There’s no shortage of information on the advantages of a cloud communications system. When you combine them with the capabilities of an on-premises phone system, you’ve got the unique benefits of a hybrid cloud communications platform—taking advantage of the best of both worlds. Jackpot, right?
Of course, in business, there is no jackpot without preparing for the small print – the advantages and the disadvantages, the risks and rewards – of trying something new. Hybrid cloud communications is no different. It can deliver a great experience for your company, but there are a few things you want to make sure and have buttoned up to get the most out of it.
These are the top three most common challenges we have seen with hybrid cloud communications systems, and more importantly, how to address them.
In a hybrid cloud implementation, many challenges arise from the cloud platform interfacing with an on-premises network that is not quite prepared to handle VoIP calls. In any VoIP-based implementation, you must first evaluate the readiness of your network. The most important thing you can do is ensuring your network can support VoIP calls. Your VoIP provider should be able to help you evaluate your situation and readiness based on a few simple questions:
- How many users you will have?
- Are any users remote?
- What are your plans for future growth?
With a hybrid cloud model, you have the distinct advantage of the reliability of both your on-premises and cloud networks. However, just like a team is only as strong as its weakest link, a cloud VoIP implementation is only as strong as its business’ Internet connection and bandwidth. It’s a common misconception that when a cloud communications system isn’t working, it’s a simple outage or issue with the VoIP provider. In most cases, the problem begins with an Internet connection that is not strong enough to handle your VoIP calls. To ensure you have an Internet connection that will support your system, talk to your hybrid cloud partner about different Internet options and which ones are best suited for your needs.
This is probably the top concern for every business, from one employee to 100 thousand. VoIP opens your company up to possible security breaches, like toll fraud and eavesdropping on VoIP calls. But these threats aren’t insurmountable. You can prevent or mitigate eavesdropping by employing encryption to the packetized voice stream. Be sure to ask your provider for encryption options. Toll fraud is actually a risk for all systems—both premise and hybrid cloud. In order to minimize the risk of toll fraud, talk to your VoIP provider about monitoring and advanced detection options.
At the end of the day, the advantages of a hybrid cloud communications system far outweigh the disadvantages. You’ll get quick, seamless feature updates, enhanced security, a decrease in total cost of ownership (TCO), and the benefit of failing over to local gateways for connection in case of network interruptions to your cloud service. Just remember to address these potential issues with your hybrid cloud provider and jackpot—you get the best of both worlds.