Crossing the bridge – Five cloud services that you should pay attention to

For the longest time, I did not think of Gmail as a cloud service. I saw it as a convenient web-based application, delivered at an affordable price – free! Cloud, of the Telco variety, was what I was used to. The one, depicted to connect WAN locations during customer presentations. Terms like Email as a Service (EaaS) or “cloud” had not been popularized yet. Gmail has since become the perfect example of “Software as a Service,” one of the three main building blocks of “as a Service” offerings available in the cloud market today. Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) being the other two.

Moving Services in the Cloud

Moving Services in the Cloud

Most applications currently consumed by companies through premise-based deployments are now available from the cloud. However, the appetite to avail of a cloud services vary from business to business and is often dependent on the type of service in question. While an overlay SaaS service may be perceived as a logical step forward, an IaaS service may be deemed disruptive to the existing environment. Irrespective of where you are in the evolution to the cloud, the five services shown below are available for businesses and are worth your attention. 

Web Conferencing as a Service: If you are still using premise-based systems for voice and web conferencing, a SaaS services such as Webex may be a good alternative to consider. As a service that can ride on top of existing telephony and collaboration applications, I would treat this as a no-brainer for your journey to the cloud.

Video Conferencing as a Service: Often referred to as Telepresence as a Service (TPaaS), video conferencing services from the cloud are delivered as a combination of IaaS (video bridges and firewall traversal hardware etc.) and SaaS (clients, configurations etc.) As video users move away from immersive endpoints in the boardroom to pervasive video on their desktops and handheld devices, TPaaS would be an option worth exploring.

Managed Wireless as a Service: The opportunity in this space is probably the least known, and explored. A cloud-based wireless network controller with an added layer of management and analytics may be the right solution for businesses like retail, and other Access Point-heavy environments. As your business deals with the spike in wireless traffic, BYOD and guest access requirements, a managed Wi-Fi service that offers centralized control of dispersed wireless endpoints will begin to look attractive.

Security as a Service: The proliferation of mobile devices – corporate and personal – combined with applications delivered over the web, bring a new level of complexity to business environments today. Access management, URL filtering, and malware defence are simple examples of security services available through cloud-based security services. Whether you deploy it as a standalone set of applications or as an overlay to your existing security infrastructure, will depend on your business and the level of control that you desire.

Collaboration as a Service: Unified Collaboration as a Service (UCaaS) can include all of the above services or be deployed purely as a next generation voice application that runs over the data network. Typical UCaaS solutions bundle key components like UC applications, server platform, security architecture, SIP trunks, and a Management system into a price-per-seat utility model. So if your voice system is nearing its end of life, it may be a good idea to explore a SaaS option like UCaaS.

So, how comfortable would you feel about transitioning to these cloud services?

Dax Nair - Profile PicAuthor: Dax Nair – Director, Marketing at Allstream Inc.

Dax is the Director of Marketing for Value Added Services at Allstream Inc., a leading Telecommunications Service Provider in Canada. Based in Toronto, Dax holds the responsibility for developing and launching value added products and services that are adjacent to the company’s core data and voice network offerings. Dax’s portfolio of products and services include voice and data convergence, cloud-based collaboration, visual communications, network security and contact centre. Dax’s expertise spans Product Management, Product Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Branding, Business Development, and Vendor Management. Very recently, Dax and team worked closely with Cisco to launch the first Service Provider-Hosted Unified Collaboration as a Service (UCaaS) in the Canadian market.

Dax is an avid racquet sports enthusiast, music lover, blogger and social media observer. Dax’s contact info is shown below:

Twitter: @daxnair, LinkedIn, Personal blog: Racquet Social, Work Blog: Allstream ExpertIP

About Cisco Canada Guest

Cisco Canada's guest blog series has been designed to provide insights and perspectives from our partners and customers on transformative technologies and practices that impact their organizations. With each new post we encourage our community to engage in conversation and discussion in the comments section below and share on their social networks. Opinions expressed here, and in any corresponding comments, are the personal opinions of the original authors, not of Cisco. La série des blogues des invités de Cisco Canada a été conçue pour faire connaître les connaissances et les points de vue de nos partenaires et clients à propos des technologies et des méthodes transformatrices qui font avancer leur entreprise. À chaque édition, nous invitons notre communauté à amorcer le dialogue et la discussion dans la section des commentaires au bas de la page du blogue et de partager l'information sur leurs réseaux sociaux. Les opinions qui y sont exprimées de même que les commentaires associés sont les opinions personnelles des auteurs d'origine et non celles de Cisco.
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One Response to Crossing the bridge – Five cloud services that you should pay attention to

  1. Pingback: This Cisco blog post provides a perfect cloud cheat sheet | expertIP

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