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Top 15 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Work Anywhere Unified Communications and Collaboration Solution

May 19, 2020 / Foram Joshi

Users expect to communicate as they do with consumer applications – anywhere, anytime, on any device, with a single click. According to Gartner, by 2022, 70% of businesses will rely primarily on business collaboration tools to get work done. This number is likely to increase given the current health crisis and the increasing number of remote workers.

While there are many video-conferencing / collaboration solutions out there, there are very few providers that are able to deliver true collaboration solutions. A true collaboration solution not only delivers world-class collaboration features such as video conferencing, persistent chat, desktop sharing, file sharing, group editing, multi-party audio-video calling, remote/mobile/guest conferencing, etc. but also seamlessly integrates with a voice solution to deliver enterprise-grade PBX features, business continuity, and high-availability (99.999% uptime) all while maintaining the team’s end-user experience.

Like most businesses, if your enterprise is looking for an all-in-one, secure, scalable, voice-enabled collaboration solution, then here are the top 15 questions that you need to consider before choosing a true business collaboration platform:

Strategic Questions to Consider

1. What is your Collaboration Strategy (meeting, video, mobile)? Do you have single/multiple communications & collaboration solutions in place? Have you considered transitioning to a single collaboration solution such as voice-enabled Microsoft Teams or Cisco UC?

2. What is your Hiring / Recruiting Strategy? Are you hiring a more mobile/younger workforce?

3. Do you have a Work From Home (WFH) Strategy in place for your employees? What kind of applications do your employees access while they are mobile? How will they access applications, hosted on-premises, or collaborate when remote?

4. What is your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy? If your employees don’t have a work laptop to bring home, this is a great time to investigate an ‘any device’ strategy.

5. Do you have a Business Continuity Plan in place to carry out business as usual during a health crisis, natural disaster, or geopolitical issue?

6. Does your enterprise need to meet any Compliance requirements? Can you host your solutions in HIPAA/HITRUST, PCI, SOC compliant datacenters? Have you considered an Identity & Access Management / Single Sign-On solution to easily secure, access, and manage your applications?

Technical Questions to Consider

7. What groups, other than IT, may have deployed a solution? How will you integrate their solutions and projects with other teams?

8. What are the ‘must-have’ requirements for your collaboration solution?

9. What are the core needs and features that you absolutely must have from your phone system?

10.  Do you want your phone system integrated with your collaboration software?

11. What kind of phones do you have? Does the current collaboration solution support your existing handsets?

12. Will you want your call center integrated with your collaboration solution?

13. Are you a Microsoft business? Are you already using Office365? How do your associates leverage O365 today? Have you deployed Microsoft Teams or plan to adopt Microsoft Teams in the next 12 months?

14. Are you using Cisco Webex? How important are video meetings for your organization? Do you need your meetings recorded? Do you have Cisco-specific hardware?

15. Does your existing collaboration, phone system, and contact center solution support a long-term collaboration strategy? How secure and scalable is your current collaboration solution?

Once you’ve had the above-mentioned discussion internally with your team, Evolve IP can help you with the next steps. With remote working becoming the new normal and business continuity becoming a necessity, Evolve IP has been consulting, supporting, and transitioning an increased number of organizations to a ‘work anywhere’ platform.

Evolve IP combines the world’s most stable voice platform, Cisco, with the world’s leading collaboration solution, Microsoft Teams, to deliver advanced PBX features, contact center functionalities, and 24x7x365 U.S.-based support that enables businesses to work securely, from anywhere, on any device. This powerful combination enables us to deploy flexible, purpose-built business collaboration experiences that are designed to meet the unique needs of your business’ environment and dramatically improve your associates’ productivity.

About Evolve IP

Evolve IP enables people to Work Anywhere™, more productively and more securely. We design Purpose-Built® solutions, tailored just for your business, that unify workspaces, collaboration and communications, and contact centers. Integrating blue-chip technology partners like Microsoft, Cisco, Citrix and VMware, with our intellectual property, Evolve IP’s analyst-acclaimed solutions have been deployed globally to 500,000+ users and into the world’s most well-known brands. All Evolve IP associates are focused on driving successful client outcomes and that has resulted in our scoring at the top of verified analyst and client satisfaction rankings.

Categories: Business Collaboration Work Anywhere
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The Evolve IP Compliance CloudTM

Compliance is a way to do business … not an afterthought when clients need it.

At Evolve IP we have a dedicated compliance and security practice and work with two of the world’s top 3rd-party compliance auditors, Grant Thornton and Ernst & Young, to enable customers to extend their compliance to our fully audited cloud. This focus allows us to deliver the documentation and assurances that other’s simply cannot including HIPAA / HITRUST, PCI-DSS (all 12 sections), SOC 2/3 and more. The Compliance CloudTM includes true client isolation, encryption in transit and at rest, private VLANs, firewalls and dozens of other security measures.

 
 
What Our Clients Say
  • "Yesterday was, perhaps, my busiest day of client interaction either by phone or email since I have been a PM, and I don’t think any of my clients knew I was working from home unless I told them. I was also able to do trades behind the scene and interact with my team. So, for me, the technology has been working great. As an old guy, I am constantly dazzled by technology in general, but being able to do this stuff from home is amazing!"

    James C. Hunter, CFA, CFP, AIF, Senior Portfolio Manager, Principal

  • "Hey, IT people, As I’m working away in my home office, I just wanted to say thanks to you for all you’re doing, and have done in the past, to make it possible for us to run our company virtually. Not many of us JICers have jobs that everyone in the firm sees and could stop us from doing business. But you have this job, and do it well. Thank you for having the foresight and wisdom to get us in a position to succeed in a pandemic! You’re awesome."

    Michael D. Barnes, Esq., CTFA President, Principal

  • “That’s the type of proposition I like to bring to a Board of Directors. When I can say, ‘we can get everything new, be completely redundant, it can meet all of our needs and oh, by the way, we are going to save over $300,000 a year.’ It makes it easy for me to sell!”

    - Ken Schultz, CIO Ogletree Deakins

    Watch Testimonial

  • "The people that Evolve IP are more personable; you don't feel like there's necessarily a script when you're talking with them, they’re easy to understand, quick to get a hold of, and they follow through on what they say they're going to do."

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  • "Evolve IP has been a vendor partner that has grown with us, that has helped us, and that you know stands by us and stands by their word."

    Watch Testimonial

What the Experts Think

Our analyst-acclaimed solutions are built on a world-class, compliant architecture that leverages the blue-chip technologies organizations already know and trust.

Gartner

We deploy best-of-breed solutions including: Disaster Recovery, Contact Center, Unified Communications, DaaS, IaaS. Our services are analyst-acclaimed, vendor-validated, client recommended and award-winning.

HITRUST

Evolve IP is proud to have achieved the honor of being HITRUST CSF certified! Certification to the HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) affirms that all of Evolve IP’s cloud computing and cloud communications services adhere to the strictest security standards for electronic protected health information (PHI). The HITRUST security standard was developed by and for the healthcare industry as a means of going above and beyond the compliance requirements of HIPAA.

The HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) was developed to address the multitude of security, privacy and regulatory challenges facing healthcare organizations. The HITRUST CSF was developed by healthcare and IT professionals to provide an efficient and prescriptive framework for managing the security requirements inherent in HIPAA. HITRUST CSF rationalizes healthcare-relevant regulations and standards into a single overarching security framework. An important part of the “What is HITRUST” answer is understanding that the CSF is risk-based and compliance-based so that organizations can tailor the security control baselines and vendor management programs that they follow based on their specific organization type, size, systems, and regulatory requirements.

HIPPA

The Privacy regulations of the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require health care providers, organizations, and their business associates, develop and follow procedures that ensure the confidentiality and security of protected health information (PHI) when it is transferred, received, handled, or shared. This applies to all forms of PHI — paper, oral, and electronic, etc. Those who fail to adhere to HIPAA can suffer from huge fines climbing into the millions of dollars for major violations.

The Compliance Cloud™ fully enables covered entities and their business associates subject to HIPAA regulations to leverage a secure environment to process, maintain, and store protected health Information (PHI) featuring among other controls.

SSAW 16 Service Organization Control II (SOC 2)

Evolve IP has received an SSAE 16 SOC 2 Type II report on our internal controls relating to how we assess and address the potential risks associated with the security, availability, and confidentiality of not only the cloud-based services that we provide, but also our physical and logical infrastructure. Evolve IP utilizes the Certified Public Accounting firm of Grant Thornton to perform its annual audit and attestation in accordance with the Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16 and the associated Trust Services Principles, as published by the AICPA, to evaluate the effectiveness of Evolve IP’s service organizations controls.

Forbes

While Forbes regularly features coverage and recognition about Evolve IP, they've most recently recognized Evolve IP as being the "Best Cloud Computing Companies And CEOs To Work For In 2017".  They've ranked Evolve IP in the Top 3 just behind Google and Microsoft in the Cloud Infrastructure classification.  (Feb 2017). Forbes  also recently recognizes Evolve IP for bringing Singer Equipment Corporation, a mainstream business based in PA, into the cloud by means of unified communication. (Sept  2017). Last year, Forbes recognized Evolve IP's survey of 1,080 executives citing that the number one reason to go to the cloud is the same reason that it is avoided. (Mar 2016).

Unified Communications Product of the Year

TMC and Internet Telephony Magazine have named Evolve IP’s unified communications platform as a 2017 Unified Communications Product of the Year Award winner. This marks the 6th time Evolve IP has been honored with this prestigious award and follows a series of product innovations that have allowed the company to rapidly expand its international coverage.

Evolve IP’s business collaboration tools and IP phone system dramatically improve employee productivity in the office and on the road with a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platform that fully integrates voice, video, instant messaging & presence (IM&P), desktop sharing, audio/web conferencing and more. The company also provides a sophisticated Web-based management portal, OSSmosis®, that allows administrators to easily configure system functions and quickly modify users without the need to reach out to a third party for changes.

Inc.

Inc. magazine has recognized Evolve IP in the 34th annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive listing of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list will be unveiled in the September issue of Inc.

The story of this year's Inc. 5000 is the story of great leadership. In an incredibly competitive business landscape, it takes something extraordinary to take your company to the top," says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. "You have to remember that the average company on the Inc. 5000 grew nearly six-fold since 2012. Business owners don't achieve that kind of success by accident.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

Evolve IP has achieved Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance covering all 12 sections of the PCI DSS. The PCI data security standard is a comprehensive set of standards that require merchants and service providers that store, process, or transmit customer payment card data to adhere to strict information security controls and processes. It was created by the founding brands of the PCI Security Standards Council, which includes American Express, Discover Financial, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa Inc.

CSA STAR

Evolve IP is also a registered and participating member of the CSA Security, Trust & Assurance Registry (STAR). The CSA was formed to encourage transparency of security practices within cloud providers. It is a free, publicly accessible registry that documents the security controls provided by various cloud computing offerings, thereby helping users assess the security of cloud providers they currently use or are considering contracting with. CSA STAR is open to all cloud providers, and allows them to submit assessment reports that document compliance to CSA published best practices. The searchable registry will allow potential cloud customers to review the security practices of providers, accelerating their due diligence and leading to higher quality procurement experiences. CSA STAR represents a major leap forward in industry transparency, encouraging providers to make security capabilities a market differentiator.

Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500TM

Evolve IP has been ranked for the second consecutive year on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America – both public and private. Technology Fast 500 award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2012 to 2015. The list is a veritable Who’s Who of technology that has included tech companies like Google, VMware and Facebook.

Technology Fast 500 provides a ranking of the fastest growing technology, life sciences, and energy the companies – both public and private – in North America. Technology Fast 500 award winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth during the period from 2012 – 2016.

Red Herring

Red Herring has named Evolve IP as one of the Top 100 Companies in North America.  Red Herring’s Top 100 recognizes the leading and most promising private companies from around the world. Among the over 20 criteria used to analyze companies for the award, Evolve IP was noted for its financial performance, technological innovation, customer footprint, the DNA of its founders and addressable market.

Red Herring selects the award winners for North America from approximately 1,200 privately financed companies each year in the US and Canada. Since 1996, Red Herring has kept tabs on these organizations and its editors were among the first to recognize that companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Skype, Salesforce.com, YouTube, Palo Alto Networks and eBay would change the way we live and work.

Entrepreneur

Evolve IP has been recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” in Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur360™ Performance Index, a study involving a comprehensive analysis of private companies in America. Based on this study forged by Entrepreneur, Evolve IP is recognized as a company that exemplifies growth, not just in top and bottom line, but in sustainability and the ability to achieve lasting success.

According to Entrepreneur, after evaluating approximately 10,000 U.S. based firms, the team of editors and researchers behind the E360 Performance Index collected more than 250 pieces of data from the finalists, focusing on growth drivers and challenges, goal setting, resource allocations, and reward systems. The analysis uncovered a class of leading companies, including Evolve IP, whose continued success is largely based on superior value creation for their customers, building an adaptive learning culture, and aggressive geographic expansion—placing them amongst the most dynamic firms in America today.

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