It seems everyone is offering “cloud” solutions these days. In fact, a recent Google search of “cloud solutions” revealed 85 million hits! If we dial that down further to a search for “Unified Communications as a Service” (UCaaS), we get only 14 million hits.
How do we choose? Are all UCaaS solutions equal? Where do they host? What types of compliance can I get? Is there a security risk? How well do they work? Do I run the service across a public or private network – or both?
These are all fair questions. Not all of these technologies or companies are the same. In fact, there are huge differences.
Clients look at UCaaS for many reasons, such as:
- Cost savings
- No lock-in or obsolescence
- Little or no capital expenditures
- Third-party management
- Ability to use the service anywhere
- Common connections to core cloud applications such as Salesforce and others
- Built-in business continuity
- Rapid deployment
- Contact center integration
Cost Savings and Convenience Rank High
Of all these reasons, we hear about cost savings most often. Early cloud adopters realized cost savings by using their cell phone to bypass networks, particularly outside the United States. Clients also leveraged technology that allowed customers with an Internet connection to have their phones ring anywhere in the world. As a result, faxes were delivered via PDF and phone calls were received via the virtual office IOS/Android/Softphone app anywhere a user was located. Global travelers saw significant savings in both time and money.
People also ask about emergency services in the cloud – or the ability to locate people in times of need is so important. Fortunately, there are cloud solutions for emergency responders. For instance, they can locate a user who is calling from an Internet-connected device to determine where to dispatch help.
Open APIs Are Key
When looking for a cloud solution for your company, make sure they have open application programming interfaces (APIs) – an integral part of the experience users need in a third party app to be able to get their jobs done.
Contact centers, call recordings, unified messaging – we can go on and on about all the various features available in the cloud and the service providers best suited to meet our clients’ needs. Front and center in your decision-making process should be this though: Make sure the cloud can provide the experience your users need to do their work!
UCaaS will continue to develop and grow as a widely adopted cloud technology. I suspect in a year or two we’ll see Google searches for UCaaS resulting in 20 million to 30 million hits. When wading through all of those results, be sure to ask about patents, R&D, agility and self-reliance.
I am just one of the many experts at CDW who can help you work through the numerous solutions out there. Feel free to contact me with any further questions or to discuss ways to approach figuring out a cloud provider for your UCaaS needs.
For more information on all things cloud, check out CDW’s Media Library filled with shareable infographics, white papers and data sheets.
As always, feel free to leave a comment below with any questions.
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