Unified Communications (UC) is pretty much just what it sounds like: a technology solution that fully integrates the various modalities of communication that people use in business, including such features as voice, email, video, instant messaging & presence (IM&P), desktop sharing, and audio/web conferencing and collaboration.
Like other acronyms with “aaS” at the end, when delivered “as a service”, your organization is using a UC solution that is hosted in the cloud by a service provider. A UCaaS solution enables you to reach colleagues quickly by using the methods they prefer to get the instantaneous responses you need.
How to select a Unified Communications company
The most important thing to look for in a Unified Communications company is that they are able to help your organization develop an effective UC strategy that fits your business. By proactively determining the right UC strategy for your organization, you will ensure productivity enhancements and foster effective collaboration and communication. A good UC company will help you develop that strategy, starting with identifying the main method of communication used by the organization, then building the unified communications and collaboration solution around that communication cornerstone.
Many UC vendors will try to push an all-in-one solution toward you, whether it is a good fit for your environment or not, simply because that happens to be the one solution that the vendor sells. But it is likely that there are multiple UC features and applications that your employees are already using on their desktops today. If you are using Gmail and Google Apps already, you wouldn’t want to select a Microsoft UC solution, and vice versa. Working with a UC company that can help you unify those features you are already using for a cohesive UC solution is what is most important.
Types of Unified Communications Solutions
The first consideration here is the difference between a premise-based unified communications solution and a hosted unified communications (UCaaS) solution. With a premise-based solution, you house and maintain the application on your servers at your premises. With a UCaaS solution, your application is hosted by the service provider and delivered to you from their data center and sold to your organization through a per seat monthly subscription model.
There are several all-in-one UC product offerings on the market today, such as Microsoft Lync, Google Apps and Evolve IP’s UC-One. For detailed information on the features offered with the leading UC solutions, take a look at our UC Comparison Matrix here.
About Evolve IP’s Unified Communications as a Service
With a UC solution from Evolve IP, there’s no need to replace your current communications environment. Evolve IP easily integrates to your business where it already lives and works. With the Evolve IP UC solution, your associates will take advantage of easy-to-use applications in your preferred environment, whether that is Google, Microsoft, or Apple. For detailed information about Evolve IP’s UC solution, click here.