Hosted UC, Not your Mothers hosted VoIP

Most people have now either heard of or used one of the many versions of Hosted Voice over IP. For years now companies have been marketing products that use the Internet or other IP Networking topology with some hosted server technologies to provide an end user with a voice call. Many times people have no idea they are using this type service either.  In your home, if you are using a phone from your cable or broadband provider you are in Hosted VoIP. You may have seen the plethora of internet advertisements that hit your web searches talking about free long distance or get a phone number from anywhere in the US. These are all functions of many Hosted VoIP systems. Each have their own caveats and terms with small twists here and there. Not unlike any other service that is saying it is free.

But have you heard of Hosted UC or Unified Communications? 

Imagine the concept of being able to use your PC, laptop, Tablet or phone to communicate as one device. Imagine being able to click any phone number and dial it over your corporate network.  What if you could be in any standard document or email and know instantly if the person you sent it to was available to talk, email or join a conference or video session. Sounds like what many busy people have been asking to have since the early days of telephone and computer integration started.  Think of the idea of a single platform that literally takes every standard office software (ok, most of them) and allows you to share the document via a real time interactive voice, data and video call. Share it, work on it together, make changes in real time, and then be able to save it right back into the cloud.

Now let us take this one step further. Why do you need a phone system or a Hosted VoIP system anymore? Ok, I can hear you now, “I have thousands of dollars tied up in a phone system”. Well that may well be true, but that hardware and software normally has about a three year life cycle before you need or are forced to make upgrades, major revisions and you pay a pretty penny each year for software agreements, maintenance agreements, local phone lines or T-1s and you may or may not be able to just call anyone in your company via some private network. So for now, the Hosted UC platforms make allowances to connect to some more current legacy phone systems.

How many people are paying for conference bridge services? You know the ones where you can set up a dial in number and get 3 or 4 maybe even 10 or more people into a single call all at a fee per minute plus long distance charges. Many people are also paying for web conference services to show documents, share documents or presentations to groups of people. This also comes with a per user, per minute fee or you have bought a lot of software you are paying annual support fees to use and upkeep on servers and phone lines to support it. Now let us start breaking this down a bit more. With a hosted phone system you get voice, voice mail (normally sent to an email address as a wav or MP3 file), and some cool lights that tell you who is on the phone or not, maybe even some nice features that will forward the call to your cell phone in some way. There are also some that allow you to use your laptop as your phone.  But adding things like conference calling has restrictions to functionality and added costs. Web conferencing services are normally not part of this at all. Let us move to Hosted UC. You get all those things a Hosted VoIP can do in general but let’s really turn up the application heat here.  One small monthly fee per user. Many times it is very close to the same as Hosted VoIP.  Voicemails are transcribed to email as well as MP3 files

Very tight integration to standard business software tools like Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and the others we use every single day.  Turn your PC, laptop, cell or iPad into a UC communications tool, voice, data and video conferences can be launched by every user, from any device, Sharing is not a point click or drag and drop function, not a phone call, email, two day wait for schedules to match up sort of thing.

UC literally pulls from the old VoIP systems and jumps about 20 steps forward. Not only are the applications endless for how businesses can use tools that are easy and simple, but the financial justifications go way beyond just the idea of free calls.  No hardware support contracts, no annual software assurance, no 3 year upgrade cycles.  Totally cloud based so it’s full featured almost anywhere you can get an internet connection

Its disaster recovery and business continuity at its best, anywhere, anytime, nearly any device just find Internet service or cell service. People are no longer restricted to a desk and can have access to all their business documents, voice calls, chat sessions, emails, voicemails, web and video conferencing tools. Hosting the unified communications tools allows for a per user investment model. No infrastructure to manage, no telephone system to maintain, no restrictions to geographic locations.  If you look at what your company is paying for web conferencing, teleconferencing and travel the Hosted UC model can show a positive ROI in MONTH ONE to many businesses. Now what do you think?  Is the idea of Hosted UC the same as the older style Hosted VoIP?   Companies like Conquest are taking the lead in providing, building and consulting on Hosted UC services every day. Some are private builds others just want to take their road warriors to UC. Take a look inside your company and see how much you are spending, how much people are asking for and how many times could you have used some of these tools to make your life easier and business communications move faster. Once you see those numbers you may well start looking at true Hosted UC services as the answer. It’s more than FREE phone calls.

Steve Leach, CSSP

Regional Microsoft UC Solutions Specialist

ConQuest Technology Services

813.280.7747

sleach@conquest247.com

April 30, 2014

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About ConQuest Technology Services
Director of Channels and Marketing At ConQuest Technology Services, we provide our customers with solutions and services allowing organizations to develop short-and long term IT strategies and deploy them at their own pace. Whether deploying collaboration tools for the first time, seeking to use existing investments, or supplementing existing solutions with specific collaboration products, ConQuest Technology Services is here to support enterprises invest wisely to dramatically improve collaboration and accelerate growth. KEY FACTS ABOUT CONQUEST Headquarters: 4675 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Suite 302 Coral Gables, FL 33146 305-374-8788 www.conquest247.com • Microsoft Gold Partner for 10+ years • Awarded CRN’s Next-Gen 250 - recognized as a solution provider with a new approach to client support (2013) • Microsoft Partner of the Year – Voice Deployment Built On Microsoft® Lync (2012) • Microsoft Partner of the Year – Best Communication Solutions (2011) • Microsoft’s go-to partner for UC and Cloud technologies in South-east USA Conquest Technology Services : • Offers Business Consulting to help develop cost-effective deployment plans, defining ROI benefits, and cost of ownership for On-Prem, Cloud and Hybrid technology solutions • Builds IT Infrastructure in the cloud to deliver secure infrastructure, storage & backup, protected BYOD mobility solutions and communications-linked business applications providing data/voice/video. • Provides managed services to provide secure, scalable IT environments to support our clients business needs. For more information please visit www.conquest247.com or call 305-374-8788.

2 Responses to Hosted UC, Not your Mothers hosted VoIP

  1. Hosted Voip says:

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  2. Good blog you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing like
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