Industry News >Unified Communications >

4 Considerations When Choosing a Unified Communications Solution

October 19, 2015 by

Unified communications offers businesses myriad opportunities to save money, boost productivity, and provide flexibility. However, some solutions are better than others. On-premise and hosted UC differ in the benefits that they can supply companies, and cloud-based services may come out on top in many areas. When selecting UC, businesses should consider what they need to help run their company.

1. Cost

There's only so much money that can go toward a company's technology, which means it needs the simplest, most cost-effective network. Chief information officers and IT departments need to do their research on which platform will provide the best service for the most reasonable price. When a business uses several different programs for communication and collaboration, both initial expenses and maintenance costs are driven up, Forbes magazine explained. Separate systems mean various providers, who will all charge their own prices and cost companies more money than necessary.

UC, on the other hand, has any tool a business could need, all from one vendor, which will lower costs. Hosted UC as a service will help reduce those expenses even more. Cloud-based systems don't require on-premise equipment, which will not only take up less room in the office, but won't need constant replacement.

2. Flexibility

Companies don't want to pay for services that they aren't going to use, but with some standard communications programs, they may have to. With UC solutions, businesses no longer have to do this. Instead, they can create a customized platform that only has the tools they need. If a business isn't going to use video conferencing, it doesn't have to pay for it. ThinkingPhones' UCaaS allows companies to add and subtract solutions when they need to so they don't have to accrue extra costs as long as they keep the most basic ones, such as email and audio conferencing.

On-premise UC might not provide the flexibility businesses desire. According to No Jitter, vendors who deal strictly with on-site solutions are heading out and not making much of a profit on the way. Higher costs and a lack of adaptability push companies toward hosted UC. The cloud makes it easier for businesses to keep their systems updated.

3. Simplicity

A network that is too complex will leave people scratching their heads and IT running from desk to desk to fix any issues that arise. Workers will also need expansive tech knowledge with separate platforms. However, UC streamlines the process to ensure the system is easy to use. An on-premise network may be a bit more complicated, No Jitter explained. Equipment will need to be updated and replaced whenever a new version of the program comes along and troubleshooting may have to be done more often than not.

Hosted UCaaS eliminates those intricacies. The program will update automatically and vendors will send any larger versions through. Businesses won't have to worry about maintenance costs and deploying the system to everyone. It'll happen instantaneously with any cloud-connected device.

4. Mobility

Trends such as bring your own device and working from home require a network that will give employees the movement they need. On-premise platforms have little flexibility outside of the office. It can take months for it to be deployed throughout the company, never mind off-site, TechTarget claimed. Because there is no hardware, cloud-based UC gives workers the mobility they want. Software can be installed on any device, from smartphones to computers, and the cloud lets employees access files from anywhere.

On-premise and hosted UC both offer benefits over a disjointed system. However, a cloud-based service costs less and provides more flexibility than its hardware-centric counterpart.

Subscribe to Fuze's Newsletter