Companies today understand the many benefits of changing over to a Unified Communications (UC) solution, but many are unable to do so because of the one-size-fits-all approach. They need something that’s easy to manage and control but is also cost-efficient and robust. Many want the flexibility of a hosted system partnered with the reliability of a traditional on-site solution.

For many companies, an outdated PBX simply doesn’t work for their organization anymore. For small to medium-sized businesses, the systems don’t provide the features or functionalities needed to communicate effectively. For large organizations, the problem is magnified as location restrictions and remote employees are forcing the shift to a single system that offers all the features and reliability they need. The solution to both of these problems is a hybrid phone system.

What Does Hybrid Actually Mean?

To define more clearly, a hybrid VoIP solution allows both an onsite hardware component and cloud-based component to work together on the same system. A hybrid deployment lets onsite systems receive applications from the cloud in order to offer the most reliability and flexibility. Hybrid systems can also be used to add new cloud-based sites to an existing onsite communications network. With hybrid, companies get the best of both onsite and cloud.

SaaS vs. Cloud

Software as a Service (SaaS) is software distribution where the company applications are hosted by the vendor/service provider, and are provided to the customer over a specific network — usually the internet. When running SaaS applications, some might say they run within the cloud, which is correct, but it is not the cloud itself.

So, what’s the difference? Well, the cloud provides resources for computing that is not dedicated to a defined location. It consists of virtual servers or computers, capacity for data storage, messaging and development environments. So, the primary difference is that SaaS offerings include fully-formed, end-user applications. The cloud is the rentable computing service and infrastructure.

FIve 9’s is changing how IT handles their phone systems. Virtual systems delivered completely through the cloud like ShoreTel Connect CLOUD are helping businesses realize the amount of time, money, resources, maintenance and application upgrades that can be minimized when handled by the service provider instead of IT staffers.