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Cloud or On-premise For Your Phone System

Cloud or On-premise For Your Phone System - Unifi Communications

Cloud or On-premise For Your Phone System

Many of our existing customers are coming to us and saying they want to move all their telephony to the cloud. But are there any reasons why they should keep their on-premise infrastructure?

Clearly cloud collaboration is big right now. Cloud collaboration and hosted telephony delivers many benefits in the way IT organisations deliver services to their users.
As a Cisco partner, Unifi Communications can see that Cisco is committed to developing innovative cloud collaboration solutions. These solutions provide new opportunities to change the way our customers get work done, and speeds-up innovation. With their acquisition of Broadsoft. Cisco are already a leader by some distance in hosted telephony and with some of the innovations launching soon we can only see them extending their leadership even further.

Are There Good Reasons to Maintain an On-premise UC estate?

So, what does this mean for Cisco’s on-premises Unified Communications strategy?
Many of Unifi’s customers still rely on Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Contact Center (Express/Enterprise/Packaged), Cisco Jabber, and Cisco Meeting Server. These solutions are still rock solid and have a long development road map from Cisco. The functionality and flexibility offered by these on premise solutions far out ways anything offered by any cloud collaboration solution.

Extend the Value of On-premises Investments

Many customers are looking to extend the value of their on-premises investments and move some (or all) of their collaboration to the cloud. Some collaboration features, such as video conferencing and meetings are better suited to the cloud. Check out some of Cisco’s recent announcements on Cognitive Collaboration, for example.
But, there are a few key reasons why on-premises solutions will continue to be important:
  1. Regulatory policy and compliance: While Cisco’s cloud solutions are very secure (which isn’t the case for all of them), many governments and industries are not allowed to adopt them because of legal and regulatory issues. There are a lot of “air gapped” networks that are not allowed to have internet connectivity and they want to use Cisco on-premises unified communication solutions.
  2. Geographic reach: There are still many areas of the world where cloud solutions are not fully available. There are countries and areas of poor Internet connectivity (even some areas of London are challenging). Some cloud solutions, like Horizon from Gamma, just aren’t suited to businesses that must collaborate between different countries.
  3. Cost: On-premise solutions are still priced on a perpetual user licence model that is a one-off cost. Cloud collaboration is done on a monthly cost per user model that will work out more expensive over a relatively short period of time.
  4. IT integrations: Cisco’s solutions have many APIs that customers use to integrate with recording systems, call accounting software packages, and a plethora of custom development applications connected to their Communications Manager. Some Cloud solutions are feature rich and offer APIs to connect to other web services and applications, but many don’t have the flexibility to offer the levels of integration customers require. One of the main benefits of the cloud is simplicity but this is at the cost of sacrificing an existing sophisticated IT environment for a more streamlined one.
  5. Available bandwidth: The round trip for packets to go to an on-premise server is lower than going to the cloud. Some customers simply don’t have a network infrastructure that is suitable for cloud collaboration.

On-premise Collaboration Will Continue to be Relevant

So, for Unifi Communications, the answer is that on-premise systems will continue to be relevant and we are still very committed to delivering the best on-premises collaboration solutions when it is the best fit for our customer.
For companies already using Cisco Communications Manager, or who want to implement Cisco Communications Manager we will continue to support them and help them get the best from their investment for many years to come.
Or, for customers who are on-premises today and want to migrate some or all their collaboration to the Cisco cloud, Unifi can help with this transition. If you want to deploy Cisco cloud calling solutions, that is great. Or deploy an on-premises or a hybrid solution, that is great too. Get in touch to see how Unifi Communications can help you with your journey.