Decisions, decisions. Should you keep your VoIP and UC services in-house or move them to a hosted environment? These services utilize the latest technology using Internet and other devices to offer a centralized communication basis to a firm. Many businesses prefer to keep these systems in-house because of control, security and internal expertise. However, a recent report by Taylor (from Webtorials) and Metzler (from Ashton, Metzler & Associates) disagrees with the benefits of keeping VoIP and UC in-house. The report, "2011 Sourcebook for VoIP and UC Services," strongly suggests that using the cloud is the most efficient and effective way to take advantage of these services.
Small to medium size businesses can take advantage of rapid expansion capability, costs controls, flexibility and reduction of expenses by using the cloud and hosted environments. Specifically, IT costs can be very high, making in-house VoIP and UC services a very expensive proposition. By using an off-site situation, businesses don't need to buy a lot of hardware, except for endpoints, such as IP phones, network setups or improvements. Furthermore, costs related to hosted or cloud situations are predictable with no need to budget for repairs or system upgrades.
Be aware that in the hosted or cloud environment, you're sharing space and security may be an issue, and if so, specifically ask information about security measures with the provider.
You can download the entire report at http://www.webtorials.com/content/2011/02/unified-communications-and-cloud-based-service.html
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