Recent numbers show that nearly three-quarters of American businesses plan to use a hybrid work model for the foreseeable future. Whether operating in office, remotely, or in a combination, companies now need the ultimate flexibility in most operations, requiring multiple cloud platform solutions.
With so many choices, which features are essential when setting up a unified communications as a service platform? Discover the details that make the difference.
- A cloud communications platform keeps your business connected internally and facilitates conversations with the outside world.
- Cloud communication services can be in a private, public, or hybrid format.
- The top communications features for modern companies are user-friendly apps, analytics, security, a unified system, and integration with productivity tools.
What a Cloud Platform for Communications Does
A platform is a combination of hardware and software for operating services, applications, and other technologies. A cloud platform involves a remote operating system and server hardware in a data center. In a hosted or public cloud, businesses pay a subscription to access the services and can scale the features up and down as needed.
Cloud communications platforms permit unparalleled flexibility and are less expensive than operating a public branch exchange in house. A company only pays for the services it requires and does not have to spend on equipment and software licenses.
Types of Cloud Platforms
Cloud platforms come in three varieties:
- Private: A private cloud platform is an exclusive communications system that one company uses. The organization either hosts its system on site or pays for the exclusive use of a data center that another company hosts.
- Public: Most small to midsize businesses benefit from a public cloud platform like Intermedia’s. This platform is available to multiple customers over the internet for a subscription fee with scalable services.
- Hybrid: Hybrid cloud mixes these two cloud types. For companies with communication at the center of their operations and needing greater control, a hybrid setup that blends public and private can be ideal.
Think of it like this: You could purchase a farm to grow your food. If you have a large estate with lots of workers to handle cultivation, owning your farmland may not be a bad idea. That option is similar to in-house private platforms.
If you’re an average household, it’s usually better to make regular visits to a grocery store to buy what you need. Consider that like a public cloud. A hybrid cloud is like growing some things at home but still doing most of your shopping at the store.
Whether you require a private, public, or hybrid cloud, certain features are necessary for successful business operations. Consider five of them.
1. Mobile Apps
Your company needs to have a fully customized solution for your operations. A communications cloud platform should offer a variety of applications to let you handle interactions from mobile or desktop devices.
Remote and hybrid setups mean that employees need to be able to take calls on the go or from a home office with or without dedicated communications equipment. User-friendly apps keep conversations in one place and let your team transfer calls between devices with ease.
2. Advanced Analytics
It’s never been easier to utilize communications tools to boost your business, which means your competitors can also access those services. The winners will be whoever uses these tools the best and takes full advantage of their features to enhance their companies.
Analytics allow you to unlock the potential of your sales and support teams. Your cloud platform should provide visualizations that give insights into employee effectiveness and customer satisfaction. The data enables you to identify areas for improvement and locate ways to increase efficiency.
The one concern companies must address with any cloud platform is security. Your data and your customers’ data are precious, so you must take all practical steps to keep them out of the wrong hands.
The data centers holding your information must comply with local regulations and meet industry compliance standards. Additionally, you need encryption to safeguard information in transit and at rest.
Endpoint protection provides quick detection and response. Remote access gives you the ability to wipe a compromised machine. With solid security, you can rest easy knowing your data is safe.
You also should be sure that your system has regular backups. With a platform like Intermedia’s, you don’t have to worry about your data disappearing with no hope of recovery.
4. A Unified System
You have to juggle more communication channels than ever. Ensure that the appropriate interactions in your cloud platform are accessible to all parties who need them in one easy-to-use system.
Whether conversing with a business ally or a customer, in voice, video call, text, or email, you should be able to store whole conversations together. Search for a product with a system dashboard that puts everything together in a neat and easy setup.
5. Productivity Integration
Productivity tools abound and allow your team to stay organized. You may already use human resource management, customer relationship management, and enterprise resource planning software.
Your communications service must blend seamlessly with these tools. The data in these resources and the conversations surrounding that info should be within reach and well-organized. A smart cloud platform does just that.
If you have developers creating custom applications for you, then your communications system needs to have a way to integrate those tools as well. Find a communications cloud platform with a development portal that offers access to APIs to tailor-fit your communications suite.
Where To Go for Simple Cloud Platform Solutions
Intermedia helps you bring all of the necessary features into one UCaaS. If you’re ready to find out how easy setting up and using a unified communications cloud platform can be, contact us to discover a strategy that works for you.