Cloud Communications

Cloud Communications Feature

April 21, 2011

What is Cloud Communications?

By Carrie Schmelkin, TMCnet Web Editor

The cloud has significantly changed the way that businesses operate and cloud communications has offered companies a new way to build, deploy and scale enterprise communications.

Cloud communications is Internet-based computing whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand, similar to the electricity grid. Cloud communications encompasses several variations of service models including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS ), and includes deployment models like private, public, hybrid, and community clouds. The term means more than just VoIP, CaaS or Unified Communications (News - Alert).

There are many reasons that companies are turning to the cloud more so than before. One reason is because companies now have many branches and home offices, which has made WANs cost prohibitive. Moreover, data centers are now being consolidated and being located and managed remotely.

The benefits of cloud communications are both economical and operational, as enterprises can use the cloud to improve their communication capabilities, drive employee productivity, increase efficiencies and benefit from cost savings.

Companies everywhere have been turning to the cloud as they can reap economic benefits from cloud communications without having to sacrifice features. For example, companies such as Google (News - Alert) and other cloud-based providers have shown that one no longer needs a software-based platform as a cloud-based platform works just as well and at a much lower cost.

Cloud communications is also becoming an attractive option because the cloud can now become a platform for voice, data and video.

The rise of cloud communications has contributed to the acceleration of cloud storage, in which data is stored on multiple virtual servers, generally hosted by third parties, and cloud computing, the provisioning of computational resources on demand through a computer network.

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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