Comments to be attributed to Mark Russell, Director of Operations UK & Ireland at unified communications vendor, Swyx
25.07.2016 • Press release
1.What proportion of new telephone system sales are hosted/cloud based compared to on premise?
“It’s still early days for public cloud telephony that is sold on a pay as you go basis - for Swyx this represents around 20% of sales currently, so the lion-share is still on-premise. However, what is perhaps more significant is that our resellers are also offering hosted unified communications to organisations, on a capex model, so it is accessed via a private cloud, but the customer will ultimately own the solution at the end of the agreed term and the only additional on-going costs will be for software updates and support. At the moment the split between CPE (customer premises equipment) and cloud-based telephony is around 50/50.”
2.Are more SMEs opting for hosted?
“There is much more awareness of hosted technology generally and unified comms. More customers are asking for cloud and are comfortable with the on-demand, subscription model and indeed in many cases, especially start-ups, it suits their cash-flow requirements perfectly. Businesses are certainly seduced by the fact that there is no up-front investment and they are always on the latest version of the technology without having the responsibility of replacing or upgrading equipment.”
3. What are the benefits for SMEs in choosing a hosted/cloud option?
“The main business benefits for having your communications system hosted are of course lower costs in the short-term and also the ease of deploying and supporting new sites or users. For a growing business that has a lot of moves and changes, then cloud based UC is really easy and fast to roll out. If the organisation is using a private cloud then it is also relatively easy for them to integrate with their other back-office systems such as CRM or accounts which can boost overall performance and service. One of the potential drawbacks of cloud may be having to accept more basic functionality from some service providers, but with Swyx we offer identical features, whether in the cloud or on-premise. This gives the end-user the best of all worlds, as they may wish to operate a hybrid approach, so that Swyx enables them to mix hosted and on-premise together or move between the two, and there is no perceived difference to the user experience.”
4. Why might a business prefer to have an on premise solution?
“An on-premise solution is likely to be favoured by organisations that are concerned about security, location of their data or have sufficient IT resource in-house to manage a solution themselves. For instance, because Swyx is based on a fully Microsoft platform with an option to integrate with Active Directory and their domain, then it is possible for an IT team to offer first line support and manage their own system. Banks for instance will want to protect their data so will shy away from a public cloud solution in favour on-site, or hosted within their own data centre based in the UK. There are also arguments that if you have other on-premise technology then it may be easier to get different systems to talk to each other and undertake higher levels of customisation.”