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Editor's note: In part two of our series on assessing mobile collaboration, we look at the advantages of cloud-based unified communications. Nemertes Research analyst Philip Clarke discusses why enterprises should look to the cloud and how it can benefit their mobile UC strategy.
IT professionals should consider cloud -- and particularly, Software as a Service -- an integral part of their mobile UC initiative. Cloud-based unified communications offerings have several inherent advantages. These include the following:
- Cost: Rather than investments in large capital offerings, cloud and hosted UC solutions require a much smaller, scalable investment offset by a larger, operational one. Additionally, companies aren't locked in to a platform due to the relatively small up-front costs.
- Expertise: Since mobility and UC alone require a particular set of skills, an application that properly integrates the two requires even more particular expertise. Hosted solutions allow organizations to outsource this.
- Maturity: Providers have helped a variety of organizations with their UC needs and are well-situated to tailor their products accordingly.
- Features and integration: Hosted UC providers can offer a variety of popular UC platforms through a single source, integrate with different hardware sets and quickly change functionality to meet the needs of their clients.
- Control: While on-premises solutions still maximize companies' absolute control over a technology, organizations can redirect resource-intensive IT tasks that require deep understanding of a platform toward tweaking control capabilities on a hosted platform. So, while counterintuitive, outsourcing technology expertise to a hosted company enables IT professionals to focus on exercising enhanced control over their hosted platform.
- User choice: Cloud-based unified communications products allow employees with the greatest need or level of interest to elect technologies that best fit their needs. Rather than forcing users to learn a one-size-fits-all platform, they can actively choose what they want.
Read part three of our series on mobile collaboration to learn which definitions of UC standards you need to know for mobile UC success.