On-prem vs. hybrid vs. Cloud – Which UC deployment model is best for your business?

8-12-16_UC-Blog-graphic_800pxA recent industry report states that more than 54% of surveyed large enterprises (defined as 5,000+ employees) still operate an outdated TDM PBX voice infrastructure; if not at all locations, at least at some. One might be surprised that that there is a such a relatively high percentage of legacy-based, on-prem voice solutions still in the market, given the success of Microsoft Office 365 and general buzz surrounding hosted UC solutions.

But if you are considering upgrading your existing voice or UC capabilities, should these percentages or trends play a role in your decision making? And is there a single UC deployment model that definitively makes sense for every business?

The short answers are ‘no’ and ‘no’. The best deployment model depends on the unique requirements and circumstances of your business.

In order to determine the right UC deployment model, there are a number of important considerations that first need to be taken into account such as company size, employee (geographic) distribution, what type (e.g., voice or video) and how many simultaneous meetings and users is the solution expected to support? How predictable is that traffic? Is your existing network entirely SIP based or a combination of SIP & TDM? And importantly, who and how will your UC solution be used?

Then you have to consider how the system is to be used: Is your audience internal-only, do they hold 1:many meetings (town halls), or do you need to support conferencing with large external audiences (webinars) or even support virtual, public meeting/communication spaces?

And what about the employees who will be using the solution day-in- and day-out – what percentage work remotely, what percentage are mobile, what percentage regularly travel for work, what percentage work from assigned locations, such as a desk in an office? Do you have the in-house resources, capabilities, and budget to maintain your UC system on an on-going basis? Do you prefer to make IT investments as capital expenses? Or do you prefer a subscription model with small portion of startup costs and then regular ongoing payments that are treated as operational expense?

To be sure, each deployment model has its advantages. Here are a few features of each to consider:

On-prem UC Solution

  • Ideal for companies where most employees are concentrated at central location and only a few at remote locations
  • Have skilled IT and Telecom staff that are allocated to managing UC systems
  • Suited for companies that prefer to make IT investments as Capital Expense
  • Ideal for businesses with predictable seasonality and growth

 Hybrid UC Solution

  • May be preferred solution where company has a number of secondary locations or branch offices
  • Ideal for companies looking to leverage investments made into existing voice/video-related systems while taking advantage newer UC-related capabilities
  • Can be ideal for quickly turning-up off remote offices through cloud solution (and main office is on-prem)

Hosted UC Solution

  • Provides agility for workforces that are mobile, geographically dispersed, and inclined to rely on their own devices (BYOD)
  • Ideal for companies that run lean IT departments that would be overburdened by managing UC
  • Suited for businesses that need to have access to distributed data

By leveraging UC technologies from a variety of leading vendor-partners, we implement custom-tailored UC solutions that give businesses exactly the functionality they need. We’ll help you enable workers to communicate more efficiently – anywhere, anytime, and from any device.

To learn how Zones can help you determine which UC deployment model is right for your business, ask your Zones account executive to schedule a conversation with one of the UC specialists in our Advanced Solutions Group today.

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