Cloud-based unified communications systems are rapidly growing in popularity. Businesses of all sizes now widely deploying unified communications as a service, as it allows organizations to take full advantage of UC functionality and the cloud's flexibility and cost efficiency.
But not all UCaaS solutions offer the same level of value or utility. On the contrary, each system is unique, and business decision-makers must be careful to choose the right system for their specific needs. To this end, leaders need to take into account a wide range of factors, as PC World contributor Paul Desmond recently highlighted.
Parts of a Whole
Desmond noted that UCaaS is no longer a rarity - hundreds of vendors provide these services to companies around the world. Naturally, this can make it difficult for business leaders to identify the ideal choice. Price is the most obvious differentiator, but the writer asserted that this should be seen as only one factor among many, and not necessarily the most important one.
For example, another key consideration, according to Desmond, is flexibility. While the cloud itself is inherently more flexible than on-premise solutions in terms of access and usage, any given cloud solution is not necessarily as customizable as companies may desire. That is why it is important for firms to look for UCaaS vendors that can and will modify their offerings to meet individual client requirements. This flexibility should account for specific features, integration with existing IT infrastructure, and more.
Another key factor to consider, Desmond argued, is reputation. After all, a UCaaS solution is only valuable if it lives up to its promise, and the best way to guarantee that this will be the case is by partnering with a vendor that has a reputation for meeting expectations and delivering high-quality service and support. In addition to looking at reviews and other widely available feedback regarding a UCaaS vendor's performance, business leaders should also ask potential service providers to offer references that can provide insight into their own experiences implementing and leveraging these solutions.
One final, critical factor to take into account is the cloud UC system's analytics capabilities. High-end analytics are essential for determining how the technology is actually being used by employees throughout the company. A UCaaS system that lacks analytics will likely lead to inefficiencies and missed opportunities, which undermines the value of the company's UC investment.