Not All UCaaS Providers Are the Same – Choose a Partner to Help You Grow

March 2, 2021

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Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) has emerged as the sine qua non of cloud-based technology during the pandemic. It boosts business resilience and enables remote teams to stay productive and connected. And, as a software as a service (SaaS) solution, even the best products are budget-friendly for businesses of all sizes. Here’s the catch – not all UCaaS providers are the same. To get the most out of your unified communications system, choose a partner that will do more than offer standard benefits. Find one that will help you grow.

Why UCaaS Is Must-Have Technology for the New Business Normal

According to research published by Fortune Business Insights in early 2020, the global UCaaS market is one of the fastest-growing in the world today. By 2026, the market is expected to reach USD 36.45 billion, with an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5 percent for the 2019 to 2016 forecast period.

Throughout the pandemic, the Frost & Sullivan white paper, UCaaS Adoption in the Age of COVID-19, points out, adoption accelerated because of an increased demand for remote collaboration once the pandemic hit. This factor played out against the backdrop of ongoing digital transformation, disruptive and innovative products being released, and a growing need to reduce IT complexity.

But that’s only part of the picture. The reality is, businesses were already adopting unified communications as a service, as well as other cloud-based Internet Protocol (IP) telephony services, because of the huge range of clear business benefits. Look at some of the top drivers cited by businesses in the Frost & Sullivan survey:

  • Increases uptime – 80 percent
  • Improves business continuity – 78 percent
  • Lowers costs – 77 percent
  • Supports business agility – 75 percent

With an increase in remote work, a larger focus on business resilience, and greater reliance on technology being hallmarks of the new business normal, cloud-based communications will continue to play a pivotal role in the digital transformations and cloud migration strategies. Your organization’s mission is to partner with the right UCaaS provider, so you’re positioned for growth.

What Defines a Good UCaaS Provider?

Unified communications brings together all of the communication and collaboration apps employees need to stay productive, no matter where they are located. Instead of paying for various services for your business phone system, file sharing, chat, video conferencing, and other tools, all of these services are accessible from one app and for one price. This easy access streamlines day-to-day work for users and simplifies business costs.

That’s the basics of UCaaS. Once you start comparing providers, however, you’ll see there are plenty of nuances that distinguish one from another. These details impact how effective your solution is and the quality of your experience for end users. They also dictate how good a fit the technology is with your business needs.

Let’s break down the factors worth considering when searching for the best UCaaS provider for your organization.

Ease of use

How long will it take before end users are up and running? Does your business have the ability to control access and make adjustments to your system without calling your provider every time you need to make a small change?

Look for a solution that’s easy to manage without sacrificing the quality of the services. End users should be able to download one app to their devices and log on with a single sign-on. Your IT team should be able to manage the solution from a user-friendly control panel, so you aren’t wasting time trying to tailor your solution every time you have to add a user or manage access. And when you do need help, it should be easy to access with free, 24/7 support.

Security and compliance

A 2020 study conducted by Keeper Security and the Ponemon Institute found that firms are seeing an uptick in cyberattacks that can be tied to remote work. This isn’t just a security issue; it also taxes IT departments – the study found that 56 percent are spending more time dealing with cyber attacks.

While there are many security best practices, your business can implement, such as employee training and email encryption, one of the critical first steps is to start with technology that’s designed to live up to evolving security threats – as well as changing compliance regulations. Make sure your UCaaS provider implements appropriate security steps to keep your private data safe. These should include robust physical and network security, continuous monitoring, two-factor authentication, and transport layer security (TLS).

High reliability

One of the drivers of adopting cloud-based communications is better uptime. Because the software is hosted on cloud servers, your end users won’t have to deal with poor performance resulting from the increasing amount of data stored on your own servers. Also, with UCaaS, your business can remain up and running, no matter what’s going on in the world – employees can stay connected from anywhere with an internet connection.

To maximize your uptime benefits, look for a provider that offers a 99.99 percent financially-backed uptime service level agreement (SLA) or better. Also, check that they automatically reroute calls in the event of a power outage.

Simple scaling and predictable costs

When your business grows, can your communications technology grow with you? If your business needs more features, an increase in storage space, or better security, is it available?

When choosing the right UCaaS provider, assess your current and future needs. Make sure the solution you decide on can live up to your expectations now and in the future while still providing excellent business value.

Learn how Intermedia Unite, Intermedia’s fully-integrated business communications solution, can position your business to thrive, no matter what the future brings.

Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia

March 2, 2021

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