ShoreTel Deployment Types
Cloud Phone Systems:
The Advantages Of A Hosted Business Phone System
Cloud computing—which is also often called “hosted” or “software as a service” (SaaS)—is an increasingly popular way to acquire new technologies. Rather than purchase, install, and maintain an application, users subscribe to a monthly service in which cloud applications (including cloud VoIP systems) are located in secure data centers, and vendors take responsibility for owning, configuring, and managing them. Businesses connect to these applications through the Internet or private connections. The benefits of the cloud phone systems are plentiful.
Why Choose a Managed Cloud Phone System?
IT resources devoted to business phone administration can keep resource-constrained departments from being able to focus on key business initiatives. This distraction limits your company’s ability to compete in your marketplace. Selection of a cloud-based VoIP alternative eliminates those IT headaches, reduces resource costs and frees up your team to focus on growing your business. If running a phone system is not a core competency of your company, why would you waste valuable resources doing it?
Selection of a cloud based VoIP alternative eliminates those IT headaches, reduces resource costs and frees up your team to work projects that relate to your core business.
As businesses grow, their needs change. By accessing one centralized software platform in the cloud, customers can request and take advantage of new features and capabilities, which can be added and made available to all customers at the same time without any disruption, effort or new hardware requirements. Choosing a cloud-based VoIP telephone system is one way to future-proof your business and lay the foundation for a suite of the latest in collaboration and mobility solutions.
Cloud VoIP solutions allow you to protect your business’s voice just like your protect the integrity of your networks.
Mobility And Uniformity
As we become increasingly mobile and remote work becomes standard operating procedure, companies are looking for more efficient ways to keep their team united even when they are physically apart. Cloud based phone systems can make remote work seamless. People working from home, hotels, or even the beach can make, take and manage a call just like they were sitting at their desk.
The difficulty in integrating technology and telephony across many locations is another reason why cloud VoIP solutions are popular. They allow easier implementations and uniform deployments. Users have the same experience, and all your locations sound the same to callers. Four-digit dialing between offices and the ability to transfer calls from one location to another improve efficiency and customer service. In addition, locations can back each other up during peak call times or emergencies and resources in different time zones can be leveraged to meet client needs.
The difficulty in leveraging technology and telephony across many locations is another reason why cloud VoIP solutions are popular.
Disaster Recovery – Reliability, Resiliency, Redundancy
The cloud VoIP model provides an embedded continuity plan that’s built into your implementation. In fact there are two types of DR plans; loss of connectivity and inability to get into the office. While clients and prospects may assume that a bounced email is a technical glitch, they tend to regard a fast busy signal as a sign that a company has gone out of business. Cloud VoIP solutions allow you to protect your business’s voice just like your protect the integrity of your networks.
Onsite Phone Systems:
Onsite As A Strategic Choice
Your company has more options then ever when it comes to a new business phone system. When considering an on-premises communications platform, you should first review your current telephony situation. For example, are you connecting your phones to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) with a legacy, analog system like TDM? If you are, you'll find immediate cost savings by making a change to voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service delivery. From a delivery standpoint, you could consider a hosted cloud PBX solution if your IT resources are limited; or you can choose an on-premises solution and retain full operational management and control of your service.
Why Choose a Managed Onsite Phone System?
Do you have IT resources at hand? If they are accustomed to managing and maintaining an onsite communications system (whether TDM or IP), they may want to consider managing the service in-house. Some companies are required to control their own data for security or privacy reasons, so an onsite phone system is right for them. Other companies simply feel more comfortable knowing that they are in control of all maintenance, management, and upgrades.
However, even the most highly skilled IT team can be burdened with an IP on-premises platform that is characterized by duplicative, redundant and complicated tasks. Nothing is more frustrating, time-consuming and budget-busting than a bloated, hard-to-administer onsite phone system. And beware of systems that offer lots of bells and whistles, but make users jump through hoops to use them. Nothing is more discouraging than launching "the big phone project" and having it fall flat due to complicated, hard-to-master user interfaces (not to mention the cost of increased calls to your helpdesk).
Beware of systems that offer lots of bells and whistles, but make users jump through hoops to use them.
Capitalize Your Expenses
Some companies prefer to make long-range planning and investment part of their financial strategy. Institutions that prefer to capitalize major expenses, rather than incur recurring monthly operational expenses, are good candidates for an onsite business phone system. On-premises business phone systems can be an excellent investment—if you choose the right vendor.
Just because you prefer to invest does not mean you prefer to overspend. Choose your onsite vendor wisely, and consider every expense you will incur, from the upfront capital investment through the costs of deployment, maintenance and on-going system management. All onsite solutions are not the same. Many do not offer true scalability; instead major expansions require major forklift upgrades. Many do not offer streamlined, single-screen administration, with moves/adds/changes (MACs) made in seconds with button clicks; instead they require duplicative entry of account names, on each screen that enables a key function.
Time is money, and it can be very surprising to calculate the true cost of maintaining a number of the on-premises solutions available today. This total cost of ownership (TCO) is an important metric when researching onsite business communications options.
Total cost of ownership (TCO) is an important metric when researching onsite business communications options
Leverage Current Investments
Your company is a good candidate for an onsite business phone solution if you are already running your own data center. With the growth of virtualization, more and more businesses have eliminated redundant and expensive servers and instead rely on VMware and Hyper-V technologies to share hardware resources across an array of applications.
Deploying a virtualized communications platform on your industry-standard x86 servers makes good sense and increases your data center ROI. With ShoreTel, companies that have multiple locations across wide distances can even "mix and match" their onsite deployments, putting the virtual phone system at their headquarters while utilizing fail-safe, solid state ShoreTel voice switch appliances in field offices.
Your company is a good candidate for an onsite business phone solution if you are already running your own data center.
Companies with international locations will often rely on onsite phone systems in remote spots, even if they prefer that the majority of their employees be served by a cloud phone system provider. Global organizations want to trust their call handling, but in some locations, international public Internet may be less reliable. In these situations, an on-premises phone system makes sense, especially when the IP phone vendor offers a hybrid solution that allows the onsite and cloud deployments to work as a unified system with full 4-digit extension dialing, call transfer and employee directories.
Hybrid Phone Systems:
The Future Is Here—Hybrid Communications Platforms
The growing popularity of software as a service (SaaS) reflects the convenience, scalability, and security of cloud-based applications like email, business process apps, and storage. Virtual phone systems delivered completely via the cloud, like ShoreTel Connect CLOUD, are growing rapidly year-over-year as businesses recognize the time and money saved when application upgrades, maintenance, and end-user support are handled by the service provider, not by internal IT staff.
Why Choose a Hybrid Phone System?
Reduce Capital Expenses While Leveraging Current Investments
As a visionary provider of IP PBX phone systems and unified communications applications, ShoreTel sees the future of communications architecture as combining the best of two delivery methods: a hybrid cloud communications platform that delivers the resiliency, control and availability of an on-site “hardware-based” phone system with the immediacy, ease and flexibility of virtual PBX applications delivered from the cloud.
One hybrid deployment model currently available from ShoreTel boosts worker productivity by giving them immediate access to new applications-as-a-service delivered via the cloud. New applications streamline voice messaging by transcribing audio messages into text, and integrate faxing services into the digital communications workflow. By deploying these applications via the cloud, you can leverage your investment in a ShoreTel Connect ONSITE system by adding new phone system functionality with no additional phone system capital expense. There’s no hardware to install, no truck rolls for service implementation, and no upgrades to manage. And Hybrid solutions are available across your entire enterprise, no matter how many locations you serve.
One hybrid deployment model currently available from ShoreTel boosts worker productivity by giving them immediate access to new applications-as-a-service delivered via the cloud.
Staying Secure in the cloud
Hybrid communications solutions that serve applications from the cloud are new to many IT managers. ShoreTel understands the concerns many enterprises with in-house solutions may have about opening data up to the cloud. With ShoreTel Connect, potential security and privacy concerns can be addressed through superior system design and network operations. A key example: communications between premises and the ShoreTel cloud occur over an HTTPS connection and email.