Among the different communication platforms available, on-premises, private-hosted, and hybrid Unified Communications (UC) platforms have emerged as powerful solutions for education, hospitality, and retail organizations. These platforms offer unique advantages that cater to the specific needs and requirements of these industries. According to Metrigy’s Workplace Collaboration: 2023-24 global research study, approximately 32% of participating companies in these industries utilize on-premises UC platforms, while 24.7% opt for a private cloud solution.
The Landscape of On-Premises, Private Hosted, and Hybrid UC Platforms
These substantial adoption rates of on-premises and private-hosted UC platforms, coupled with the relatively low percentage of organizations planning to migrate to UCaaS, highlight the significant benefits that these models offer to education, hospitality, and retail industries.
4 Reasons Why Education, Hospitality, and Retail Choose On-Premises and Hybrid UC
One of the primary reasons why organizations across these industries prefer on-premises and private-hosted UC solutions is the inherent reliability they provide. In the retail sector, where numerous locations are involved, it is imperative for stores to function even during network outages. Each store must have the capability to place and receive calls, ensuring that essential systems like alarms remain operational. Similarly, the hospitality industry relies heavily on uninterrupted in-room communications to cater to guest needs and reservations. In educational institutions, especially those spread across multiple campuses, reliability is crucial to support various communication modalities, including emergency calling systems.
Cost savings serve as a significant motivator for nearly 46% of organizations, including those in retail and hospitality, to continue using on-premises or private-hosted UC deployment models. These models often prove to be more cost-effective and may have already undergone full depreciation. Additionally, organizations can leverage hybrid solutions to incorporate cloud-based features such as analytics and application integrations without completely overhauling their existing UC and contact center platforms. Moreover, these models allow organizations to maximize their investments in endpoints and infrastructure like gateways.
Security and Data Privacy
On-premises and private-hosted deployment models empower organizations to retain control over their data. Educational institutions frequently utilize UC platforms to manage sensitive student information, including grades and health records. Hospitality companies handle customer data related to location, travel history, and payment preferences. Retail organizations must adhere to Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance standards when processing payment information. By choosing on-premises and private-hosted solutions, organizations can ensure that sensitive data remains within their purview and is not shared with external service providers.
Education, hospitality, and retail organizations often require extensive and tailored integrations between their business applications and communication platforms. Our research indicates that integrating file management, project and task management, HR, CRM, and ERP applications into collaboration platforms is a common requirement across all three industries. Furthermore, specific industry examples include:
- Self-service portals allowing students to check their account balances and billing information via phone or messaging app bots.
- Integration of student management platforms with call centers to facilitate click-to-call support within learning management apps like Ellucian Banner or Blackboard.
- Guest management platforms enabling customers to access account information, order services, or reach a concierge through an in-room phone or integrated mobile app.
- Inventory and order management systems enabling customers to check product availability or order status via phone or receive text updates.
- In-store wireless communications platforms for employee collaboration and incoming customer calls.
- Marketing automation systems to send special offers and updates to customers via text messages.
Moreover, education, hospitality, and retail organizations can integrate security systems into calling and paging platforms, enabling automated notifications in emergency situations.
By leveraging on-premises and private-hosted solutions, education, hospitality, and retail organizations gain greater control over their communication environments compared to UCaaS alternatives. Additionally, these industries can utilize hybrid solutions to leverage cloud-based features and functionalities while preserving their investments in on-premises and private-hosted platforms.
On-premises, private-hosted, and hybrid UC platforms offer distinct advantages for education, hospitality, and retail organizations. The high adoption rates of on-premises and private-hosted solutions in these industries, coupled with the minimal planned transitions to UCaaS, underscore the benefits of these models. The reliability, cost savings, security, data privacy, and integration capabilities provided by on-premises and hybrid UC platforms make them well-suited for the unique requirements of education, hospitality, and retail. As organizations strive to enhance their communication infrastructure, these solutions continue to prove their value in supporting seamless and efficient operations.
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