Transform communication landscape with Cloud Syndrome

By Soum Paul, Head- Special Projects, Knowlarity Communications

Cloud-based solutions have been around for a few years now, and it has taken a while for the Cloud-syndrome to spread its influence into different domains. This is not to say that the technology has had limitations to begin with; it has only required a major paradigm shift in adoption. Beginning with storage, Cloud-based solutions have become the ubiquitous method for many hosted solutions like email, grid computing and is making waves in telephony. It has its fair share of challenges which are being scaled with every new domain that Cloud-based solutions percolate into. Cloud-based communications, primarily telephony solutions have additional barriers specific to the domain, which are slowly being thinned out and a future where Cloud telephony can be the de-facto standard is not far from a plausible future.

Challenges for widespread adoption of Cloud
Every state-of-the-art technology, before widespread adoption draws flak due to many different challenges. These challenges are surmountable, of course, but can initially act as deterrents.

• Security: One common case against Cloud-based solutions is the possible compromise of security. Almost all major Cloud-based storage providers have at some point been faced with the threat of breached security, and this naturally runs shivers down prospective customers, intending to deploy Cloud-based solutions. While no solution can be 100% fool-proof, security is one of the foremost features that is focused on by serious Cloud service providers. 

• Reluctance in adoption: There is inertia in the market which delays adoption of newer solutions. Cloud telephony solutions have been victims to this inertia for a prolonged duration of time. This reluctance emanates from the very different business models that are ushered with Cloud solutions, which makes it harder for companies to embrace state-of-the-art, while giving up many established legacy solutions. In telephony, this is all the more pronounced, as the companies cannot easily let go off legacy solutions which would have required heavy infrastructure investment. 

• The Internet itself: Another reason that has slowed down adoption of Cloud telephony solutions is the lack of reliable Internet mobility. One of the important features of Cloud is the mobility it provides. In many countries, the Internet infrastructure is not at par with other regions of the world, where mobility is never a concern. As this limits some of the quintessential Cloud telephony features, it is a challenge that must be overcome.

Opportunities derived from Cloud-based solutions
Even with the challenges described above, Cloud-based solutions have immense potential in transforming the landscape of communications. They offer many unexplored possibilities that can be enriching for both the customers and the service providers. 

• The inevitable upgrade: Cloud communications have all the traits that easily surpass legacy telephony. It presents a lucrative opportunity, not merely as a replacement to legacy telephony, but as the inevitable upgrade. The features and competitiveness brought in by Cloud communications is unbeatable by legacy networks, and this presents an omissible opportunity for the growth and adoption of Cloud telephony.

• SMB's: Another important sector where Cloud telephony is a winner is with the small and medium businesses. Due to the negligible infrastructure investment involved, Cloud telephony is the best choice for SMB's.
• Big Data results: Harvesting big data from customer data, for analysis that can improve customers' operations is a feature that comes built in with Cloud telephony. This presents new product and business opportunities for the Cloud solution provider, while immensely adding value to customers' needs.

• Support: Hosted solutions remove the hassle of infrastructure at the customer premises. This implies better support to the hosted services, which can be handled remotely. In legacy networks, support can be a menace for both the customers and service providers. By removing the network infrastructure from the customer location, this hassle is entirely overcome.

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