Cloud Services

The term cloud services is a broad category that encompasses the myriad of IT resources that are mostly delivered over the internet and are subscribed to under a monthly billing arrangement, as opposed to needing to pay upfront for software licenses and supporting server and network infrastructure.

Characteristics of cloud services include self-provisioning and elasticity; i.e. you as the customer can provision services on an on-demand basis and shut them down when no longer necessary.

How cloud services can benefit your business

The usage of cloud services has become closely associated with common cloud offerings, such as software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).  Other ‘as a service’ offerings have evolved from any number of the above and include unified communications as a service (UCaaS), contact centre as a service(CaaS), video as a service(VaaS) and anything as a service (xCaas)

Selecting the right type of cloud computing for your needs can help you strike the right balance of control and the avoidance of undifferentiated heavy lifting. A CTI Solutions consultant can help you with this.

Let’s take a side-by-side look at each offering compared to the traditional On Premises model.  UCaaS and CaaS share the same traits as SaaS.

SaaS is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the internet. Examples include G Suite -- formerly Google Apps -- Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce and NetSuite.

PaaS refers to the delivery of operating systems and associated services over the internet without downloads or installation. The approach lets customers create and deploy applications without having to invest in the underlying infrastructure. Examples include Amazon Web Services' Elastic Beanstalk, Microsoft Azure -- which refers to its PaaS offering as Cloud Services -- and Salesforce's App Cloud.

IaaS involves outsourcing the equipment used to support operations, including storage, hardware, servers and networking components, all of which are made accessible over a network. Players leading the Gartner Magic quadrant include AWS and Microsoft.  Microsoft have made the Gartner report available – Click here to view