Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Microsoft Communication In The Integra Cloud

There’s no doubt that business communication is getting more sophisticated. A multi-line telephone and a FAX machine might have sufficed years ago. Now, email is so last century. If you want to be on top of the productivity curve, you need have collaboration and unified communications in your tool set.

Sounds great, but how are you set up to support all the latest business communication services? Larger enterprises have dedicated staff to handle hardware, software, mobility, VPNs and everything else needed to support their electronic communication needs. Small and medium size companies aren’t so flush. If they can afford the cost of the servers and software packages, they may well need to depend on outside consultants to get everything working together and fight fires as they pop up. Otherwise, it’s get by as best you can. Seems like there ought to be a better way.

The cloud may well be that better way. The idea of cloud communications is that all the intricacies involved in multi-media electronic communication is hidden from the user. The provider takes care of the servers, the software, the maintenance, the integration, the setup and the troubleshooting. As a user, you do just that: You use the service. When you have trouble or need some extra feature, you call the service provider and they take care of it for you. Because they specialize in the cloud services they are offering, they have the resources to handle everything efficiently. Instead of investing and operating, you simply use and pay by the month for each user you have on-board.

A powerful combination of service and provider is Microsoft Communication Services and Integra Telecom. You are no doubt familiar with Microsoft software such as Outlook, Exchange, Lync and SharePoint. Are you aware that these services have been integrated with Microsoft Office Communications Server as a bundled cloud-based resource? Have a look at this video for a quick introduction:

Click to watch this video on the Microsoft site.

Have you been toying with the idea of Hosted Microsoft Exchange or Hosted Outlook because you really don’t want to run your own data center? Why not go with the whole package of Microsoft Communication Services and leap to the cutting edge in one fell swoop? By the time you factor in what it will cost you to do everything this suite of communication services does in a piecemeal fashion, you might as well go with the cloud service and a solid provider.

How do you find a good provider? Start with Integra Telecom. They are more than just a cloud service provider. They are actually a competitive telecommunications carrier that has expanded their domain to include cloud services as well as connectivity. With Integra you have one point of contact and all the expertise to ensure that the services work correctly, plus assurance that you are efficiently connected at all times.

Integra runs an 11 state fiber optic network with 1,900 fiber fed buildings and many more connected via Ethernet over Copper. They provide high bandwidth services to customers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah and Washington. They offer a complete range of telecom services that includes business phone lines and trunks, hosted PBX services, private networking including MPLS VPN and private line services, high speed Internet access, server colocation and cloud-based collaboration and messaging.

Have you reached the limits of what you can afford to purchase or support, yet need the productivity improvements that come with the latest unified communications services? You may find that cloud hosted solutions can give you far more for your dollar than doing it all yourself. Before you give up in frustration, get a quick quote for cloud communications services scaled to the size of your business. You may be able to afford a lot more than you think.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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