From the handset found on each employee’s desk to the PC-based software client on employee laptops, to the VoIP private backbone, and all modes in between, every component in a CaaS solution is managed 24/7 by the CaaS vendor. Let’s look as some of the advantages of a hosted approach for CaaS.
Hosted and Managed Solutions: Remote management of infrastructure services provided by third parties once seemed an unacceptable situation to most companies. However, over the past decade, with enhanced technology, networking, and software, the attitude has changed. This is, in part, due to cost savings achieved in using those services. However, unlike the “one-off ” services offered by specialist providers, CaaS delivers a complete communications solution that is entirely managed by a single vendor. Along with features such as VoIP and unified communications, the integration of core PBX features with advanced functionality is managed by one vendor, who is responsible for all of the integration and delivery of services to users.
Fully Integrated, Enterprise-Class Unified Communications: With CaaS, the vendor provides voice and data access and manages LAN/ WAN, security, routers, email, voice mail, and data storage. By managing the LAN/WAN, the vendor can guarantee consistent quality of service from a user’s desktop across the network and back. Advanced unified communications features that are most often a part of a standard CaaS deployment include:
Providers are constantly offering new enhancements (in both performance and features) to their CaaS services. The development process and subsequent introduction of new features in applications is much faster, easier, and more economical than ever before. This is, in large part, because the service provider is doing work that benefits many end users across the provider’s scalable platform infrastructure. Because many end users of the provider’s service ultimately share this cost (which, from their perspective, is miniscule compared to shouldering the burden alone), services can be offered to individual customers at a cost that is attractive to them.
No Capital Expenses Needed: When business outsource their unified communications needs to a CaaS service provider, the provider supplies a complete solution that fits the company’s exact needs. Customers pay a fee (usually billed monthly) for what they use. Customers are not required to purchase equipment, so there is no capital outlay. Bundled in these types of services are ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs, which are incurred by the service provider. The use of CaaS services allows companies the ability to collaborate across any workspace. CaaS can also accelerate decision making within an organization. Innovative unified communications capabilities (such as presence, instant messaging, and rich media services) help ensure that information quickly reaches whoever needs it.
Flexible Capacity and Feature Set: When customers outsource communications services to a CaaS provider, they pay for the features they need when they need them. The service provider can distribute the cost services and delivery across a large customer base. This makes the use of shared feature functionality more economical for customers to implement. Economies of scale allow service providers enough flexibility that they are not tied to a single vendor investment. They are able to leverage best-of-breed providers such as Avaya, Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft, Nortel and ShoreTel more economically than any independent enterprise
No Risk of Obsolescence: Rapid technology advances, predicted long ago and known as Moore’s law, have brought about product obsolescence in increasingly shorter periods of time. Moore’s law describes a trend he recognized that has held true since the beginning of the use of integrated circuits (ICs) in computing hardware. Since the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958, the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has increased exponentially, doubling approximately every two years. Unlike IC components, the average life cycles for PBXs and key communications equipment and systems range anywhere from five to 10 years. With the constant introduction of newer models for all sorts of technology (PCs, cell phones, video software and hardware, etc.), these types of products now face much shorter life cycles, sometimes as short as a single year. CaaS vendors must absorb this burden for the user by continuously upgrading the equipment in their offerings to meet changing demands in the marketplace.
No Facilities and Engineering Costs Incurred: CaaS providers host all of the equipment needed to provide their services to their customers, virtually eliminating the need for customers to maintain data center space and facilities. There is no extra expense for the constant power consumption that such a facility would demand. Customers receive the benefit of multiple carrier-grade data centers with full redundancy—and it’s all included in the monthly payment.
Guaranteed Business Continuity: If a catastrophic event occurred at your business’s physical location, would your company disaster recovery plan allow your business to continue operating without a break? If your business experienced a serious or extended communications outage, how long could your company survive? For most businesses, the answer is “not long.” Distributing risk by using geographically dispersed data centers has become the norm today. It mitigates risk and allows companies in a location hit by a catastrophic event to recover as soon as possible. This process is implemented by CaaS providers because most companies don’t even contemplate voice continuity if catastrophe strikes. Unlike data continuity, eliminating single points of failure for a voice network is usually cost-prohibitive because of the large scale and management complexity of the project. With a CaaS solution, multiple levels of redundancy are built into the system, with no single point of failure.