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The benefits of unified communications as a service are undeniable. Vendors including 8x8, Vonage, RingCentral and others have provided quick, easy and inexpensive business-class telephony features without the expense and complexity of a traditional PBX.
For established businesses accustomed to PBX-based communications, redirecting all telephony and related communications to the cloud might feel like a risky proposition. But don't worry -- vendors that provide unified communications as a service (UCaaS) in a private cloud are ready to bring the benefits of private networking to the service.
Benefits of the private cloud
The benefits of choosing a private cloud include simplicity, reliability and cost savings. Because the private cloud is a type of outsourced service, Avaya Inc., NEC Corp. of America and other vendors become managed service providers when offering UCaaS.
They own the hardware and the headaches and you pay a monthly or annual fee based on the services you need. This means your vendor's global data center acts as your data center. In many cases, this also means having 24-hour support, service-level agreements and other benefits included with the outsourced services.
Using private cloud provides greater security and better performance, as the network environment is controlled by the provider and doesn't have the unfiltered access of a public cloud. The controlled environment of a private cloud prevents many of the random fluctuations in performance that can plague a public cloud with many users.
The marriage of UCaaS and private cloud is a no-lose proposition for many larger businesses, and it will likely become the option of choice for many going forward.
Private cloud providers
Vendors like Avaya and NEC were adversely impacted when traditional hardware PBXes lost ground to UCaaS offerings. Now, these same vendors are among the most prominent providers of private cloud UCaaS.
Be aware that your search for a managed private cloud provider could be a little tricky. There are many UCaaS vendors and many private cloud vendors but not a lot of vendors that combine both. Avaya's OneCloud ReadyNow and NEC's Univerge Blue are two of the more visible UCaaS private cloud services focused on enterprise businesses.
NEC's private cloud has been around since late 2015, and Avaya's service was announced in January 2019. For Avaya, ReadyNow is the private cloud delivery of its existing OneCloud UCaaS. Both Avaya and NEC rely heavily on channel partners for distribution, and these same partners will likely bring these new private cloud services to customers.
While the market is still maturing, CenturyLink is one telecom service provider that has recognized the need for UCaaS compliance regulation in vertical markets like banking, hospitals and the government. To that end, CenturyLink offers a UCaaS option that focuses on compliance requirements. As the market matures, other private cloud vendors are likely to extend service offerings to include UCaaS.
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