What’s in a (Cloud, Hosted) Name?

Cindy Whelan
Cindy Whelan

Summary Bullets

  • The last couple of years have brought increased visibility to “the cloud,” driven in part by the economic environment.
  • Cloud and hosted models have some similar elements; some marketers use the terms interchangeably, adding confusion to the market.

Over the last several years, the communications marketplace has been inundated with news of “cloud” services, offering businesses the promise of cost savings in a challenging economic environment.  It has been difficult to find a news article or press release from a service provider touting its latest unified communications offer without the word “cloud” in the headline, or at least in the body of the release.  Some services previously referred to as hosted are being rebranded as cloud-based; marketing collateral sometimes uses the terms interchangeably, further muddying the waters. Continue reading “What’s in a (Cloud, Hosted) Name?”

Unified Communications Is More a Way of Working Than a Technology

Gary Barton
Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • SMEs should talk to providers about the benefits of UC solutions and demand that providers present solutions with broader efficiency rather than a specific vendor or technology.
  • SMEs should consider UC as a way of improving both internal working practices (e.g., hot-desking) and customer service (e.g., contact centres).

Demand for unified communications (UC) solutions seems to be growing, but remains far from achieving critical mass.  SMEs often ask why a business should pay for features such as IM or shared workspace when services such as Skype and Dropbox provide some of that functionality for free.  An obvious answer to this is security and reliability; a business-quality solution should provide a much more stable service than free applications.  However, it is not an unfair question for SMEs to ask.  Paying for a suite of UC services is likely a waste of money if working practices are not changed to best utilise those services.  So, SMEs should be wary of UC underachieving unless providers show how it can help increase customers’ efficiency. Continue reading “Unified Communications Is More a Way of Working Than a Technology”

Superstorm Sandy Reinforces the Need for Business Continuity Planning

Cindy Whelan
Cindy Whelan

Summary Bullets:

  • The arrival of yet another devastating storm reinforces the need for business continuity features.
  • Business customers need to have a clear understanding of their carrier’s internal architecture for redundancy; they should also take secondary steps for further assurance of continuity.

In my August 28 blog, “UCaaS Can Be a Lifesaver in a Disaster,” I discussed the need for customers to have a clear understanding of their service providers’ business continuity features.  When I wrote that article, nobody had any idea that a storm on the scale of Sandy, which ravaged the Mid-Atlantic seaboard, was on the horizon.  Of course, the first and most important thing in these situations is the protection of family and loved ones.  This was a storm like nothing else in recent history in the region, leaving devastation in its wake. Continue reading “Superstorm Sandy Reinforces the Need for Business Continuity Planning”