Cloud communications are Internet-based voice and data communications where telecommunications applications, switching and storage are hosted by a third-party outside of the organization using them, and they are accessed over the public Internet. Cloud services is a broad term, referring primarily to data-center-hosted services that are run and accessed over an Internet infrastructure. Until recently, these services have been data-centric, but with the evolution of VoIP (voice over Internet protocol), voice has become part of the cloud phenomenon.


Cloud communications providers deliver voice and data communications applications and services, hosting them on servers that the providers own and maintain, giving their customers access to the “cloud.” Because they only pay for services or applications they use, customers have a more cost-effective, reliable and secure communications environment, without the headaches associated with more conventional PBX system deployment.

There are three trends in enterprise communications pushing users to access the cloud and allowing them to do it from any device they choose, a development traditional IT communications infrastructure was not designed to handle.

  1. The first trend is increasingly distributed company operations in branches and home offices, making WANs cumbersome, inefficient and costly.
  2. Second, more communications devices need access to enterprise networks – iPhones, printers and VoIP handsets, for example.
  3. Third, data centers housing enterprise IT assets and applications are consolidating and are often being located and managed remotely.

The emergence of Cloud Computing makes this possible. Read about Cloud Computing from our earlier post http://www.flukkytom.com/?p=212.

NIST defines cloud computing as:

…a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models

Todays leverage in Cloud Communications have brought in New players building on existing IVR and New VoIP Technologies making Cloud Communication seamless via Integrations and APIs, some of these easy to use and flexible Cloud Solution Companies includes:

1. Twilio is a Cloud Communication with integrated voice and SMS services using a Pay as you go model. ts really easy with the REST API. Read more about Twilio at www.twilio.com

2. Tropo is a cloud based communication API developed by voxeo.com.

 

There are other companies out there using the IVR-Asterisks Solution and the VoIP solution vivox.com, fonality.com e.t.c but if you are a developer looking for a fast ROI and TCO, use twilio or tropo.

Welcome to the new Cloud Communications World.