Cloud computing explainedA great deal has been said about cloud computing – although companies still have a limited understanding of what it is and how it impacts their business. Simply put, the cloud is a set of services and technologies that enable the delivery of computing services over the Internet in real-time, allowing end-users instant access to data and applications from any device with Internet access.

“It is generally accepted that there are three different types of cloud: public, hybrid and private. This has several implications, particularly when it comes to implementing PBX systems in your organisation where the need for security and cost effectiveness is crucial,” says Rob Lith, Director of Connection Telecom.
As you move towards a cloud-based PBX system, a question you will need to consider is which option would work best for you:

Public Cloud
Public cloud applications exist in off-site data centres owned by a service provider. In our experience, a large number of smaller customers, representing a comparatively small number of extensions, favour public solutions. The benefits to your business are that it is easy and economical to set-up; it is flexible and scalable and you only pay for what you use. The main pitfall being that you are completely reliant on your service provider.

Private Cloud
Private cloud solutions remain in customer-owned data centres, hosted by the customer or the service provider, on- or off-site. Large companies prefer private cloud because it allows them to leverage their considerable investments in high-end network and data resources and equipment, thus retaining control over the running and support of their deployments. The private cloud option takes costly and time-consuming installations, but it provides a sense of security and control.

Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid implementations reside in customer-owned data centres, and calls are carried out over a virtual private network via a public switch. Hybrid installations are used by a small but growing base of large customers, whether measured in customer numbers, sites (which may involve multiple branches or chain stores) or extensions. Hybrid cloud architecture requires both on-premises resources and off-site (remote) server-based cloud infrastructure. It allows a higher degree of fault tolerance, as should the internet fail, it allows automatic switchover to a landline.

Conclusion
Cloud-based services are the way of the future; and the benefits of bringing down costs, providing flexibility and scalability and removing the need for massive servers and data-centres speak for themselves. Understanding the options will allow you to optimize the value your business gets from the services available to you.

About Connection Telecom
Connection Telecom was founded in 2004 as a pioneering independent provider of proven carrier-grade IP PBX solutions to Southern African businesses. Since then, it has built on its telecommunication experience and grown its communications portfolio to include on-demand call centres, rapidly implemented and flexibly provisioned at low cost to offer speed to market to its customers, and introduced analytics to track call patterns and costs. Connection Telecom provides an end-to-end communications service that straddles voice termination, routing, hosting and management, and the company has had much success in creating zero-rated call communities. Its solutions operate in physical as well as virtual settings, hosted on- or off-site in the client’s environment or its own fully-redundant data centre. The Telviva family of enterprise PBXs and other products are aimed at enterprise customers and smaller businesses, and are suited to vertical industry applications. Feature-rich, managed and open (extensible), these solutions allow freedom of choice in handsets and add-ons, and a low total cost of ownership. The company has offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg with on-site support in 28 locations. Its major clients include Engen Petroleum, FNB, Lewis, RMB Asset Management, UCS, Old Mutual Finance and Vox Telecom.

For more information please visit: connection-telecom.com

About Rob Lith
ICT industry heavyweight and Internet specialist Rob Lith has been involved in the industry for the last 20 years. Coming from a strong sales background and with a lifelong interest in technology, Rob has an in-depth knowledge of Internet markets, technology and products. He sees VoIP, location based services and presence as the “next wave” of technological advancement. Rob started out in the retail sales business in London in 1978, returning to South Africa to join Compustat in 1989, soon moving up to Durban to head up its KZN branch. He found a like mind in Steve Davies, who became his long term collaborator. Rob extended his knowledge of the SA technology and Internet business at Internet Africa (which became UUNET, then WorldCom, then Verizon), before striking out on his own in 2003 to co-found Connection Telecom.

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