Cloud Communications solutions have emerged as a critical collaboration option for organizations of all sizes and locations. Why? It's simple. They help organizations lower their costs and increase the communication options available to enterprises, their employees, partners and customers.
The legacy PBX systems that Cloud Communications solutions are replacing have become aged, rigid and costly assets to maintain. To further complicate things, some PBX vendors no longer support these older platforms. Now, many organizations are looking at complete fork-lift replacements of existing systems. But this can be expensive-a difficult proposition at a time when tech executives are striving to invest in the most strategic and business enhancing technologies and services.
The move to Cloud Communications can have a significant impact on overall costs, including:
A cost often overlooked is the challenge of a major vendor transition or upgrade. With an on-premises communications system, a rip-and-replace upgrade is challenging and costly. A successful migration requires precise planning and issues are both common and costly, including expanded work, contractors, consultants and training.
One significant benefit of a Cloud Communications solution is that it can be installed in parallel with an organization’s existing infrastructure. A cloud deployment enables sequential migration, which optimizes both resources while minimizing the risk greatly below that of the typical flash cutover for an on-premises migration.
Support and Maintenance
Many IT managers view legacy PBX systems as lowcost assets, their thinking being that over time, this core asset has been fully depreciated. While that may be true, those older communications systems can involve significant maintenance and operational costs.
For example, when a company is changing locations, they'll require no telecom support and totally avoid the associated costs. Instead, the users themselves, along with the local IT support, can simply bring their VoIP phones with them. Once the phones are plugged in, all the users will have full UC capabilities at the new site, with no issues and no extra costs.
PSTN Access from a system on-premise is generally managed separately from IP access. The cost of this access can be highly variable. In addition, billing errors and changes are common and they often result in costs that are significantly higher than anticipated. By contrast, cloud vendors typically include PSTN access as an integrated part of their monthly fee. Among most U.S. suppliers, this fee includes unlimited calling within North America, plus a favorably structured plan for international calls.
An on-premises communications system is licensed for a specific version. Eventually, the vendor will release a major upgrade (usually every year or two). To get the new upgrade features, the customer must either pay for the upgrade or sign up for an expensive subscription support package that includes future upgrades. On-premises solutions can be difficult to scale, too. In a recent Spiceworks survey, IT professionals cited scalability as one of their top challenges with onpremises communications.
Cloud Communications systems dramatically lower these costs. Features and upgrades are generally included in the basic subscription. At most, major new capabilities can be added by paying a small additional monthly fee; but even here, the costs are limited only to those users who truly need that capability. The result: large upgrade costs are avoided.
Operation & Administration
Far too often during TCO calculations, the cost of administering and operating a communications system is ignored. That’s because communications systems were generally considered to be cost centers with staffing requirements that were very similar across different vendors. Since managers perceived that this cost was more or less fixed, they generally did not include it in their cost comparisons among legacy vendors or even in comparison to cloud-based systems that have far lower maintenance requirements. That’s unfortunate, because PBX administration is costly. In fact, it can represent as much as one third of a communications system’s overall TCO.
But Cloud Communications can dramatically lower the cost and effort of administering the system. This is due to the fact that cloud systems generally include Web-based administration portals and these dramatically simplify all administrative processes.
Cloud has come a long way in recent years, helped by the continual increase in bandwidth, coverage and reliability of the IP infrastructure, as well as by the standardization of SIP trunking and other VoIP technologies. Today’s cloud solutions deliver high levels of capability and reliability while lowering administration and operational costs. What’s more, they do all this with pricing that’s often significantly lower than that of equivalent on-premises solutions.
If you would like to learn more about all of the ways that a location can benefit from the usage of CT Cloud SIP trunking, please be sure to contact CallTower so that you can receive a demo at your earliest convenience. Be sure to check out our Skype for Business ROI Calculator below to see how much you could save by switching to the Cloud: