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Picking the Right Unified Communications Solution for Your Business: Part One

October 27, 2014 by

There's no better time for a business to embrace unified communications solutions. Actually, that's not entirely true - several years ago would probably have been a better time. After all, these tools offer major benefits to businesses of all kinds, from the largest enterprises to the smallest shops. With a UC system in place, an organization's employees can become more collaborative, more efficient, and happier. The sooner a company starts to take advantage of these possibilities, the better.

For those firms that have yet to embrace UC, though, one of the most important steps they must take is choosing a particular solution. While UC as a general concept is fairly straightforward and consistent, there is a tremendous amount of variety between the various services available.

In this guide, we'll take a look at some of the most important considerations for business decision-makers to keep in mind as they evaluate their available UC options.

1. The Business Case

The first and most important thing for business leaders to keep in mind as they debate UC solutions is the business case. Put simply, why should the business seek out a UC system?

Before selecting or even considering specific UC solutions, business leaders should have specific objectives in mind as to how the UC system will benefit the company. Far too frequently, organizations begin the search for UC with only vague notions of what they hope to achieve. They know UC is valuable and useful but haven't considered the exact needs of their organizations. Such an approach is almost certain to lead to suboptimal deployments. Ultimately, the technology should always serve the business need. Without considering what that need is initially, though, companies will instead look for potential uses after the UC solution is in place. The technology will still prove useful in this case - it just won't be ideal.

2. Cloud Considerations

Once that's established, business leaders need to consider whether to pursue cloud-based or legacy UC technology.

In the vast majority of cases, cloud telephony will be the better choice. With cloud-based UC tools, businesses can enjoy a range of benefits inherent to the cloud - better cost-savings, superior data access, greater reliability, more time to spend on bigger-picture projects, and more. Cloud telephony also offers the possibility of real-time analytics and insight into UC performance - an advantage that is simply not possible when relying on legacy solutions.

There are select situations when legacy UC may be the better choice. Perhaps the organization over-invested in certain on-premises tools recently, for example. But such situations are rare. In either case, though, business leaders should make their choice before continuing their UC search.

Stay tuned for part two on Wednesday!

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