On-Premises and Hybrid UC Benefits for Education, Hospitality, and Retail

2 min read

Irwin Lazar | June 01, 2023

On-prem, private hosted, and hybrid Unified Communications (UC) platforms offer unique advantages for education, hospitality, and retail organizations. Among participating companies in those industries in Metrigy’s Workplace Collaboration: 2023-24 global research study, almost 32% use on-premises UC platforms, while 24.7% use a private cloud solution.

Looking at each segment individually, 64.7% of those in the hospitality industry are on-premises or private-hosted, compared to 56.7% of education and 50% of retail. Across geographies, North America has the highest adoption of on-premises platforms, followed by Australia and the EU. Just 13% of those who are currently on-premises plan to move to Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) in 2023.

Metrigy HER Blog Chart 

These high adoption rates of on-premises and private hosted UC platforms, coupled with the relatively small percentage of those planning to move to UCaaS, highlight significant benefits for the on-premises, private-hosted, and hybrid models for education, hospitality, and retail industries.

4 Reasons Why Education, Hospitality, and Retail Stick with On-Prem and Hybrid UC

1. Reliability

The primary reason cited across all three industries for staying with on-premises and private-hosted solutions is their reliability. In the retail space, with large numbers of distributed locations, stores must be able to operate even if there is a network outage. Individual locations must be able to place and receive calls and ensure that systems such as alarms can always function. Hospitality operates under a similar model. A hotel, for example, can’t tolerate downtime for its in-room communications or be unreachable by those looking to make a reservation if there is a network outage or a UCaaS outage. Educational organizations, too, must ensure reliability, especially for higher education institutions spread out across campuses, and support communications modalities, including emergency calling systems.

2. Cost Savings

Nearly 46% overall, including half of retail and hospitality organizations, say that cost savings are the primary reason they stay with on-premises or private-hosted deployment models. On-prem or private-hosted models can often be less expensive and may already be fully depreciated. They also can allow companies, through hybrid solutions, to add additional cloud-based features, such as analytics and application integrations, without making wholesale changes to UC and contact center platforms. And they can preserve existing investments in endpoints and infrastructure such as gateways.

3. Security and Data Privacy

On-premises and private-hosted deployment models allow organizations to control their own data. Educational organizations may use their UC platforms to manage student data, including potentially sensitive information such as grades and health records. Hospitality companies may hold information related to customer location, travel history, and payment preferences. Retail organizations must process payment information per Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance standards. Organizations may have sensitive competitive information they wish to ensure isn’t shared with service providers or potentially outside their control.

4. Integrations

Education, hospitality, and retail organizations will likely have extensive and unique integrations between business applications and their communications platforms. In our research, the need to integrate file management, project and task management, HR, CRM, and ERP applications into collaboration platforms is common to all three. Beyond those, there are several industry-specific examples, including:


  • Self-service portals allowing students to check their account balances and billing information by phone or messaging app bot.
  • Student management platforms integrated with call centers to enable students to click to call for support from within a learning management app such as Ellucian Banner or Blackboard.


  • Guest management platforms to enable customers to check account information, order food, movies, or services, or easily reach a concierge through a single click on an in-room phone or via an integrated mobile app.


  • Inventory and order management systems allow customers to check product availability or order status by phone or receive text updates.
  • In-store wireless communications platforms for employees to communicate with one another and take incoming calls from customers seeking assistance.
  • Marketing automation systems to send special offers and updates to customers via text.

Education, hospitality, and retail organizations may also integrate security systems into calling and paging platforms to provide automated notifications in an emergency.

In all these cases, on-premises and private-hosted solutions allow education, hospitality, and retail organizations to achieve better control of their communications environment than is available through UCaaS. Furthermore, education, hospitality, and retail organizations can use hybrid solutions to add additional features and functionality from the cloud while preserving their existing investments in on-premises and private-hosted platforms.

Metrigy: Why financial services and healthcare organizations stick with on-prem or private hosted cloud>

ABOUT METRIGY: Metrigy is an innovative research firm focusing on the rapidly changing areas of Unified Communications & Collaboration (UCC), digital workplace, digital transformation, and Customer Experience (CX)/contact center — along with several related technologies. Metrigy delivers strategic guidance and informative content, backed by primary research metrics and analysis, for technology providers and enterprise organizations.

Irwin LazarPresident and Principal Analyst, Metrigy

Irwin is a leader in research and consulting, focused on unified communications and collaboration, digital workplace, mobility, contact center, and customer engagement. He writes regularly for NoJitter.com and SearchUnifiedCommunications.TechTarget.com and is a frequent speaker at industry trade events. Follow Irwin on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Ready to talk to sales? Contact us.