1272 Bond Street, Naperville, IL 60563 630-505-7500

Does hybrid communications work best for your organization?

Communications today means so much more than dial tone—it spans a breadth of methods and tools including email, messaging, conferencing and more. Voice communications is merging with other forms of communications to create a converged environment that enables users to communicate how they want, when they want and with whatever device they want. Disparate communications and collaborations systems, however, can make the task of managing a streamlined communications environment difficult. Besides the fact that IT must maintain two separate systems, ensuring the systems work correctly and seamlessly can be a challenge. And adding users or features can be frustratingly complex. A hybrid communications system can simplify maintaining a full-featured communications and collaboration environment. With a hybrid system, you get the control and performance of an onsite system with the flexibility, scalability and features that come with a cloud-based service. Here are some benefits of a hybrid environment:

Leverage current infrastructure

A hybrid system uses your current onsite communications system, with new functionality delivered via the cloud. That means you maintain control while exploring the advantages of cloud and get the most out of your investment.


Adding new users or features doesn’t necessarily mean adding new hardware or software. With a hybrid system, you have the ability to expand your system via the cloud, giving all users in the environment the same high-quality reliability and user experience. Plus, scalability delivered via the cloud requires no capital expenses.

Opportunity to try the cloud

Intrigued by what the cloud can offer but not ready to take the step of moving to an all-cloud solution? No problem. ShoreTel Connect HYBRID gives you the opportunity to try the cloud yet maintain control, as with an on-premises system. In a hybrid environment, services delivered via the cloud can be added and removed quickly and easily, giving your company the ability to explore services to ensure a perfect fit. Add collaboration and productivity tools without adding to your capital expense budget—with a hybrid environment, you pay only for what you need and on a subscription basis, like any other cloud-based service.

Enable productivity anywhere

A hybrid solution gives your users access to the same functionality, whether their branch location is served by a cloud system or has equipment onsite. Provisioning new or additional services is done via the cloud and is as easy as granting permission to users.

A clear migration path

A hybrid system can help pave the way to an eventual all-cloud solution—particularly for companies whose workforce is increasingly mobile. And as more of your communications move to the cloud—and the maintenance of the system to a hosted environment—your IT department can shift its focus to activities that enhance your company’s bottom line. If you’re looking for ways to increase your communications system’s functionality in a way that’s cost-effective, scalable and flexible, consider a hybrid communications environment. Give your employees the technology they need to stay productive anywhere, anytime, while leveraging your current communications investment.

Companies today understand the many benefits of changing over to a Unified Communications (UC) solution, but many are unable to do so because of the one-size-fits-all approach. They need something that’s easy to manage and control but is also cost-efficient and robust. Many want the flexibility of a hosted system partnered with the reliability of a traditional on-site solution. For many companies, an outdated PBX simply doesn’t work for their organization anymore. For small to medium-sized businesses, the systems don’t provide the features or functionalities needed to communicate effectively. For large organizations, the problem is magnified as location restrictions and remote employees are forcing the shift to a single system that offers all the features and reliability they need. The solution to both of these problems is a hybrid phone system.

What Does Hybrid Actually Mean?

To define more clearly, a hybrid VoIP solution is an option that provides the ability for businesses to upgrade to VoIP technologies using an on-site phone system. This hybrid technology provides the ability to manage, monitor and adjust the phone system on-site, but also comes with the features and cost savings that a traditional PBX simply can’t offer.

SaaS vs. Cloud

Software as a Service (SaaS) is software distribution where the company applications are hosted by the vendor/service provider, and are provided to the customer over a specific network — usually the internet. When running SaaS applications, some might say they run within the cloud, which is correct, but it is not the cloud itself. So, what’s the difference? Well, the cloud provides resources for computing that is not dedicated to a defined location. It consists of virtual servers or computers, capacity for data storage, messaging and development environments. So, the primary difference is that SaaS offerings include fully-formed, end-user applications. The cloud is the rentable computing service and infrastructure.

ShoreTel, SaaS, and Hybrid Solutions

SaaS is changing how IT handles their phone systems. Virtual systems delivered completely through the cloud like ShoreTel Connect Cloud are helping businesses realize the amount of time, money, resources, maintenance and application upgrades that can be minimized when handled by the service provider instead of IT staffers. To learn more about a Hybrid Phone System that ATI recommends click here.