Comparsion: unified communications platforms
Instructions: Based on week two learning team discussion, submitted individually, a comparison of the different kinds of unified communications platforms,their features functionality, based on the five criteria.
Unified Communications Platforms Assignment Help
Unified communication platforms facilitate unified communication adoption, which essentially fuses the user communication experience across different modes of communication. The idea belying unified communication is fundamentally the same. They reduce complexity, increase productivity and enable collaboration (Pagani, 2005). One of the key areas of difference is the platform that a company chooses to adopt for its unified communication. There are generally two types of platforms that a company may adopt. They are cloud-based platforms and premise-based platforms. The essential difference lies in where the UC application is hosted. With a cloud-based platform, the application is hosted on a cloud server, whereas with a premise-based platform, the application is hosted in-house (Arnold, n.d). Cloud-based UC is the more recent development, which has been facilitated by developments in the area of cloud technology. What follows is a concise evaluation and comparison of these two types of platforms.
Premise-based UC platforms, as the name would suggest, are in-house platforms that are primarily integrated into the client’s premise. With a premise-based platform, the UC is hosted internally. In contrast, with the cloud-based UC platform, the hosting is done through a cloud server. Besides the hosting of the application, there are several other areas of difference between the two types of applications. These differences are discussed.
The first criterion is cost. Cost is an important consideration for any business. In any case, the purpose of introducing new technology is to introduce efficiencies that lower the overall cost of doing business. Under cost, one may consider several cost factors such as the capital expenditure costs and the installation costs. The hosted UC is generally superior in this aspect. Cloud-based UC has lower costs for both capital expenditure and installation (Deyermenjian, 2014). The only capital expenditure costs that are involved for cloud-based UC is the cost of telephones. For premise-based UC, however, the costs will generally vary based on the size of the enterprise. Larger enterprises will generally require heavier capital expenditure costs than smaller ones. The costs are required to cater for a variety of expenses ranging from phone hardware, power, rack space, and cooling, among other costs.
When it comes to installation costs, the cloud-based platforms have lower installation costs, and this is associated with the low levels of capital expenditure (Deyermenjian, 2014)e. Since there is only a little hardware that needs to be installed, then the installation costs are also low. For a premise-based UC platform, however, the costs are much higher, and this is linked to the greater hardware requirements. The cost of installation rises due to the associated need to pay staff/contractors to complete the installation work.
A second and closely related criterion is infrastructure. As noted, the cost will be greatly influenced by the hardware requirements. Infrastructure requirements will vary depending on the platform. The on-premise platform will require more infrastructure than the cloud-based platform. This is because, for the cloud-based platform, much of the underlying infrastructure required to run the UC functions is housed by the UC service provider (Deyermenjian, 2014). The user is then able to access these functionalities through an IP connection. For the on-premise platform, however, infrastructural requirements are greater and vary based on the vendor. Typical components include proprietary control units that are required to host telephony boards, servers, UC functions and, at times, management functions.
A third criterion that marks a difference between the two is maintenance and updates. As with any other software, is a need to update the software running the UC platform constantly. There are differences in maintenance and updates handling between the two platforms. For a cloud-based platform, the maintenance and update aspects are catered for by the service provider (Deyermenjian, 2014). This offers advantages compared to on-premise UC. With an on-premise UC, the users themselves handle the maintenance and upgrade. This may be costly and cumbersome for the company because the software may need to be updated severally. Moreover, these upgrades or other feature enhancements can take very long periods to be completed. Based on these considerations, cloud-based UC emerges superior.
The fourth criterion is licensing. Licensing deals with the right to use the UC infrastructure, and the associated cost of licensing (Deyermenjian, 2014). A cloud-based UC attends to many different customers and as such, allows users to take advantage of economies of scale. Cloud-based UC offerors typically charge a per-user licensing fee. For the on-premise UC, the licensing structure is more complicated. It involves operating expenses. Licensing fees are essential to cater for upgrades and maintenance of the software.
The final criterion is backup
and disaster recovery. Cloud-based UC is
transacted online and as such, predisposes the user to become reliant on an
internet connection. Moreover, cloud-based
system is able to offer a more affordable and reliable redundancy (Deyermenjian,
Within a cloud-based system, users do not
have access to their equipment. It, however, has a drawback since users cannot
access their equipment immediately. With an on-premise
UC, users have immediate access to their equipment, and this is one of the
advantages of an on-premise system. With
an on premise, however, redundancy may be quite expensive.
Arnold, J. (n.d). Tracking the evolution of UC technology. Retrieved from TechTarget: http://searchunifiedcommunications.techtarget.com/feature/Tracking-the-evolution-of-UC-technology
Deyermenjian, K. (2014). On-premises vs. hosted cloud UC: Comparison chart. Retrieved from TechTarget: http://searchunifiedcommunications.techtarget.com/feature/On-premises-vs-hosted-cloud-UC-Comparison-chart
Pagani, M. (Ed.). (2005). Encyclopedia of Multimedia Technology and Networking. Idea Group Inc (IGI).