When it’s time to upgrade to cloud communications, you may quickly find that unified communications as a service delivers the most feature-rich solutions and at a reduced cost compared to your legacy solution. But don’t assume that because any of the options on the market are superior to what you’re using that they will equally serve your business’s needs.
Unified communications as a service, often referred to in the industry as UCaaS, brings all of your communications formats into a single application, offering improved productivity and streamlined decision-making.
When you begin comparing solutions, you may have some questions about the various types of design available. It’s common for sales representatives to wave these concerns away, only for you to find out mid-implementation that your questions were relevant to your decision after all.
If you want to avoid unnecessary headaches, there are a few design elements you need to consider:
Security: Talk at length about the security characteristics of the solution and how they will mesh with your environment. For instance, you may run into a problem if you encrypt traffic but it’s not honored at the provider’s cloud site or if using virtual private networks (VPNs) results in double encryption. If you use single sign-on for your users, will it be compatible with the UCaaS solution? You also should find out what information is stored by the provider and where, including whether it meets your security policies and compliance regulations.
Directory: You need to think about how your users will be identified to the UCaaS solution, as well as to one another. Determine how you will integrate cloud communications with your existing directory, and don’t underestimate the importance or the complexity of this step.
Resilience: Your UCaaS provider should offer a level of availability that is proportional to the requirements of your business. While you won’t be able to impact the level of service availability or resilience of the provider, you should simply be aware of how different levels look in real life, such as the difference between 99.9% availability and 99.999% availability.
Connectivity: This area of design is critical for both media and data, so make sure you have evaluated the type of connectivity required and how you will access it. Data and media may not follow the same routes, so determine the answers to questions like, “Is connecting to the cloud via the internet an acceptable option?” In some situations, like remote workers, this may be fine, but you may want more dedicated pathways for some situations.
Ask the potential provider how they connect to public networks because you may find it necessary to retain carrier services to optimize control.At Safari Solutions, we understand how the design of a UCaaS can impact your entire business. Our holistic perspective allows us to help you leverage technology that helps you grow and scale your business. Contact us to gain the experience and expertise you need to choose the right solutions for your objectives.