What is Cloud Communications: Public, Private, and Hybrid

What is Cloud Communications?

Cloud communications is defined as voice and data communications through the Internet. This service is usually delivered by a third-party provider, offering telecommunications applications, storage, and infrastructure to a subscribed organization. But as the service evolved and improved through the years, cloud communications is now more than just VoIP (Voice over IP,) hosted PBX, or unified communications. This now includes ways to build, deploy, and even grow entire communications systems, not just for small businesses, but also for enterprises, regardless of the industry. Cloud communications is put in place in order to provide high quality, high definition services without the immense costs of an onsite or in-house communications system. And as technology continue to advance, you can also expect cloud communications to deliver advanced features that allow employees to work efficiently, and for customers to experience services that they deserve.

Simply put, cloud communications is capable of providing more scalable communications that can be tailor-made for a company’s specific needs. It ultimately drives employee productivity and satisfaction, as well as produce the intended results on the customer’s end. And since it is hosted, companies are able to free up resources to focus on more initiatives like marketing and sales. Overall, it reduces operational and capital costs while increasing the value of the company.

What is Public Cloud Communications?

Public cloud communications is a service model offering communications-related resources available to the general public via the Internet. These cloud communications services may be free or on a pay-per-use scheme, but is accessible to everyone. At a glance, public cloud communications is a cost-effective way to setup a communications system for your company, regardless of its size. You get access to enterprise-grade features on your startup or small business, without spending too much to cripple your budget. As long as you have a stable, high-speed connection and you have your trusted cloud communications service provider, you’re good to go. You don’t have to spend money for network and infrastructure, and the only hardware you need to procure are the endpoint of communication, like desktop computers and phones.

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An In-depth look at the Benefits of Public Cloud Communications

Streamlined and Simple

With public cloud communications, your service provider manages everything from hardware to software, so you won’t need to have a dedicated team onsite to maintain your communications system. Rest assured, you get all the updates for the different software you use in your system, and the equipment on the service provider’s end are in the best condition possible. This means that the IT burden is reduced, and you can focus your attention elsewhere, to more pressing matters like sales and marketing.

Flexible and scalable

What’s really great with public cloud communications is that it leaves you a lot of wiggle room to adjust for growth. Say, for example, you started with just a handful of employees. When your company grows to a hundred people, you really don’t have to change your communications system (or your service provider) because it grows along with you. You can easily add or remove users to scale up or downsize, depending on the needs of your company.

You won’t have to worry about spending too much or too little on your communication needs, because you can scale it up or down anytime. This also opens you up to a lot of opportunities, like expanding to a bigger market, or even going global. You can take “communications” off your list of things to worry about because with public cloud communications, adding more to your system could be as easy as clicking a couple of buttons.

Savings

As lightly mentioned earlier, going with public cloud communications is a cost-effective way of establish a communications system for your business. By having your business communications system hosted through public cloud, you can reduce your capital expenditure without sacrificing functionality. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on an onsite communications system that usually involves building everything from the ground up. You don’t need to spend for a team of specialists to maintain your system. With bundled plans that offer great savings, you get all the features you need on your communications system and still have enough on your budget to focus on other projects.

What is Private Cloud Communications?

Private cloud communications is a service model for offering hosted communications to a single organization only. Just like public cloud communications, you get advantages like scalability, flexibility, and self-service, only this time through a proprietary architecture. Private cloud communications is tailor-fitted for the needs of the company, so the features and functionalities may or may not be similar to what’s offered on its public counterpart. Some features may be too simple or just not useful for the company, while some are really complex and thorough, to address specific tasks down to the last detail.

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The best implementation of private cloud communications is for businesses with dynamic needs, usually for multi-office companies, especially those who are servicing a global audience. This way, they’re able to directly control whatever needs to be done for their communications, or for cloud computing in general. What this means is that enterprises and established businesses are mostly the ones who can afford having private cloud communications. It requires a proprietary architecture that’s custom-built for a specific company’s needs. Running cloud servers within their own data center requires a lot of money, not just for building everything from the ground up, but also for maintaining the system.

Some people may say that private clouds are more of a luxury, as public clouds offer the same thing but at more affordable rates. But that’s really not the case here for most organizations. Private cloud communications are deployed when its public counterpart is deemed inadequate for the needs of the business. One instance would be when an organization needs to ensure near perfect uptime, to address global customers round-the-clock. Also, if the information being exchanged within the organization is critical for the business, it’s hard to sacrifice security over affordability. In both instances, it is best to invest in a private cloud to have total control over factors that can make or break your company.

There are some drawbacks to having private cloud communications in place. One is the increased complexity due to increased automation and user self-service. This means you need to train a dedicated IT team to manage the infrastructure and create specific tools to make like easier for the users. So aside from spending on the private cloud communications components, you also need to pay for experts to ensure that your system is running smoothly all the time. Compared to the public cloud, these problems are usually handled on the service provider’s end.

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What is Hybrid Cloud Communications?

Hybrid cloud communications, from the term itself, is the combination of public and private cloud communications. This is when you rely on both hosted communications services and on-premise communications tools, all for an effective communications and collaboration experience for your business. Hybrid cloud communications enables your business to seamlessly communicate across two environments, effectively increasing the reach of your private cloud communications by extending to the public cloud. However, for this to be effective, there should be a high level of compatibility between the software and services of the public and private aspect of your cloud communications.

Hybrid cloud communications can be seamless even when you combine public and private cloud elements, as long as you have the fundamental components like a common management and orchestration platform, a robust, unified networking, a security model that works for both, and of course, a place to call for support when and if needed. Service providers like RingCentral, a leader in unified cloud communications, have all these in place. The only thing you need to do is to subscribe to a plan that suits your business needs.

Hybrid cloud communications is also perfect for those who are still debating whether or not they want to fully move to the cloud. This hybrid solution alleviates the issue, since your company will be able to choose what resource they want to migrate, and keep everything else in-house, or within their private cloud. By keeping sensitive assets on-premise, they have a safety net or redundancy in case their system fails. By keeping it hybrid, you won’t have to spend too much on specialists for IT support, and you have a semblance of control in your communications system. It may not save you as much money as you would by going fully public, but this is enough compromise between affordability and peace of mind.

With the abovementioned information, you’ll be able to decide which type of cloud communications should be implement on your business. Now that you at least have a rough idea of the pros and cons of each type, you can finally move towards the decision between having an on-premises or a hosted setup, and of course, be able to choose well among the many cloud communications providers available in the market today.

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Francis Mansueto
 

Francis Mansueto has been writing for more than a decade now, focusing on Digital Marketing in the last couple of years. He is currently in charge of writing web-optimized content for RingCentral, an industry-leading cloud phone systems provider. Francis is also a voracious reader, spending most of his free time immersed on fictional worlds. You can reach him through Twitter.

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