Written by Pete Morano on December 13, 2012
Categories: Blog Posts

Staying up-to-date with industry technology and maintaining a competitive edge with the latest communications solutions is a top priority for most businesses, from SMBs to large enterprise companies.

A number of organizations are turning to the cloud to optimize business processes and enhance communications. Businesses that deploy digital voice services via the cloud have three installation models: a private, on-site implementation, a fully managed, cloud-based solution, or a hybrid implementation, which mixes on-premise and hosted technologies.

According to a recent article in CRN, rather than committing to fully-hosted, off-premise management of data and communications resources, the majority of enterprises are taking baby steps, starting out with private cloud models and slowly releasing non-core applications to the public cloud. Cloud-based solutions can be very complex, which makes some CIOs leery of the expense of the network upgrades that are required for implementation. Thus, a move from an on-premise system to a comprehensive cloud solution is often a phased approach.

According to an IDC study of 326 large companies in the U.S. and the U.K., the majority of companies today are deploying services on-premise. IDC found that 69 percent of respondents are deploying a private cloud setup while 40 percent are using public or hybrid clouds.

“Organizations are ‘dipping their toes’ into public cloud for some specific areas,” said IDC analyst Marianne Kolding, “but when it comes to the core IT environments, they are starting out with private cloud.”

A similar 2012 IDG Enterprise survey of more than 1,100 IT and business professionals returned comparable results: 51 percent favor private cloud solutions, 22 percent prefer a hybrid solution and 15 percent have adopted a fully hosted and managed approach.

Still not sure what the difference is? Let us help explain cloud deployment:

Private. As an internal cloud, services are deployed over a company intranet or hosted datacenter. Private cloud owners share few, if any, resources with other organizations or providers. With a private cloud solution, businesses still have to buy, build and manage the system, making it one of the least cost-effective deployment methods. Private clouds lack the economic model that makes cloud computing such a compelling business tool.

Public. The shared cloud provides solutions “as a service” including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS). Services are delivered over the Internet and managed by the provider, which alleviates the need for IT management to update technology infrastructures. It reduces cost, complexity and long lead times in testing before being able to deploy new products, and businesses can rely on the provider’s years of management experience.

Hybrid. Integrated solutions combine the features of public and private clouds. Hybrid is a customizable option that lets businesses allot some activities and tasks to the internal cloud and some to the external cloud, as required. SIP Trunking is an example of a hybrid solution that lets the business retain control of the PBX hardware and underlying infrastructure.

Why take the leap? Fully managed IP PBX services deliver a higher number of advanced features at a lower cost, compared with traditional telephone systems, to give businesses the instruments to work more intelligently. With a fully-hosted Voice over IP (VoIP) solution, the management of increasingly complex business communications is done off-site. That means IT professionals can redirect attention to more pressing tech issues.

No matter what your business needs, there’s a cloud solution to fit your decision criteria and take some work off your hands.

Momentum offers SIP Trunking and fully-hosted Voice over IP services that are secure and reliable. As you set new technology budgets for the year ahead, consider investing in hosted voice solutions. Cloud-based communications services will continue to trend strong in 2013 and you don’t want to get left behind.