Private Cloud Vs Public Cloud
Private Cloud Vs Public Cloud
There is no doubt about it; cloud telephony is the future of business telephony. This statement is supported by cloud’s continual increase in market share, and our own customer base steadily and voluntarily moving to a cloud platform. But cloud telephony is not one-size-fits-all. You need to know which is the better fit for your business. If you are considering moving to a cloud telephone system, then you should be aware of the two different models; public cloud and private cloud. Neither can be said to be better, just more suitable.
Public cloud telephone systems can only be rented, normally on a price per user, per month. This reduces the initial investment required to gain access onto such a telephone system, and provides affordable, scalable telephony for start-ups. It is not just appropriate for start-ups though; OSV Cloud is a cloud installation of Unify’s OpenScape Voice, an enterprise-level telephone system that is now available on a price per user, per month model, starting at £8.95. Owning your own OpenScape Voice system would start in the region of £350,000, and you wouldn’t consider it with less than 500 users, so you can see how public cloud allows access to otherwise inaccessible technology.
Public cloud telephone systems are low maintenance as your rental costs typically include system upgrades. You can expect the upgrades to be carried out with consideration to the standard user, so out of hours, typically overnight. You won’t have a choice about the upgrades; you cannot opt-out.
System maintenance is included in the rental price, but that covers telephone system only. The vast majority of public cloud telephony resellers do not provide maintenance themselves, so your routers, network switches and handsets are without maintenance. All changes to the telephone system would be chargeable. Traditional telephone system maintenance includes all of this, so it can come as a surprise. If you need that former level of maintenance and support, you would need to find a public cloud reseller who can add that extra level of cover themselves with their own in-house engineers.
Features on public cloud telephone systems are usually similar to owning your own telephone system, but customisation is normally less accessible. Not all public cloud telephone systems allow you to have your own personal music on hold, some do not allow hunt groups (ring groups) or bespoke auto attendants. Customisation is standard in traditional telephone systems; many businesses want a telephone system that will bend to meet the needs of their business, not the other way around, so spend time defining your specifics if you are considering a public cloud telephone system. There are exceptions to this rule, such as OSV Cloud, which allows full customisation.
Be wary of the location of the public cloud telephone system. There is a whole article that could be written on the subject, but it can be summarised by recommending you only buy from a trusted reseller who has done the research for you. A public cloud telephone system should always be managed in a data centre with redundancy, QoS and SIP-exchange. Anything less and your telephone calls run the risk of quality degradation or frequent total failure. No one likes mis****g out on importa** ****mation and ****** ** repeat*** ****** over and over again. There are new public cloud systems appearing every week; those racing to the bottom on price will have bugs and poor customer service.
Anything held in private cloud is yours and only yours. You can still pay monthly, and prices are often comparable to that of a public cloud telephone system. The key difference is that you are not sharing the telephone system with anyone else. This is much more like traditional telephony, but with the benefits of cloud.
Depending on your package, system updates may not be included in the monthly price, though most providers now have software assurance options. The key point is that you can choose when your system is updated. It can be planned, managed, and rolled back if necessary.
Private cloud maintenance is more akin to traditional maintenance; a comprehensive service that covers system, handsets, changes and advice. Maintenance should still be customisable to your specific needs, but begins as a more comprehensive service out of the box.
Delivery times on private cloud telephone systems tend to be slightly longer as the telephone system is not already active in use by others. That said, most cloud telephone system lead times are dictated by the lead time to transfer existing telephone numbers into the cloud. Provisioning the system itself can be done in a matter of days private or public.
You may be surprised to learn that, in our experience, Microsoft’s Skype for Business is actually more commonly installed as a private cloud telephone system. This variant allows greater functionality and customisation, but the reasons tend to be more for peace of mind on security and control. Our news article here will explain more.