Which unified communications/video infrastructure solution model is best — on premise or cloud? Much like the famous Miller Lite ad campaign “Great Taste … Less Filling!” where the commercials portrayed a Miller Lite drinker shouting its great taste followed by another who vigorously disputed that it was less filling. There is a similar duality in the unified communications and video collaboration industry.

The debate in the video collaboration industry about the better video infrastructure solution delivery model — on premise or cloud — feels a bit like the old Miller Lite commercial. On one side stands the shouting fans of “on-premise”, the tried and true stalwart that offers the greatest control.  On the other side are the vocal supporters of the “Cloud”, which provides a different customer investment model that eliminates most of the upfront capital costs.

At Vyopta, we believe either solution delivery model can be successfully deployed to support enterprise use cases.  However, the best option for an enterprise may not be obvious at first glance. Lets examine three enterprise scenarios.

SCENARIO 1 – ON PREMISE ONLY

Enterprises who have already (1) invested in on-premise video collaboration technology and (2) configured its wide area network to best support calls with best quality, reliability and security can continue with on-premise only solution model or implement a hybrid on-premise and cloud model.  The latter may prove to be the best option in terms of economics to add infrastructure resources (e.g., bridge ports, virtual meeting rooms) on-demand and as needed from a cloud service provider to more effectively support specific use cases such as virtual meetings with non-company people and townhall meetings.  The enterprise can use analytics to determine and justify the optimal reference architecture to support the business use cases onward.

SCENARIO 2 – CLOUD  VIDEO COLLABORATION ONLY

Enterprises who have numerous geographically dispersed small offices and teleworkers may seriously consider a cloud-only option.  A cloud solution could be a much lower cost option. At first glance, you may think a few well-chosen pieces of infrastructure would suffice.  However, if most of the remote offices are small 2-5 person offices with no IT on-site.   Now, the situation is more complex to support with an on-premise since the setup and configuration is much more complex to support than to just offload the responsibility to a cloud service provider.

SCENARIO 3 – HYBRID ON PREMISE AND CLOUD

Enterprises who have geographically dispersed large offices may seriously consider a on-premise only or hybrid option.  An on-premise solution can be a much lower cost option since most of the video communication can be supported within its wide area network versus more expensive out-of-network options. However, a cloud service provider can be leveraged to support calls and conferences with non-company employees if needed.

CONCLUSION

While fans of on-premise argue it “tastes great” and supporters of the cloud model believe it is “less filling,” both sides make the case for the highly attractive characteristics and value of video collaboration, the best business communication modality to increase workforce productivity and customer engagement. At Vyopta, we have and will continue to offer analytics and engagement applications to enable enterprises to optimally implement and manage “on-premise”, “cloud” and “hybrid” models.  We believe the two solution delivery models will not replace or displace each other, but peacefully coexist – even within the same company – and are another sign of the dynamic, innovative and growing global video collaboration industry.

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