UCaaS or Unified Communications-as-a-Service is a subject that’s often hard to define. If you ask ten different people what UCaaS means and what business results it delivers, you may get ten different answers. Whether you’re speaking to C-level executives, IT pros, operations staff, marketers or sales, everyone has their unique definition and set of ‘must haves’ regarding features and functions. This is because UCaaS is constantly evolving, with innovative features and solutions being added all the time. In today’s ‘there’s an app for everything world,’ generally, the shiny new UCaaS apps attract the most attention. However, corporate leaders looking to leverage UCaaS as a strategic advantage for the long haul should consider how the complete UC platform and service functions regarding integration, implementation, ease-of-use, and management. Before jumping in head first into the UCaaS pool, get smart and take a closer look at these tips and best practices for evaluating UCaaS options.
- UCaaS is the ‘sum of its parts’ – When looking into UC or UCaaS options, it’s important to look at how the solution performs as a whole. Some of the best-unified communication solutions are made up of several services, such as voice, video, and team collaboration applications, often from different vendors. That might include more complete platforms like Microsoft Teams or Cisco Spark, or a VoIP system that is also tightly connected to Slack, Google Hangouts, or other smart messaging and video calling applications like Google’s Allo and Duo. It’s critical there’s a supportive UC ecosystem in a place where UC applications are tightly integrated, and there are also options to integrate UC features with other enterprise apps such as Office 365, Salesforce, or Zendesk. The integration of UC solutions across the business, and from a centralized interface, will save employees time and improve the usefulness of the unified communication platform.
- UC requires a stable and scalable network architecture – Voice, video and collaboration solutions that support many-to-many interactions will continue to dominate the UCaaS space. This requires an IT team to ensure UC services are delivered on a reliable network architecture that enables simple and quick user access and supports an exceptional user experience. The IT infrastructure also needs to be highly dynamic and scalable to manage the demands of on-premise, cloud-based services, and mobile UC applications workers want to use on the go. That’s why many companies are embracing a cloud-based UCaaS model. A BroadSoft survey reported that the cloud UC market will continue to grow, ‘almost six times between 2015 and 2020.’ With complex network requirements, it is easy to see why they predict that by ‘2020 cloud-based UC will account for about 41 percent of the overall UC space.” Source: BroadSoft)
- Mobile-first UCaaS is critical- The most valuable UC tools today allow users to connect seamlessly from wherever they are working from, at any time, and from any device. It’s critical to find UC technologies and partners that support a mobile-first UC strategy and enable many-to-many collaboration. This empowers teams working across multiple offices, time zones, and countries to be more productive and in sync. Look for UC options that support mobile access and enable conferencing, instant messaging, video calling, and chat options from smartphones, tablets, or laptops, all from a centralized mobile UC interface. When unified communications solutions are delivered through a cloud-based model, they can be deployed quickly and managed centrally for greater efficiency.
- UC specialists know the landscape- Vendor-neutral UC specialized consultants focused in telecom, cloud-computing, and UC solutions can provide guidance in the UC selection process and in maintaining the platform on a day-to-day basis. The right UC partner will free up the enterprise by simply managing unified communication components to maximizing the benefits and improving productivity.
Remember UCaaS is all about supporting and improving employee communication and collaboration to get more done more quickly and to achieve the highest-quality result possible. If users have to spend too much time entering dual information, logging into multiple systems to chat, whiteboard, start a conference call or sync documents, that’s too much effort. Talk to Telapprise about smarter UCaaS options and learn how they can help select, implement, manage and optimize the right unified communications ecosystem, not just deploy the latest UC solution!