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 UC “as a service”, your organization is using a solution that is hosted in the cloud by a service provider. Unified Communications as a Service 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 as a service strategy that fits your business.
By proactively determining the right UC strategy for your organization, you will ensure productivity enhancements and deliver effective collaboration and communication. A good Unified Communications as a Service provider will help you identify the main methods of communication used by the organization, then tailor a unified communications and collaboration solution around those applications.
For example, it is likely that there are multiple UC features and applications already in use in your organization. From Teams to WebEx to Zoom to FaceTime, your employees are already using various solutions.
Generally speaking, if you’ve already invested in a productivity platform you’ll be best served integrating that company’s unified communications as a service and collaboration tools. So, if you’re A Micorosoft shop – looking at Teams with direct routing makes sense. On the other hand, if your users spend their days in Gmail and other Google Apps, you likely wouldn’t want to select a Microsoft Unified Communications solution.
Work with a true partner that can provide you with platform options and integrations that will unify the features your business is already using. When you do, you’ll deliver a cohesive unified communications as a service solution that will make hybrid, remote, and in-office workers more productive while delivering security and business continuity.
One note of caution, some Unified Communications as a Service vendors will try to push companies into an all-in-one solution, regardless of your best interest and whether or not it is a good fit for your environment. Work with a partner that listens to your needs first before proposing a solution.
Types of Unified Communications Solutions
The first consideration here is the difference between a premise-based unified communications solution and a hosted Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution. With a premise-based solution, you house and maintain the application on your servers at your premises. With a Unified Communications as a Service (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 UC product offerings on the market today, such as Microsoft Direct Routing, Google Apps, and Cisco WebEx / UCOne. 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 Unified Communications as a Service solution from Evolve IP, there’s no need to replace your current communications environment. Evolve IP easily integrates with your users applications’ making it easy for them to adopt and be more productive. With the Evolve IP UC solution, 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.