What is Communication as a Service?
Communication as a Service (Caas) is a method of delivering communication services in a method akin to Software as a Service delivery, but with some special considerations relating specifically to communications applications and the integration with proprietary communications systems.
CaaS can include a range of communications services, including voice over IP (VoIP), instant messaging, message routing, call recording and video conferencing.
Who is CaaS for?
Many people are familiar with consumer CaaS solutions such as Skype, FaceTime and instant messaging tools such as Facebook Messenger. However, mainstream adoption of communications over the public internet has been relatively slow.
It’s worth noting here that VoIP isn’t necessarily a public-internet solution; it could just as easily be used over dedicated circuits or LAN/WAN. Business users have benefitted from the cost advantages of VoIP largely by deploying on-site IP-based PBX systems. These offer significant cost advantages by enabling the business to run the corporate telephony system on the same network as is used for data; thereby eliminating the need to install and operate separate networks for voice and data. However, these systems are expensive to purchase, configure and manage – putting them out of reach of most small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
By eliminating the need for businesses to purchase and maintain such expensive communications hardware, CaaS puts much greater options for communication management in the hands of SMBs.
What are the advantages of CaaS?
The continued convergence of communications has blurred the line between software applications and communications applications. CaaS offers the potential to manage multiple services – voice, video, data – over multiple devices – landline telephone, mobile or smartphone, PC – in a controlled environment.
It offers greatest potential for small businesses – enabling the utilisation of VoIP, VPNs, PBX and unified communications without the need for to invest in the upfront costs of the hardware or the need to employ the skilled professionals required to manage and maintain the systems.
Some argue “VoIP is an upgrade for your business… whether you need to open a new office on the other side of the country, adjust your business hours on the fly, or prioritise calls from your most important contacts, online telephony makes it possible to adjust how you work as you work.”
Are there any risks involved in CaaS?
The quality and the reliability of these solutions is of primary concern, given the mission critical nature of telephony and other communications services.
What do I need to do before implementing Communications as a Service?
It is important to ensure the administrative tools are in place to manage and monitor the system. Because communications applications are mission-critical applications, even greater effort must be made to ensure that the appropriate service level agreements (SLAs) and associated penalties in case of service breach are put in place both in terms of service uptime and security.
Check out our Cloud Builder page for additional tips about what to consider before moving software or services to the cloud.