There have been many aggressive changes in technology over the last one decade. The changes have been driven by changes in network technologies and communication technologies. Networks have moved from ATM and Frame Relay to MPLS and VPLS and communication has moved from traditional POTS to long distance services→Cetrex→SIP trunking and so on. The advance seems unstoppable. Hosted UC (Unified Communications) is the next big revolution that is on the cards.
Hosted UC is expected to bring in greater flexibility to an already flexible cloud. The Hosted Unified Communications technology eliminates the need for PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems and the costs of maintaining them. The on premise PBX is abstract to Tier 3 data centres. Wide area networks like MPLS, VPLS and Layer 2 are used to connect the different hosted services or cross connect them in ways never attempted before.
A user friendly GUI (Graphical User Interface) built into the cloud offering will make communication simple and extremely redundant. End users can operate a whole gamut of telephony services using a single interface. Data collected over telephone lines will integrate and feed the databases existing on the data management system and be instantly available to business leaders for analytics and decision making. As a result, the phone will cease to be a mere communication device, but becomes a powerful adjunct to enterprise computing.
The above discussion naturally raises questions about advantages enterprises see in hosted UC vis-à-vis on premise UC. Perceived benefits of hosted UC include cost, installation, maintenance, disaster recovery options and much more; the top factor being the reduction of capital expenditure and installation costs.
The process of migrating from on premise UC to Hosted UC is also fairly simple. IT teams have to merely add new UC features to the existing communication systems, and deploy them on the cloud service already in place. There are no special hosted infrastructures to be purchased, installed or commissioned. The existing hardware of the data centre with the IP address can be used, and landline connectivity can be provided in the cloud on a per user basis. Software updates and maintenance problems can be shunted out to the cloud service vendor. Redundancy and disaster recovery can be made the responsibility of the service vendor.
So, hosted UC is poised for breakout into the cloud. Convergence is on the cards.