Unified Communications (UC) has helped enterprises enhance communications, improve collaboration, and increase productivity. It is not all sunshine and flowers, though, as most IT departments responsible for UC will tell you.
One of the primary issues surrounding UC is the cost, including the initial investment in equipment as well as the additional support staff, training, and ongoing system management. Another common concern for IT is the whether or not the UC systems will integrate smoothly and easily with existing infrastructure. And, after all the investment of time and money, a UC installation is only effective if employees embrace the technology.
There is a way for IT departments to reduce the obstacles of implementing UC while still delivering the benefits: Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). Moving UC to the cloud is a game changer for both the IT department and the organization.
Reduce total cost of ownership
Unlike on premises systems which require the purchase of dedicated equipment for every user, UCaaS does not require investment in computers, routers, servers, switches, etc., or require software upgrades. Providers offer different monthly service pricing depending on the needs of the organization. Moving to the cloud and a subscription approach also makes it easier to scale services, which is an added benefit for enterprises that experience mergers, have seasonal staffing fluctuations, or encounter other factors affecting headcount.
Moving to UCaaS can mean lower cost of deployment and implementation over time when compared to on-premises solutions. And because it’s in the cloud, you get new features and upgrades as they become available, and usually as part of the subscription price you already pay.
Make consolidation and integration easy
Rather than managing multiple vendors and budgets, UCaaS comes from a single provider. It easily integrates with existing systems and consolidates existing platforms to ease the burden on IT. Open architecture makes UCaaS even more appealing, with open APIs allowing for interoperability and integration with existing software to make the jump to UCaaS as seamless as possible without inconveniencing end users or overwhelming IT in the process.
UC offers superior reliability by creating performance redundancies that protect against downtime. If one tool goes down, another is programmed to kick in. Combine this optimal redundancy with a top-notch data center and major cloud provider access and you’ve got a UC plan to keep business running in most any situation.
For some organizations, getting employees to use new systems and adopt different processes can be very difficult, no matter what the investment or the expected benefits. It often falls on the IT department to improve user adoption and help the company realize a return on their technology investments.
UCaaS has high adoption rates because it provides a very direct and desired benefit to employees: it enables them to work remotely while still remaining seamlessly connected to the office. UCaaS offers more flexibility and mobility through web portals and mobile apps that allow employees to work anytime, anywhere. UCaaS allows companies to better support their field workforce as well as provide some additional flexibility for onsite staff who might want or need to work from home or travel from time-to-time.
For IT departments that have struggled with UC over the years or for those that have avoided it altogether because of the obstacles, UCaaS is the answer to lower costs, easier implementation and a better user experience.