Five Hosted VoIP Features

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1 Five Hosted VoIP Features WHITEPAPER: HOSTAPHOBIA

2 combating hostaphobia : the it manager s GUide Hostaphobia is a common affliction that often strikes IT managers, the people directly responsible for maintaining the IT systems for small and midsized businesses. Hostaphobia is a term used to describe an intense resistance to or abject fear of using hosted and IT services. First, let s look at what triggers hostaphobia. Hosted services enable companies of all sizes to outsource their IT needs and spend less time worrying about technology and avoid maintaining physical servers in their offices. The hosting provider handles all technology details for a very affordable monthly or yearly subscription fee. These are good things so why do IT managers resist them? Symptoms of hostaphobia include: > > Fear of loss of control > > Fear of performance degradation > > Fear of job insecurity > > Fear of vendor overload > > Fear of increased expense Let s examine how we can manage each of these symptoms and possibly offer some relief to hostaphobia sufferers. IT administrators are the ultimate experts regarding their systems, and should retain control so they Page 2

3 symptom #1: Fear of loss of control can apply this expertise to ongoing systems management. Hosting companies retain control where it belongs: with IT administrators. A hosted solution offers the ability to add users, change settings, increase storage, delete an account, and so on every typical account maintenance activity. The difference is this: the IT administrator clicks a few buttons within a management console, and the hosting provider handles all of the complexities. One element of control that any IT administrator is likely to be happy to relinquish is being on call 24/7. With a hosted solution, 3:00 AM issues are handled by the hosting company s expert staff while the IT administrator stays nestled in a warm, cozy bed. The hosting company s team is also responsible for fixing issues that may arise during business hours, giving the IT person solid backup in the event of a crisis. symptom #2: Fear of performance degradation A few years ago, this was a valid fear. Immature infrastructures and expensive bandwidth routinely led to delays between office machines and hosting companies. Today s robust network infrastructures coupled with inexpensive bandwidth have eliminated this issue. In some cases, a hosted solution may actually offer faster speeds than what small businesses can provide internally. More than speed, hosted solutions offer the infrastructure of a Fortune 500 company at nowhere near the cost and include redundancy, security, scalability, and staff expertise. Hosting providers build their data centers to be redundant featuring clustered systems that make a high-impact outage virtually impossible. The security employed by hosting companies features state-of-the-art spam and perimeter protection, as well as advanced security features such as encrypted text in s on an as-needed basis. Page 3

4 Finally, hosting companies hire experts in the technologies they provide. is handled by Exchange experts, security is handled by security experts, and so on. Hosting companies even provide compliance expertise for electronic data storage and preservation. All of these features are within reach via hosting, at a fraction of the cost of building in-house infrastructure. symptom #3: Fear of job insecurity This is probably the strongest symptom of hostaphobia. While IT administrators usually comprehend the benefits hosted services would bring to their company, they have a hard time seeing how hosted services will benefit them personally and professionally. IT administrators see their value coming from being the person to whom other employees turn in order to keep their critical applications up and running. IT administrators are frequently referred to as heroes for their efforts. If IT gets outsourced, how can they continue to validate their reason for existence? The truth is: Once the day-to-day management and troubleshooting of and phones are off their plates, IT professionals are free to focus on core job functions that directly benefit their company whether development, support, or another technology focus without having to fret about , voice, or other services going down. IT administrators also don t have to worry about losing their hero status when and other technologies are outsourced; rather than being praised for fixing problems, they become revered for the stability of their systems. A hosted solution also enables a quicker rollout of new functionality demanded by end users. The IT administrator will be seen as a strategic member of the team, rather than just the person who fixes . Page 4

5 symptom #4: Fear of vendor overload By moving to a hosted model, IT administrators can now have one hand to shake (or, if the circumstance demands, one number to call). If there is a service issue, the IT administrator makes only one call to the hosting company. The hosting company tracks down all the players involved in the issue and works the problem until it is resolved. In addition, the hosting provider is responsible for evaluating and implementing the technologies that touch their service including firewalls, back-up applications, load balancing, etc., which takes a huge burden off the IT administrator s to-do list. symptom #5: Fear of increased expense There can be tremendous cost involved in owning and maintaining multiple servers and software applications including staff time, hardware, software, and training. These expenses can be eliminated via the hosting model, which still provides the following advantages: > > Immediate deployment > > Reduced total cost of ownership > > Cost-effective scaling as business requirements change > > Anytime, anywhere access to information > > World-class security and reliability > > Timely upgrades and patches > > 24/7 live customer support > > 100% financially backed uptime Service Level Agreement Page 5

6 The hosted model also makes a company s IT investment a predictable and stable line item within corporate budgets. the prescription is clear Understanding and experiencing the benefits of hosted solutions is the best cure for hostaphobia for the IT administrator and anyone else in an organization. next steps Whether your business is spread across the world or is in a single office, Hosted IT services from MegaPath can help you improve collaboration, secure data, reduce costs, and safeguard your business. Visit to learn more, or contact a MegaPath Business Consultant today at

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