Ask the Experts: Hybrid Hosted VoIP Solutions

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle talks about hybrid hosted VoIP solutions with Star2Star’s Senior Vice President and Technical Evangelist Jamaal Savwoir. Find out more about how to integrate communications with hybrid prem and cloud VoIP solutions from Jamaal and the Star2Star team here:

Andrew: All right, guys. We’ve just finished a topic on hosted VoIP. I’m really thrilled to have with us again one of our expert faculty members in Jamaal Savwoir. Jamaal is the Senior Vice President and Technology Evangelist. Did I get that right, Jamaal?
Jamaal: Senior Vice President and Technical Evangelist. It’s a pretty cool title.
Andrew: Technical Evangelist, love it. He’s going to spend a couple minutes evangelizing again about Star2Star and specifically about this technology of hosted VoIP. Jamaal, welcome. I wanted to ask you real quick about this concept of a hybrid solution when it comes to hosted VoIP; hybrid meaning it’s partially based on prem, partially based in the cloud. That’s really a model that describes Star2Star’s approach versus a pure-play hosted solution. Talk to us for a second about what are the benefits or advantages you believe of that kind of a configuration?
Jamaal: Thanks for the question, Andrew. We look at that hybrid model as really the best way to integrate a communication solution across the cloud and across multiple locations. If you think about why people go to the cloud—they’re looking to get advantages of business continuity disaster recovery and have a lot of horsepower, and intelligence and capabilities in a cloud-based solution. At Star2Star, we look at the hybrid model as taking a lot of that intelligence capability horsepower and putting a little piece of it very close to where the users are; and that’s at the location where they actually make phone calls, use video, use chat and that sort of thing. That’s why we install the Starbucks cloud connection manager, that little piece of the cloud close to the customers, to enable some real horsepower close to where the users are.
Andrew: Got it, got it. Is one of the core advantages of that in a situation where perhaps I lose my connectivity to the cloud, I still have some intelligence in a device that sits at my prem? I can still communicate and access critical features and so forth versus a pure-play cloud solution where if I lose connection with the cloud, it’s no longer functional.
Jamaal: That’s a very good example. In fact, if you look at those IP phones that are on most users’ desks as a cloud solution, it’s a very cool device but it has no real intelligence of its own. It really needs a brain. We look at that local connection manager as really the brain that can provide that intelligence even if the broadband connection is severed. That could be temporary. We can have it failover to a secondary broadband connection or even go all the way back to a TDM connection, so you can still make and receive phone calls, conduct basic services even if your broadband is out for hours or days.
Andrew: Got it. It sounds to me like Star2Star has two brains: the brain that is on prem and also the brain that’s in the cloud, because you also have a lot of really advanced cloud-based features that are inherent in a cloud design. Is that accurate?
Jamaal: That’s very accurate. In fact, we use a nice customer-facing web portal and a partner-facing web portal that allows you to configure communication solutions. You can set ring times, ring patterns, voicemail and things like that, but every time you save a configuration, it’s actually replicated locally and in the cloud. You get the best of both worlds. In a true disaster where you have some catastrophic failure and the equipment has to be replaced, everything you’ve done to configure that system to your business needs is already preserved because it’s in the cloud and it’s on the premise.
Andrew: Awesome, love it. Hey, Jaamal, great stuff. Thanks for going deep with us a little bit there on the difference between hosted and prem, perhaps a unique solution that our sales partners can win with. Guys, that Jamaal Savwoir. He’s Senior Vice President and Technical Evangelist for Star2Star. We’re big fans. Make sure you check them out, their learning center here at the university. We’ll look forward to more insights from Jamaal as we go. Jamaal, thanks for your time.
Jamaal: Thank you, Andrew. Have a great day.