Published on December 24th, 2022 | by Sunit Nandi0
6 Key Questions to Ask Before Investing In Unified Communications
The Service Provider’s business is built around the Unified Communications platform.
While there are several video-conferencing / collaboration solutions available, very few vendors can give true collaboration solutions. A true collaboration solution not only provides world-class collaboration features like video conferencing, desktop sharing, persistent chat, group editing, file sharing, remote/mobile/guest conferencing, multi-party audio-video calling, and so on. But it also seamlessly integrates with voice solutions to provide enterprise-grade PBX features, business continuity, and high availability (99.999% uptime), all while maintaining the team’s end-user experience.
When reviewing unified communications platform suppliers, it’s critical to ask the proper questions to ensure you’re getting what you pay for.
You can ensure that your platform allows you to compete profitably while also being reliable and adaptive to changing market conditions by answering the following questions.
How do you support the mobile workforce?
Clients prefer to stay in touch and participate in collaboration sessions even from faraway locations. As a result, it is critical to give customers an in-office experience regardless of where they are during the day. Instead of replicating desktop appearance and functionality, mobile clients should be created from the ground up to work natively on mobile devices.
When selecting a UC system, make sure to inquire about the mobile option. Pay great attention to the application’s appearance and feel. If you want end users to adopt and use the solution you chose, it must be similar to what they know and use on a regular basis.
What are the ‘must-have’ requirements for your collaboration solution?
You are not expected to be an expert on UCaaS product features as a customer. Always inquire about the features available with each product you are considering. You most likely have a basic list of criteria you would want to have, and the provider you choose should be able to deliver those features and discuss some that you may not be aware you require.
The goal is to have classic functions alongside newer, more advanced features like a contact center, mobility, and meetings. Make certain that the collaboration solution you invest in meets all of your company’s “must-have” requirements.
How can we, as a group of individuals, communicate more effectively?
A reliable UCaaS platform will recognize the significance of the user experience, which means that each feature will seamlessly interact with another to offer the best possible user experience. Users, for example, can connect via VoIP to discuss project details, easily swap files, and monitor the status of another employee.
The objective is to simplify communication by offering access to a platform that conveniently houses everything in one place. Look for a UCaaS provider whose solutions are designed to empower your organization with a package of premium services that are streamlined into a single, seamless experience that does not involve app switching.
What are some of the challenges and costs of transitioning to a complete UCaaS service?
Although reliance on legacy technology services will continue throughout the digitalization process, Gartner’s recent Magic Quadrant research predicts that 74% of new UC licenses will be cloud-based, up from 48% in 2019.
Transitioning to a UCaaS service appears to be quite simple: a corporation buys licenses depending on users and connects endpoints. However, a full cloud solution is not without its challenges, which include the following:
Increased bandwidth requirements
To secure adequate cloud bandwidth, you must reconsider your network architecture. Without it, network traffic between endpoints such as phones, video conferencing systems, and desktop and mobile devices might suffer in terms of quality and usefulness. UCaaS increases bandwidth needs and potential costs, whether via SD-WAN, MPLS, or Local Access services – and can be easily overlooked on billings.
While it is obvious that certain devices, such as a desktop and mobile phones, are required, necessary additions and upgrades, like cameras and wireless headsets, can be costly and add to overall service rates — a usage inventory that requires further monitoring.
Costs of existing technology services
Because the shift to UCaaS might consume your employees’ and IT staff’s time, the costs connected with existing technological services are sometimes disregarded. It is critical to be aware of existing contracts. This includes knowing when they expire, if they automatically renew, and whether there may be termination penalties if canceled early.
What kind of phone systems can be integrated with your collaboration software?
The unified communications ecosystem is continuously altering and evolving. Businesses rely on their numerous services to collaborate in order to complete their tasks. It is critical to establish whether a UCaaS provider would allow integrations with other critical business software that you use.
Most UCaaS providers employ platform-friendly connectors, but you should double-check that the integrations you require are available. And, if they don’t, are they willing to collaborate with you to facilitate that integration?
Today, integration is a key difference. Being able to perform more within the interface of a single app increases the productivity of your team and is a vital first step toward embracing the hybrid workforce.
What is the implementation process?
Configuring UCaaS necessitates a significant amount of programming and device plugging-in. Some providers let their clients do the heavy lifting, which is great for firms that have DIY ethics, a desire for more control and flexibility, and knowledge that self-installation will save them an extra installation charge.
Expect to pay more if you want something like a “white glove” implementation. If you use a managed service provider, the installation cost may be amortized over the term of the contract and incorporated into the monthly bill or monthly recurring cost (MRC).
Before purchasing UCaaS, you should assess your implementation capabilities and decide whether you want to manage it in-house or outsource it.
Invest In Right Unified Communications Solutions
The hybrid workplace is propelled forward by unified communications. Because the way we work has permanently changed, every organization requires a UCaaS solution to stay connected and collaborative.
From fundamental functionality to platform security, you now know which questions to ask a potential UCaaS supplier. Understanding a UCaaS provider’s capabilities, redundancy, and tools can help you determine whether they meet your requirements.
UCaaS projects can be quite sophisticated and specific to each company. This question list only scratches the surface of what you should be asking before selecting a provider, but we hope it gets you started.
Have more questions about UCaaS? Get more details here, or contact the Vonage team now to find out what choices are available to you.