A Misconception About UC

Updated: June 23, 2011

Conferencing is on the rise in a big way, largely as a result of the increasingly distributed nature of work. FlexJobs.com, a telecommuting job site, reports a 400 percent increase in telecommuting positions, ranging from IT to sales across multiple verticals. Thanks to home teleworking technologies and smartphones, fewer and fewer people are working at the office. As the workforce becomes distributed, the tools to communicate and collaborate need to adapt.


There has always been a choice to self-host conferencing infrastructure or to use a service, and both models have proven successful with different benefits. As softphones replace telephones and industry-standard servers replace proprietary hardware, premise equipment vendors have become more aggressive on applications. Some of these offers are quite impressive — tightly integrated into calendaring, email, and transcription servers.


But self-hosting UC is not free or even a trivial cost. Not only are multiple servers, licenses, and skills involved, but capacity must be purchased as well. Unlike Primary Rate Interface (PRI) circuits or analog lines, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunks may have little or no recurring costs when unused. But SIP trunks do require quality bandwidth — typically dedicated connections with as much Quality of Service (QoS) provisioning as possible. And because conferencing can take place at anytime, it is incremental capacity that must be factored into the cost equation.


Conversely, a conferencing service requires no incremental infrastructure. It can be used when needed and has zero cost when unused. Most conferencing services are continually upgrading their features and capabilities — recording services, transcription, desktop sharing, on-demand recorded playback, and more — features and upgrades without any administrative time/costs, maintenance contracts, downtime, or mind share.


That's a big part of why the cloud has become a central part of so many technology conversations. In telecom, external conferencing services are not new, but the notion of being able to move critical computing applications into the cloud is revolutionary. Many organizations are finding this new choice highly compatible with internal priorities, such as serving a geographically distributed base, lowering costs, and reducing complexities.

Featured Research
  • Is Your Phone System Meeting the Needs of Your Workforce?

    When was the last time you evaluated the performance of your current business phone system? For most people, the answer is too long ago. Phone systems are one of the most overlooked tools in business, even though they’re also one of the most important in terms of employee productivity. more

  • Why are Companies Still Using PBX?

    For years, all kinds of businesses depended on Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone systems to help facilitate direct, line-to-line communication. Over the course of the past decade, however, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology quickly became the go-to resource for brands. more

  • Top 15 Reasons You Should Upgrade to VoIP

    While more businesses make the switch to VoIP every single day, there are also many that choose to stay with the system they are used to.The rationale is almost always the same. You don’t want to shake things up when what you are already using is working. more

  • [Infographic] 16 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Phone System

    Choosing a phone system for your business isn’t as easy as it looks. Most people learn this the hard way. You choose a new system, and everything seems fine. Until it isn’t. In hindsight the problems always seem obvious, yet countless businesses fall into the same traps every year. more

  • What You Need to Know About VoIP Security

    No matter the industry or area of expertise, a strong VoIP system is the perfect tool for any business looking to take both its internal and external communication to the next level. more