By Sascha Mehlhase, senior director of product management with Flowroute, now part of Intrado
Breaking misconceptions of cloud communications and why MSPs can be at the forefront of the global cloud revolution.
The adoption of cloud-based communication services is becoming increasingly prevalent in the U.S., largely due to these solutions empowering businesses to easily innovate offerings for end users while reducing costs. However, worldwide adoption of cloud-based communications is still in its early stages. Industry analysts find that many global enterprises are just now awakening to the benefits of cloud-based telecom offerings.
For example, the U.S. is currently one of the leading countries of adoption of cloud-based communications, yet with only 18 percent market penetration. This small percentage illustrates the infancy of cloud communications adoption worldwide, as well as the emerging opportunity for managed services providers (MSPs) to leverage cloud-communication services to innovate offerings in order to gain influence and increased market share of this blossoming industry.
As businesses decision makers evaluate providers that can deliver cloud-based communication capabilities, MSPs have an opportunity to shape the global market by offering international capabilities that allow businesses to easily innovate their existing product offerings regardless of location. Further, the emergence of the cloud can give a competitive advantage to the MSP that offers cloud-based communication solutions over MSPs that offer legacy telecom solutions.
Despite the numerous benefits cloud-based communications services can offer, such as increased scalability, reduced overall costs and streamlined support for a company’s growing global footprint, some global businesses are still hesitant to embrace these solutions because of historical industry perceptions no longer relevant; and that hesitancy impacts MSPs ability to optimize on this emerging market. Below, we set the record straight on some of the top misperceptions when enterprise leaders consider the cloud.
Current Myths That Create Hesitation For Cloud Adoption
Myth: there will be less control.
Truth: The cloud results in greater control and flexibility.
Businesses decision makers may think they won’t have as much control over their private branch exchange (PBX) network when it’s not hosted on-site. However, the truth is users have stronger control and greater flexibility with cloud-based solutions. Instead of relying on changing physical on-premises hardware systems to fit the evolving needs of a business, users can make real-time changes in a streamlined way online.
Myth: the cloud is not secure.
Truth: The cloud can be more secure than on-premises systems.
Due to cloud communication provider’s dedication to ongoing security practices, in many cases the cloud can be more secure than on-premises systems. Cloud providers not only have dedicated internal resources, but also regularly rely on external auditing to maintain compliance and certifications. It’s also common for providers to duplicate and backup data on additional servers.
Myth: sound quality is poor on hosted phone systems.
Truth: sound quality on hosted phone systems is better than traditional phones.
Users in the past have reported sound quality issues when using VoIP and hosted phone systems. This is often due to the configuration of the business’ ISP network. If the ISP is not configured to prioritize voice traffic, it can cause latency. However, with an appropriately configured ISP, sound quality on hosted phone systems is actually better than traditional phones. MSPs working with innovative VoIP providers that have provided dedicated bandwidth to ensure support for hosted PBX, will know this myth is no longer an issue.
Myth: the cloud puts IT jobs at risk.
Truth: the cloud frees up IT employees to focus on more strategic and innovative work, instead of installing updates.
As cloud technology has evolved, there is often the worry that expansion and adoption of automation and the cloud puts IT jobs at risk. However, transitioning toward a cloud vendor does not make an internal IT team obsolete. Instead, it frees the team up to spend more time elsewhere – innovating instead of installing or resolving updates. Further, cloud adoption creates an opportunity to advance software development skills and reduces the need for legacy skillsets related to hardware maintenance.
Though widespread cloud adoption at a global scale is still in its early stages, the trend toward cloud-based communications will continue to build as more businesses look to take advantage of the features and functionality that over-the-top (OTT) solutions provide. MSPs will benefit and profit from offering international telecom offerings that help their customers join the growing and thriving global network of businesses communicating within the cloud.
About The Author
Sascha Mehlhase is the senior director of product management at Flowroute, now part of Intrado. He has more than 15 years of product management experience in software engineering and B2B SaaS platform development. Prior to joining Intrado, Mehlhase was the director of product management at Motorola Solutions, where he was the strategic lead as the company developed software solutions for mobile broadband work-group communications.