Why Consider Private Over Public Cloud for Your Business Communications?
- If you work at a bank and taking sensitive customer and account information, a public cloud option may not be for you.
- If you work at a hospital collecting patient-sensitive data from a mobile phone, a public cloud option may not be for you.
- If you are an internal IT team managing multiple locations and need the flexibility of the cloud but must maintain strict compliance regulations, the public cloud may not be for you…
Unfortunately, for many businesses with multiple offices, mobile workers, and a multitude of different devices, can mean delivering a comprehensive communications solution can be complicated. Businesses today need mobility, reliability, and security from their communications platform. And it needs to be simple to manage.
Thankfully, there is now a solution.
With MiCloud Flex, your cloud-based communications will wrap around your business processes and workflows. Do you have employees traveling across the globe that need real-time access to your CRM on their device? No problem. Need to scale your communications from 100 users to 10,000 users in a blink? We’ve got you covered. Have an IT department that can’t take one more task? There’s no need. MiCloud Flex private cloud delivers an instant boost to productivity with a system that is designed to fit their day instead of trying to change processes to match the system.
But before we go any further, let’s dissect how a private cloud environment can deliver real productivity gains across your organization that is not a burden on your IT department.
Why Consider Private Cloud?
Cloud communications (a.k.a. hosted communications) has seen 25% year-over-year growth among mid-sized organizations. But in many cases, the jump from predominantly on-premises to networking to near-universal public cloud usage is here to stay. However, not every business is ready to move all of their IT and communication infrastructure to the cloud, and as indicated in the opening examples, large enterprises and compliance-heavy industries like government and financial services may not be able to take advantage of the flexibility and turn-key advantages of the cloud. The good news is that it is no longer an “all or nothing” decision. Today’s private and hybrid cloud options are giving businesses a middle-ground option between traditional on-premises and total cloud emersion.
Rather than forcing public cloud deployments to meet demands for security and control, the private cloud offers flexibility to meet strict requirements without sacrificing cloud benefits.
What is a Private Cloud when it comes to business communication?
Private cloud is a computing platform that is implemented within a client’s own IT environment, providing limited cloud functionality. Rather than relying on publicly hosted cloud communication, the private cloud uses equipment that resides on-site (within your space). The software then sits atop your existing hardware, and that software automates the provisioning of resources, manages access to infrastructure resource, and tracks usage.
Mid-sized organizations often find this option to be beneficial as many mid-sized organizations are regulated by outside security agencies and standards but want to take advantage of some of the features only found in the cloud. In this article, we will layout your on-premises vs. cloud, vs. “private cloud” options and let you decide which option is most optional for you.
The Impact of Private Cloud on Business Communications
It’s easy to get caught up in all the benefits of public cloud communications. You get a simple, pay-as-you-go model. You can scale up or down according to your evolving needs. And you eliminate the majority of headaches from on-premises IT management.
When everything is running smoothly, communications become an afterthought. It’s all well and good until your public cloud provider experiences an outage and an important client call drops or someone hacks into the network through the cloud. Suddenly you can’t transfer important sales requests, customer data is compromised, and you start losing business.
For many mid-sized businesses that is enough of a reason to have to forgo leveraging advances in cloud technology until now. A private cloud allows these businesses to take advantage of the secure on-premises platform while leveraging advanced collaboration features such as multi-location triage, ring groups, contact center/CRM integration, data redundancy, and more.
6 Cross-Over Private Cloud Features to Consider
Just because private cloud communications leverages on-premises hardware does not mean you miss out on features associated with hosted systems. Check out our top pick of six public cloud features you can also leverage in a private cloud environment.
- Advanced Call Routing: Design your call routing to match the context of demand within your business. You can choose percentage allocation, which controls different volume locations receive by assigning percentages of calls to each office. Or, you can choose a round-robin approach that equally distributes calls to separate location until the call is answered. There are also ring group opportunities, which allow you to have multiple phones ring for incoming calls, boosting customer experiences by improving triage. You can also take simpler approaches by segmenting by geographic location or implementing a sequential order for incoming calls.
- Failover Eliminates Abandoned Calls: If your call center experiences service disruption, you can quickly route calls to a working location and ensure that no call is abandoned.
- Never Experience Downtime: Beyond call failover, you can take advantage of geo-redundancy (and/or data redundancy). Even if a cloud-hosted data center goes down, you can maintain service availability by shifting to a redundant data center.
- Maximum Flexibility: Scale gracefully from 75 to 10,000 users, adding features at your own pace. It’s an owned communications environment without the management complexity.
- CRM Integration: Personalized customer experiences are becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. When your CRM is integrated into communications systems, your agents will know exactly who they’re interacting with before picking up the call. Rather than running through the frustrating identification process, customers will enjoy a streamlined call.
- Real-Time Customer Intelligence: Real-time analytics help you make informed communications decisions and gain full visibility into performance across locations. This data will help you identify which locations can handle more calls, and simple management interfaces allow you to change call routing instantly.
When deployed and utilized properly, these features lead to several private cloud communications benefits.
5 Benefits of Private Cloud Communications
Deploying your communications systems in the middle ground of private clouds doesn’t just unlock unique features. It also gives your business benefits, such as:
- Strength and Security: The public cloud comes with potential reliability and bandwidth issues. By design, you relinquish most control and security when taking that deployment path. But with private clouds, you can select customer servers and hardware to meet any specific business objectives and performance goals. If you’re undergoing compliance audits, public cloud deployments can be risky. You might have an accepted setup, but it’s a risk. Private clouds don’t have this problem and can get you to 100% compliance even under the strictest regulations.
- Powerful Integrations: Legacy infrastructure is a fact of life for most mid-sized organizations. You’re probably not choosing a new communications system in a vacuum. That means integrations are critical for IT efficiency. Private cloud deployments are customizable, so you can leverage all the integrations needed to facilitate streamlined IT management.
- Budgeting Flexibility: Shifting to the public cloud means going from a CAPEX to OPEX model. But with private cloud communications, you can choose whichever is best for your business. Private cloud platforms can be procured through a CAPEX or perpetual license model, or a solutions provider using an OPEX model.
- Maintain Compliance: Data regulation will only grow more stringent in the coming years. HIPAA, PCI-DSS, SOX, FEDRAMP, and the like will undergo continuous change. And like it or not, we have to keep up. Private cloud environments are well-suited to meet the evolving demands of regulatory compliance.
- Centralize Administration: Control communications for your distributed workforce from a single, centralized interface. Manage call flows to all locations, change routes at any time, view performance analytics, and tweak Ring Groups to maximize effectiveness.
These benefits are enough to push many IT leaders and business owners down the path of private cloud communications. However, you still need to navigate the crowded market of vendors effectively.
Evaluating Your Private Cloud Communications Options
When you look at the market closely, you see that there are a handful of business communications providers that do private cloud communications well. Mitel Networks, Corp., and it’s MiCloud Flex solution leads the market alongside offerings from 8x8, Inc., and Ring Central.
In a recently commissioned analysis by Tolly, these three vendors were evaluated for their feature sets. The Mitel solution builds upon a strong heritage of core functionality expected from business-class unified communications (UC) with sophisticated capabilities that rival the cloud-based offerings from 8x8 and Ring Central. Across all key areas analyzed, the Mitel MiCloud Flex solutions match or exceed the offerings from 8x8 and RingCentral. Check out the full report and be sure to take a look at Table 1 for an “At a Glance” comparison.
Luckily, a private cloud environment like the MiFlex system provides the internal IT team with the controls and security of an on-premises system while gaining cloud functionality. With a private cloud, you avoid the “forced” features of cloud connectivity, such as automatic updates and upgrades. Instead, you give your internal team more control over software updates, MAC addresses, and more.
But how does it all work together? MiFlex combines the power of the cloud with the convenience and rich functionality of an on-premises system. This unique private cloud environment provides users with the following onsite features:
- Geo-redundant data centers that continue to provide service even in the rare event that one goes down.
- Maximum flexibility to create your own communications environment without the complexity of managing it all yourself. Scale gracefully from 75 to 10,000 users, growing and adding features at your own pace.
- Consistent employee experiences regardless of whether they’re in an office, on the road, or working remotely.
- Private cloud controls over software updates that enable your team to schedule system updates on your company’s schedule.
- Ring Group Opportunities to better triage incoming calls and present a better customer experience.
Want to learn more about how you can unlock the flexibility and simplicity of private cloud communications through innovative Mitel offerings? Visit our Blue Fox Group solutions page.