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Talking up a storm – Part two


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Cloud-based voice services have been credited as driving unified communications (UC) forward, but is true in reality or does cloud telephony lack the silver lining? Here in the second of three blogs, Paul Storey, Head of Voice at Redcentric, considers what companies need to be aware of if cloud telephony is to deliver on its promises.

It’s frustrating that while businesses are implementing innovative technology such as SIP / VoIP, it’s typically being underpinned by a network that is almost an after-thought – dooming most VoIP or cloud telephony projects to failure. Providers of this type of service have no control over the third party ISP networks which they use but don’t own, and this means that they are unable to provide any SLA guarantees for their service. Of course there are providers out there that are building the solution properly but these lose out to those competing on price. The adage that ‘you get what you pay for’ is true. But all is not lost, you can provide a good cloud based telephony/UC service but it needs to be designed with resilience and performance in mind.

Using a dedicated broadband line into a MPLS network, which in turn is interconnected with the voice platform does provide end to end QoS for calls. This is how it should be built for smaller volume sites (up to a couple of concurrent calls) over broadband. It means that there is no contention with data traffic and no third party network introducing uncertainty. It also helps dealing with a provider that owns both the Voice/UC platform and the network as this ensures that they’re able to take end to end responsibility for the service.

It’s of no surprise that the big telcos are investing in their own cloud telephony platforms as they are able to see the impact this technology will have on traditional revenue streams. What’s more, mobile telcos are also looking to the data network, such as 4G, in a bid to capture a slice of revenue as people move their voice to 3G/4G via SIP. It’s certainly an interesting time to be involved in the market.

In the short term, cloud telephony is ready and of real benefit to organisations. We’re seeing consistent growth in the hosted and onsite UC deployments but the industry does have some evolving to do. Poor voice deployments impact all of us in the industry and puts back the adoption of what is a revolutionary technology.



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