Unified Communication-as-a-Service (UC) is the new standard for business communications – not just because it offers the ability to cut communication costs, but also because it enables new capabilities that integrate voice and other digital communication channels into a single platform. Using a single UC platform, users can switch seamlessly between features like text, video conferencing, meeting collaboration, and much more – boosting overall productivity while reducing the complexity and costs of conventional business communication systems like analog lines and PBX.
Creating a communication continuum
With UC, users have one interface to manage all of their communications activity, allowing all communications flow seamlessly from channel to channel as a continuum. For example, UC enables this common workplace scenario: Say a salesperson starts a chat conversation with a marketing person about a slide deck. From there, the file is shared in the chat window using a link. If those two decide a quick video call is needed to edit the file, they can invite other participants directly to a conference from the chat window – saving time and supporting a seamless conversation continuum from mode to mode. Or in another example: A customer service rep may need to pull out information from a CRM to research a customer’s service history, purchases, contact preferences, and warranty information. Then, with all this information pulled up quickly, the representative can reach out to the customer, based on their preferences, directly from the UC application. From the platform, the customer service agent can also record the conversation and a customer sentiment could be assigned to determine satisfaction.
In a world where agile communication is a must-have in pretty much every industry, it’s easy to see why unified communication is a future-proof solution. But, like most technology rollouts, you may be asking:
- What CapEx investment is needed to support UC?
- What about issues around technology implementation?
- What about maintaining the platform?
- What about scalability?
- What about user adoption?
For organizations that want the full value of UC without the deployment and management headaches, unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) is an ideal solution. A common UCaaS model is where a service provider hosts the UC solution in the cloud giving organizations access to premium UC features without the need to maintain the system on site. By offloading the complexities of deploying and managing an on-premise communications system, companies can enjoy advanced communication and collaboration features while minimizing the demand on internal resources and IT budgets. A cloud-based solution also eliminates upfront deployment risks by enabling companies to use functionality immediately while their existing communications system is still intact. Partners often run two systems in parallel to understand the impact of the deployment, before rolling out the UCaaS solution fully.
Let’s take a look at why UCaaS works and how it supports smarter and more efficient communication and collaboration.
- Supporting BYOD and mobility – SMBs today share many similar traits with their larger counterparts, and as a result, organizations big and small are dealing with the effects of a growing mobile workforce and BYOD movement. The good news is that more UC solutions are taking a “mobile-first” approach to UC that supports continuity of service for the user. UCaaS solutions that include mobile apps and support file and document sharing, web and video conferencing, and IM, help mobile workers and empower teams to be more collaborative and productive – where groups feel like they’re working side-by-side, no matter their location.
- Removing burdens on internal IT – Increasing demands placed on internal IT departments have pushed leaders to look to outside technology experts for help. With a UCaaS model, companies can expect reliable, secure, and robust communication and collaboration tools that are simple to deploy, manage, and scale, with the responsibility resting on the shoulders of the partner, not their IT department.
- Providing disaster recovery – Reliable communication is the lifeline for businesses today. That’s why a sometimes overlooked, but incredibly significant, benefit of UCaaS is disaster recovery or business continuity. Working with a UCaaS provider is a cost-effective way to build-in redundancy into a company’s communication infrastructure. Cloud-based UC gives all users access to communications tools whether they are in a physical company location, at a disaster recovery location, or working remotely.
UC as a service has the tremendous power to change the way people work – improving workflows and boosting productivity across big and small businesses alike. The right UC partner should bring clarity and peace of mind to your UC rollout with in-depth knowledge of all phases, from planning requirements to user training, which is key to instilling long-lasting user adoption. If you want help understanding your UC options, talk to CTG today! We’ve managed hundreds of successful UCaaS rollouts and can help you reap the full value of your UC implementation faster and without the stress!