Cloud Choices

Posted by Doug Wade

August 18, 2015; 4:00 PM

The Cloud PBX market has matured rapidly, becoming the primary driver of growth in business voice solutions today and resulting in thousands of providers offering business phone systems in the cloud.  Most of these providers are offering new choices in service, deployment models, end-points, and various other collaboration applications to their customers. 

For an average business owner simply looking for a new business phone solution, the selection process can quickly become overwhelming.  Customers like this need additional guidance, not only about what to look for in a provider, but also to understand the sometimes subtle differences between one solution and the next.  While most solutions seem very similar in feature-set and functionalities, there are two distinct types of solutions to choose from:  a generic solution or a fully-engineered solution.

So what makes up the difference between a generic and fully engineer solution you ask, let me give you some key aspects of each.


A generic solution offers just that, very basic phone services and functionality.  A generic cloud approach is a great alternative to the traditional on-premise solution, offering a less expensive service for business communications.   These services promote the ease of use, simple to complex features, limited capex outlay, reduced TCO (total cost of ownership) and full hosted services to take the technical burden off IT


With all of these advantages listed it almost seems perfect, but there are some challenges that arise quickly and consistently across most all “Generic” cloud offering:


  • Multiple Vendors:   Many providers will leverage the technology from multiple vendors to create a single solution.  Your PBX is off one platform, applications are integrated and 3rd party phones and devices are added to complete the offering.
  • Integration and Management:  With different providers the integration and management of the system can be difficult and often require accessing multiple portals or URLs for support and information
  • Technical Support:  Multiple vendors create multiple support organizations.. When the device, software, and applications are all different companies, you might be required to make multiple calls to resolve your issues.

o   The example is similar to a recent call into my cellular provider and an ongoing device I purchase through them.  They insisted that I needed to call the manufacturer of the device since they don’t actual make it.  The typical response is “we only provide the service and your problem is with the actual device” we cannot help you.

  • Updates and Upgrades:  A challenge with multiple vendor solutions is there is no guarantee that future changes from one supplier will be compatible with devices or applications from third parties. This ultimately effects how new features or issues are fixed across the whole solution.


Engineered end-to-end

An Engineered cloud solution provides a seamless user experience from device to desktop.  An Engineered Cloud solution by simple definition, is purposefully designed and built so every component, device, application, connection, and even network have been designed to work together.  A solution that is purpose built not bolted together will deliver a more seamless experience. There are distinct benefits to having a solution that was built to work together end-to-end:

  • Integrated from the Core:  Integration is imbedded at the core, allowing for seamless interactions between devices and software. As an example, mobile and portal applications work as one, keeping in sync with every status change.
  • Single Point of Support.  End to end solution providers are the single point of support. One point of contact that understands all of the technology from end to end and can quickly troubleshoot issues to resolution – a single call resolution.
  • Simply Management and Administration:  The solution is managed from one site, one location, one URL. Users and administrators can access and manage every device and application from one spot.  Log into the portal, program the system, phones, including mobile devices as well as run performance reports.
  • Updates and Upgrades:  As updates and new features are introduced, they can be rolled out without the fear of wondering how a software update will impact the performance of the end device, or require firmware updates or more.


When it comes to the customer experience and interaction with your business, you want your communications to be seamless.  How customers contact you and are routed to the right person is critical in ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction. Don’t let your customer experience be fragmented because your business phone solution is not engineered to seamlessly work together from end to end.  Don’t be generic – be engineered for performance.


For more information on how ESI delivers and end to end business cloud solution click here: 

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Topics: Cloud Communication, mobility