Unified Communications Featured Article

Cloud-Based UC Solutions Offer a Host of Benefits with Proper Planning

May 13, 2016

Most organizations understand that legacy phone and communication systems are cumbersome, expensive and difficult to maintain and simply can’t compete with the rich features and flexibility of unified communications (UC) solutions. The benefits of UC are well known to companies of all sizes, and these organizations are also becoming savvy to the cloud and cloud-based offerings.

Despite this knowledge, roughly 55 percent of UK-based SMEs are still using outdated UC 1.0 systems, according to research from PricewaterhouseCoopers UK. Those same companies understand that cloud UC solutions offer productivity and efficiency improvements as well as savings on OPEX. Clearly, the time for cloud-based UC offerings has arrived.

A recent blog post from Fusion, a company specializing in cloud communications solutions, highlights some of the must-have features of any cloud UC offering. The company believes that UC services should not be one size fits all, and that today’s offerings are flexible enough to meet the demands and core business requirements of all types and sizes of organizations.

Messaging is obviously a major component of any UC offering, and integrated messaging over a variety of clients is an absolute must for any cloud-based offering. Secure peer-to-peer and group messaging capabilities offer a host of benefits, and users need not worry about switching channels or searching various clients for their messages with an integrated messaging platform.

Mobile support is also key in today’s cloud-based, services-driven technology climate. BYOD and the IoT have driven mobility and workers require access to all the on-premises features of their UC solutions, wherever and whenever they may be, no matter the device. Cross-platform UC applications enable access to voicemail, instant messaging, email and more from any mobile device and are an important requirement for any employee on the go.

Virtual meeting tools are another essential feature organizations should look for in their UC offerings. Just like mobility, it’s important for workers to be able to collaborate and create ad hoc meetings no matter where they are and using whatever device they have handy. By the same token, video is an increasingly important component of UC offerings and platforms and networks need to be able to support the demands of high-quality video conferencing and collaboration.

Additional features organizations should seek out in their UC offerings are solutions with built-in customer support services like hold music, call recording and analytics. A robust administration client is also a major benefit, enabling easy administration and management of comprehensive offerings. A cloud-based UC offering facilitates ease of use and management without requiring administration expertise or huge time investments.

The time for cloud-based UC solutions has clearly arrived, and their myriad benefits are proven and reliable. With some simple planning and information, organizations can choose the best UC offering to meet their business needs and objectives.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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