees based on usage, and resources can be controlled/optimized through metering capabilities

Service models:

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – On-demand access to software applications hosted on a service provider’s cloud infrastructure such as email, CRM, HR tools, etc.
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)– On-demand access to platform tools (supported by cloud the service provider) for database/interface/application development, language programming, storage, testing, etc.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – On-demand access to computing power, bandwidth, storage, security, core network components, etc.
  • Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) – On-demand access to collaborative capabilities and services (e.g. IP Telephony, Messaging, Presence, Single Number Reach)

Under this basic model structure, telecom-centric delivery models are available, including: communications as a service (CaaS), Telephony platform as a service (PaaS), and network as a service (NaaS).

Deployment models:

  • Public cloud – Infrastructure is owned by a provider of cloud services to the general public
  • Private cloud – Infrastructure is owned/leased by a single organization and operated exclusively for that organization
  • Community cloud – Infrastructure is shared by several organizations, supporting a community with shared concerns
  • Hybrid cloud – Infrastructure is comprised of at least two of the above models, which remain unique but are bound together by standardized/proprietary technology

The Benefits of Cloud-Based Services
In growing numbers—from enterprises to small businesses—companies are re-thinking their telecommunications strategies to gain a competitive edge. For many, maintaining and administering an on-premise solution no longer makes sense in a business climate that demands agility.

The cloud phenomenon is all about aligning people, processes and technology to easily and affordably accomplish more for less. Cloud-based services are rapidly deployed and easily customized, providing flexibility, scalability and advanced capabilities—on demand. You can compete on a whole new level by:

  • Unifying communications, increasing mobility and leveraging advanced IP Telephony
  • Connecting remote/home-based workers and locations on a single, private network
  • Reducing capital outlay, while reducing operating expenses and investment risks
  • Enhancing the multi-channel customer experience to operate as a customer-centric company
  • Focusing IT and other key resources on high-value activities
  • Improving enterprise collaboration to support innovation
  • Accelerating time-to-market and strengthening promotional efforts
  • Responding to market changes/opportunities and business needs with agility

Cloud-based services give companies of all sizes greater control over their telecom services and spend. You maintain transparency without the hassles of managing security, redundancy, storage, updates, upgrades, moves/adds/changes, and other requirements that come with on-premise solutions.

Facilitating Your Migration to the Cloud
At ATC, our consultants have extensive experience transitioning clients to IP-based voice, video and data communications. We facilitate a range of cloud-related projects, including:

  • Initiating unified communications efforts by deploying a cloud-based VoIP solution
  • Integrating call center applications with business/enterprise communications
  • Migrating to cloud-based IP Telephony service to outsource infrastructure management
  • Replacing a legacy, on-premise PBX system with a cloud-based, hosted PBX

Leveraging strategic partnerships, we work objectively with your team to select the best cloud services provider for your company and to determine:

  • The right mix of SaaS/PaaS/IaaS/UCaaS cloud-based services
  • The optimal deployment model (public, private or hybrid)
  • The best approach to migrating legacy applications/integrating with in-house IT
  • Security requirements
  • Pricing and service level agreements (SLAs)

If you’re still managing telecommunications software and hardware in-house, then you’re likely contending with escalating costs, routine firmware/software updates, legacy-driven complexities and infrastructure limitations. If you would like to get away from dealing with these issues, ATC can help evaluate cloud technologies for your business.