Collaboration Solutions: On-Premises or in the Cloud?

While many enterprises are looking to integrate collaboration solutions into their systems, a key area that isn't being addressed is what type of collaboration solution is best suited to fit a company's needs. As Knowledge Center contributors Roberto De La Mora and Eric Schoch explain here, CIOs and IT managers have to take into consideration the unique parameters of their organization before selecting a collaboration solution.

By: Roberto De La Mora, Eric Schoch


Henry Ford once said, "Any customer can have a car painted any colour he wants so long as it is black." Most unified communications (UC) vendors today are applying the same line of thinking that Henry Ford did back in the early days of the Model T. Except now, in terms of delivering UC, these vendors are thinking: "It doesn't matter what consumption model makes the most sense for the customer, their choices are limited to how we are able to deliver it."

When looking at a customer's current and future needs, a one-size-fits-all approach just does not work. The question is, what consumption model makes the most sense for the customer based on the way they do business? Is it on-premises, hosted or perhaps even a combination? A vendor's focus is to deliver a high-quality user experience, maintaining the look, feel and functionality regardless of how companies decide to deploy and consume UC solutions and the associated technologies.

Customers are increasingly looking for flexibility in how they consume and deploy UC and collaboration solutions-including the option to utilize hosted and "as a service" models. The growth opportunity for these models is tremendous. According to a recent report, non-premises consumption models for UC and collaboration have growth rates that are 1.5 to 2 times that of traditional customer premise equipment. What this means is that, by 2013, up to 30 percent of UC revenue will come from hosted UC deployments.