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How to upgrade from on-premise to cloud phone systems



Cloud Computing News

Global Call Forwarding’s Meryl D’Sa-Wilson explains the problems with legacy phone systems, and why you should upgrade.

Your phone system is a vital part of how your business communicates with customers and prospects. Without a reliable, high-quality service, you may encounter issues with audio quality, caller experience, connection rates, and more. So, it’s important to take a moment and evaluate your current phone system and consider if it’s time for an upgrade.

While all phone systems come with at least a few features and functionalities, traditional networks are limited in their capabilities. And this is mostly true for on-premise legacy phone systems. In any case, this is a major drawback for businesses that want to modernize their tech stack for improved efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and scalability.

In this article, we’ll discuss how businesses can upgrade from on-premise to cloud phone systems. Specifically, we’ll consider:

  • Problems with legacy phone systems,
  • Why you should upgrade,
  • What to consider before upgrading, and
  • How to switch from on-premise to cloud

Problems With Legacy Phone Systems and Why You Should Upgrade

As legacy tech becomes outdated, you’ll find a growing need to upgrade your business phone system. In fact, 92% of companies use services connected to or running in the cloud and 69% of companies have accelerated their cloud migration over the past 12 months (as of 2022).

But why are businesses choosing modern solutions such as cloud phone systems? Legacy phone systems are often associated with:

  • High upkeep and maintenance costs
  • Need for qualified engineers and technicians
  • Limited flexibility and scalability
  • Incompatibility with new, advanced features and integrations
  • More security vulnerabilities

On the contrary, cloud phone solutions provide more benefits:

  • Affordable and cost-effective
  • No need for extra equipment; simply connect to your IP network
  • Low maintenance and upkeep needs
  • No need for a qualified IT team
  • Advanced functionality and features; advanced routing, conferencing, etc
  • Unlimited scalability; upgrade and downgrade as needed
  • No long-term contracts or commitments
  • More security and reliability
  • Connect local and global teams

What to Consider Before Upgrading

As you can see, there are many reasons to take your legacy phone systems to the cloud. But what matters most is why your business should upgrade. In other words, what are the reasons your business needs a better phone system? Consider the following contributing factors:

*Note: You can also use this checklist to help plan out the migration process as you start upgrading your legacy phone systems


  • What is your current communication infrastructure and what are you trying to improve?
  • Are you trying to increase operational efficiency or simply switch to a better service provider?
  • How much of your existing infrastructure do you want to save?



  • What features are you looking for? This will help you determine what type of cloud phone service provider you should find.
  • Do you need advanced routing and forwarding features?
  • Will video and audio conferencing help fill gaps in the system?
  • Do you need communication tools to help you communicate with a global audience?
  • Or, will a bare-bones service be enough?


  • Do you want to switch everything over at once or only certain parts at a time? If so, which parts?
  • Which departments will be included in the shift?


  • How much can you spend on upgrading your phone system? Consider how much providers are offering as well.


  • How much does downtime cost your business?
  • What associated downtime can you expect? This is important to check when researching potential providers. Then, compare that with how much downtime you can afford.

How to Upgrade from On-Premise to Cloud Phone System

As you answer the above questions, you’ll better understand what exactly your business phone system needs. That will help you decide how to upgrade – particularly, you can determine:

  • What problems to solve and what features/services can help you solve those problems
  • How much your business can spend on this upgrade and which provider fits within your budget
  • And finally, how exactly you will switch over to the new system.

Each business’ migration and digital transformation process will look different based on its needs. But here’s a general overview of how to upgrade from an on-premise to a cloud phone system:

1. Audit Existing Infrastructure and Decide What New Services You Want

First, work with your internal IT team to run a comprehensive audit of equipment, software, devices, users, networks, workstations, and so on. This will help decide what is missing and what can be used for the migration to the cloud.

Then, determine what you need from your new service provider. This is the time to start looking for the best cloud-based phone system provider for your communication needs. You want to find a provider who can support your transition, work with your existing infrastructure, and fit within your budget.

2. Consider How You Want to Upgrade

Next, ask about and research the different ways you can upgrade.

In most cases, you simply subscribe to a cloud phone service provider. This could be a cloud phone number provider or a unified communications (UCaaS) provider. They will provide you with integration and login details. You log in to their dashboard or control panel and integrate the service with your existing infrastructure. This includes setting up SIP and call forwarding, configuring VoIP connectivity, etc. Your provider will give you the necessary instructions and steps.

Another way to switch to a cloud phone service is by upgrading your existing PBX. This is a bring your own carrier (BYOC) approach, where you add SIP trunks to your PBX to give it cloud communication functionality. In most cases, your PBX software will have an “add trunk” option where you enter your VoIP and SIP credentials. Additionally, your PBX provider will need to whitelist phone numbers associated with the SIP trunks from your new provider. This will enable connectivity between the two services.

As you prepare to upgrade, you must also consider how much of your business will upgrade. Will it be a complete replacement where all solutions, telephony, and agents are switched over simultaneously? Or, will you switch in parts – some users stay on the legacy system while others switch to the new system? Understanding how downtime will affect your business will help you decide the best way to migrate.

3. Find the Right Provider

This is something to keep in mind from the very beginning of planning an upgrade. Consider the different features, services, and transition methods cloud providers offer. Compare all that to their price and your budget. It is a good idea to choose a provider who doesn’t require long-term contracts, so you can change or scale your service as needed.

Make sure to review testimonials, reviews, and case studies to get a comprehensive picture of how different businesses use each provider’s service. This will give you a glimpse of what to expect if you sign up with them.

Modernizing Your Phone System

As you’ve seen, there are many reasons to upgrade and modernize your phone system. With advanced features, additional functionality, and improved quality, you can communicate with customers in a cost-effective and reliable manner.

While the migration process seems complicated, it’s actually pretty simple and only takes a few steps. It’s recommended to go over the process with your chosen provider so that everyone is on the same page. Start by researching cloud phone service providers, then reach out to their representatives or watch product demos. One step at a time; before you know it, you’ll have a brand-new phone system and improved efficiency!

Tags: on-premise, phone systems

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Next-gen chips, Amazon Q, and speedy S3




Cloud Computing News

AWS re:Invent, which has been taking place from November 27 and runs to December 1, has had its usual plethora of announcements: a total of 21 at time of print.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the huge potential impact of generative AI – ChatGPT officially turns one year old today – a lot of focus has been on the AI side for AWS’ announcements, including a major partnership inked with NVIDIA across infrastructure, software, and services.

Yet there has been plenty more announced at the Las Vegas jamboree besides. Here, CloudTech rounds up the best of the rest:

Next-generation chips

This was the other major AI-focused announcement at re:Invent: the launch of two new chips, AWS Graviton4 and AWS Trainium2, for training and running AI and machine learning (ML) models, among other customer workloads. Graviton4 shapes up against its predecessor with 30% better compute performance, 50% more cores and 75% more memory bandwidth, while Trainium2 delivers up to four times faster training than before and will be able to be deployed in EC2 UltraClusters of up to 100,000 chips.

The EC2 UltraClusters are designed to ‘deliver the highest performance, most energy efficient AI model training infrastructure in the cloud’, as AWS puts it. With it, customers will be able to train large language models in ‘a fraction of the time’, as well as double energy efficiency.

As ever, AWS offers customers who are already utilising these tools. Databricks, Epic and SAP are among the companies cited as using the new AWS-designed chips.

Zero-ETL integrations

AWS announced new Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for MySQL integrations with Amazon Redshift, AWS’ cloud data warehouse. The zero-ETL integrations – eliminating the need to build ETL (extract, transform, load) data pipelines – make it easier to connect and analyse transactional data across various relational and non-relational databases in Amazon Redshift.

A simple example of how zero-ETL functions can be seen is in a hypothetical company which stores transactional data – time of transaction, items bought, where the transaction occurred – in a relational database, but use another analytics tool to analyse data in a non-relational database. To connect it all up, companies would previously have to construct ETL data pipelines which are a time and money sink.

The latest integrations “build on AWS’s zero-ETL foundation… so customers can quickly and easily connect all of their data, no matter where it lives,” the company said.

Amazon S3 Express One Zone

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon S3 Express One Zone, a new storage class purpose-built for customers’ most frequently-accessed data. Data access speed is up to 10 times faster and request costs up to 50% lower than standard S3. Companies can also opt to collocate their Amazon S3 Express One Zone data in the same availability zone as their compute resources.  

Companies and partners who are using Amazon S3 Express One Zone include ChaosSearch, Cloudera, and Pinterest.

Amazon Q

A new product, and an interesting pivot, again with generative AI at its core. Amazon Q was announced as a ‘new type of generative AI-powered assistant’ which can be tailored to a customer’s business. “Customers can get fast, relevant answers to pressing questions, generate content, and take actions – all informed by a customer’s information repositories, code, and enterprise systems,” AWS added. The service also can assist companies building on AWS, as well as companies using AWS applications for business intelligence, contact centres, and supply chain management.

Customers cited as early adopters include Accenture, BMW and Wunderkind.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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HCLTech and Cisco create collaborative hybrid workplaces




Cloud Computing News

Digital comms specialist Cisco and global tech firm HCLTech have teamed up to launch Meeting-Rooms-as-a-Service (MRaaS).

Available on a subscription model, this solution modernises legacy meeting rooms and enables users to join meetings from any meeting solution provider using Webex devices.

The MRaaS solution helps enterprises simplify the design, implementation and maintenance of integrated meeting rooms, enabling seamless collaboration for their globally distributed hybrid workforces.

Rakshit Ghura, senior VP and Global head of digital workplace services, HCLTech, said: “MRaaS combines our consulting and managed services expertise with Cisco’s proficiency in Webex devices to change the way employees conceptualise, organise and interact in a collaborative environment for a modern hybrid work model.

“The common vision of our partnership is to elevate the collaboration experience at work and drive productivity through modern meeting rooms.”

Alexandra Zagury, VP of partner managed and as-a-Service Sales at Cisco, said: “Our partnership with HCLTech helps our clients transform their offices through cost-effective managed services that support the ongoing evolution of workspaces.

“As we reimagine the modern office, we are making it easier to support collaboration and productivity among workers, whether they are in the office or elsewhere.”

Cisco’s Webex collaboration devices harness the power of artificial intelligence to offer intuitive, seamless collaboration experiences, enabling meeting rooms with smart features such as meeting zones, intelligent people framing, optimised attendee audio and background noise removal, among others.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: Cisco, collaboration, HCLTech, Hybrid, meetings

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Canonical releases low-touch private cloud MicroCloud




Cloud Computing News

Canonical has announced the general availability of MicroCloud, a low-touch, open source cloud solution. MicroCloud is part of Canonical’s growing cloud infrastructure portfolio.

It is purpose-built for scalable clusters and edge deployments for all types of enterprises. It is designed with simplicity, security and automation in mind, minimising the time and effort to both deploy and maintain it. Conveniently, enterprise support for MicroCloud is offered as part of Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro subscription, with several support tiers available, and priced per node.

MicroClouds are optimised for repeatable and reliable remote deployments. A single command initiates the orchestration and clustering of various components with minimal involvement by the user, resulting in a fully functional cloud within minutes. This simplified deployment process significantly reduces the barrier to entry, putting a production-grade cloud at everyone’s fingertips.

Juan Manuel Ventura, head of architectures & technologies at Spindox, said: “Cloud computing is not only about technology, it’s the beating heart of any modern industrial transformation, driving agility and innovation. Our mission is to provide our customers with the most effective ways to innovate and bring value; having a complexity-free cloud infrastructure is one important piece of that puzzle. With MicroCloud, the focus shifts away from struggling with cloud operations to solving real business challenges” says

In addition to seamless deployment, MicroCloud prioritises security and ease of maintenance. All MicroCloud components are built with strict confinement for increased security, with over-the-air transactional updates that preserve data and roll back on errors automatically. Upgrades to newer versions are handled automatically and without downtime, with the mechanisms to hold or schedule them as needed.

With this approach, MicroCloud caters to both on-premise clouds but also edge deployments at remote locations, allowing organisations to use the same infrastructure primitives and services wherever they are needed. It is suitable for business-in-branch office locations or industrial use inside a factory, as well as distributed locations where the focus is on replicability and unattended operations.

Cedric Gegout, VP of product at Canonical, said: “As data becomes more distributed, the infrastructure has to follow. Cloud computing is now distributed, spanning across data centres, far and near edge computing appliances. MicroCloud is our answer to that.

“By packaging known infrastructure primitives in a portable and unattended way, we are delivering a simpler, more prescriptive cloud experience that makes zero-ops a reality for many Industries.“

MicroCloud’s lightweight architecture makes it usable on both commodity and high-end hardware, with several ways to further reduce its footprint depending on your workload needs. In addition to the standard Ubuntu Server or Desktop, MicroClouds can be run on Ubuntu Core – a lightweight OS optimised for the edge. With Ubuntu Core, MicroClouds are a perfect solution for far-edge locations with limited computing capabilities. Users can choose to run their workloads using Kubernetes or via system containers. System containers based on LXD behave similarly to traditional VMs but consume fewer resources while providing bare-metal performance.

Coupled with Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro + Support subscription, MicroCloud users can benefit from an enterprise-grade open source cloud solution that is fully supported and with better economics. An Ubuntu Pro subscription offers security maintenance for the broadest collection of open-source software available from a single vendor today. It covers over 30k packages with a consistent security maintenance commitment, and additional features such as kernel livepatch, systems management at scale, certified compliance and hardening profiles enabling easy adoption for enterprises. With per-node pricing and no hidden fees, customers can rest assured that their environment is secure and supported without the expensive price tag typically associated with cloud solutions.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: automation, Canonical, MicroCloud, private cloud

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