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The 3 Most Important Factors When Choosing a Unified Communications System

April 16, 2015 by

As unified communications solutions continue to gain popularity across the country, business leaders from companies of all sizes can no longer afford to hesitate when it comes to adopting these resources. In order to remain competitive, organizations need to provide their workers with the tools they require to maximize their productivity and collaborative abilities, and that's exactly what UC has to offer.

But choosing the ideal UC solution can be a complex, intimidating process. There are many options available on the market, with more appearing all the time. Decision-makers need to know what to look for when evaluating potential service providers.

Here are three key factors to keep in mind when going through this process.

1. Needs

UC solutions offer a wide range of feature options. Some are relatively bare-bones, providing only the essentials: email, voice, video conferencing, and so on. Others will provide more robust functionality, such as find me/follow me, file sharing, and more.

While it may be tempting for a business to embrace the most comprehensive solution available, this will often result in the adoption of an unnecessarily complex - not to mention expensive - solution. At the same time, choosing the most affordable system available may mean that employees do not have access to features that would indeed prove useful.

Finding the right balance here demands that decision-makers evaluate their companies and their employees to figure out precisely what features are necessary, which are desirable, and which can be safely ignored. With that information assembled ahead of time, the UC selection process inevitably becomes much simpler and more successful.

2. Cost

Obviously, cost is always going to be a factor when a company embraces a new IT resource. Firms need to keep costs down while pursuing solutions that meet all of their current and future communication needs.

The cloud can play a big role here. Cloud-based business communication solutions allow businesses to enjoy enterprise-level UC capabilities without investing in expensive hardware and equipment, and without worrying about maintaining these on-premise systems. Instead, this responsibility falls to the service provider. More importantly, businesses only pay for the UC services they use, thereby maximizing cost efficiency.

3. Flexibility

Finally, businesses need to find UC solutions that offer significant flexibility. Specifically, there are two areas to focus on here. First, organizations need to ensure that their UC solution can accommodate new users quickly and easily with minimal costs, as this will prove imperative for encouraging company growth in the coming years.

Secondly, the solution should allow the company to add or remove specific functionality as needed. This will ensure cost-efficiency remains a priority while also allowing freeing the firm up to explore new tools as its situation evolves.

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