As cloud computing services become more and more popular and available in the Internet world, a new service is now becoming essential for many businesses: Communications-as-a-Service (CaaS).
Much like Software-as-a-Service (SaaS (News - Alert)) used to acquire software resources through the cloud, CaaS allows businesses to request services involving communication without having to incur in large upfront capital costs. CaaS can in fact provide the technology to allow users to communicate via voice, text and rich media, and presents the power of an all-in-one software platform for Interactive Contact Center Services (ICCS).
Companies that look for a means of increasing their overall business productivity will find CaaS more practical over other hosted alternatives for on-demand delivery, as it delivers more functionality and a better ROI than most communications systems. It is a cost-effective solution that comes without the expense of buying onsite hardware or upgrading and maintaining expensive equipment. It does this while still allowing companies to have access to the latest and most advanced communication technologies.
CaaS offers IP-based communications and collaboration capabilities located within a third-party data center, a communications service provider (CSP (News - Alert)). CSPs offer CaaS as pay-per-minute or pay-per-subscription service to provide on-demand delivery of hosted communications, VoIP and Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC) for call routing or voicemail.
CaaS providers also offer voice delivery options using Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) connections.
There are currently three CaaS offerings: hosted VoIP, hosted TDM and local control/VoIP. Even though the first option is by far the most common choice for data communications, the second choice offers advanced communications abilities for businesses not ready to invest in VoIP. The last option offers exceptionally strong compliance and security requirements.
A hosted/CaaS-based contact center infrastructure, built around the on-demand concept, offers SMBs a single-integrated suite of applications and a one-stop shop of network services for delivery and control using voice over IP (VoIP) at a low operational expense.
There are possible disadvantages for CaaS that need to be evaluated by companies planning to take advantage of this new service; possible service disruptions, variable call quality, questionable security and not having total control of the data are possible concerns.
However, CaaS is already proving to be, for many companies, an added value in meeting business data communication needs and growth requirements.
CaaS is the right tool for any company that needs contact center automation and outbound data communication; it is right for companies as it offers the needed hardware and software solutions built around multiple vendor products to make it much easier to reduce the complexity, cost and time required to build a premises-based solution.
For more information on this outsourcing model, visit the CaaS FAQs.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO click here.
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Edited by Braden Becker