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industry report states that more than 54% of surveyed large enterprises (defined as 5,000+ employees) still operate an outdated TDM PBX voice infrastructure; if not at all locations, at least at some.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. Continue reading

UC systems are connecting the increasingly disconnected workforce

8-12-16_UC-Blog-graphic_800pxFor more than a decade, unified communications (UC) technologies from industry leaders like Cisco and Avaya have been helping businesses collaborate remotely while reducing telecom and infrastructure costs by merging voice and data into a single network.

Today’s on-premises and cloud-based UC platforms take savings and efficiency to a higher level, going beyond voice, email, web chat and instant messaging to include multimedia collaboration capabilities as well. Best of all, the cost of endpoint technology is coming down, enabling small and medium size businesses to deploy sophisticated UC systems more affordably than ever. Continue reading

Explore the benefits of Software Defined Networking

7-18-16-DataCtr-Blog-graphic-742x388Like server and storage virtualization, network virtualization abstracts existing resources and allows them be viewed and managed from a single pane of glass, using open protocols such as OpenFlow.

This allows for on-demand provisioning of resources without the need to physically configure cabling and switches with every network change. Software Defined Networking (SDN) takes things a step further, entirely separating the control plane from the data plane, and enabling administrators to spin up virtual components, virtually at will.

Zones teams with industry leaders like Cisco and Avaya, to bring the speed, flexibility and scalability of software defined networking to all kinds of organizations.

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Contact centers build solid connections

hp_windows_upgrade_3489896bWhen customers or prospects want to connect with your business, they want an immediate response and rapid results. It’s not always easy to keep up with those demands. Small companies can become especially frustrated because they do not employ enough workers to perform their routine duties effectively while interacting with customers at the same time.

Fortunately, there are solutions available to help people and businesses meet the challenge. Continue reading

How do you see UC?

Leveraging Unified Communications to streamline collaboration and workflows

Unified Communications & CollaborationWhat is Unified Communications?

When asked that simple question, many people will respond that UC is workplace instant messaging, an IP phone system, or visual voicemail. While these are all common features, they are by no means the whole answer.

Zones defines Unified Communications as a networked communications platform that seamlessly integrates voice, data and applications to enable workers and customers to interact in the most efficient way possible.

Today’s UC systems extend beyond voice, email, web chat and instant messaging to include multimedia collaboration capabilities as well. Using a variety of technologies from top-tier manufacturers such as Cisco, Avaya, Microsoft and Polycom, Zones deploys UC solutions that scale from network-based PBX systems to integrated voice/messaging/video collaboration suites to those including multi-site telepresence systems. Continue reading

Dynamic, scalable infrastructure for nimble organizations

Software Defined Networking

The Open Networking Foundation defines Software-Defined Networking as the physical separation of the network control plane from the forwarding plane, and where a control plane controls several devices.

By decoupling the network control and forwarding functions, SDN permits the network control to become directly programmable and the underlying infrastructure to be abstracted for applications and network services. The result is an architecture that is dynamic, manageable, cost-effective, and adaptable. This makes SDN an excellent approach to creating an infrastructure that is endlessly scalable and responsive enough to meet the demands of today’s of high-bandwidth applications. Continue reading