Once you’ve determined the right system for your video conferencing and Unified Communications strategy, it’s important to evaluate how these conferences will be hosted. Video conferencing solutions can be supported by cloud, on-premise, or hybrid solutions, and the ideal solution varies from organization to organization.
The cloud is especially popular with small to medium-sized businesses, as it simplifies the communication process. It’s difficult for businesses with limited IT knowledge to establish agile, streamlined communication structures while juggling concerns regarding security, encryption, and data hosting. The cloud resolves this by providing all the necessary benefits of video conferencing while overcoming significant hurdles, such as:
Over or Underestimating Infrastructure Requirements – Cloud solutions don’t require a fixed number of MCU ports, a limited ISDN gateway, or extra server capacity. It’s common for on-premise deployments to inaccurately assess their infrastructure needs, which ultimately leads to waste or a poor quality video conferencing solution. However, keep in mind that a cloud deployment still requires an experienced UC specialist to support administration and maintenance of your servers.
Relieving Stress on IT Infrastructure – Video communications can put your broadband connection under great stress, especially when communicating with people outside of the company. Cloud solutions provide multiple nodes that improve latency for your call’s remote participants.
Meeting Security Requirements – The cloud enables simple and secure connections to individuals inside and outside of your network. Despite the cloud’s reputation, it’s been found that cloud providers often have top-of-the-line security standards and firewall.
If an organization already heavily invested in an on-premise Unified Communications initiative, they may be best suited to an on-premise video conferencing solution. Otherwise, it’s likely that your existing communications systems will not seamlessly integrate to the cloud, causing waste.
Another reason to consider an on-premise solution is if your organization has stringent security requirements. While cloud providers often have top-notch security, organizations may prefer to use their existing network security solution instead. Alternatively, users in the healthcare, financial services, or Fortune 500 companies may have on-premise as their only option, as their strict security and data protection guidelines forbid the use of cloud solutions.
Some organizations may not want to use the cloud, but may be apprehensive about the requirements to establish an on-premise video conferencing solution. Hybrid solutions leverage your existing communication systems in your organization – such as on-premise PBX and call control, or on-premise hardware like MCUs – and apply extended cloud capabilities to these solutions.