Although VoIP can be considered the foundation of modern Unified Communications (UC) solutions, the idea of UC is far more encompassing. In fact, UC is about integrating real-time and non real-time communications to give users a consistent, integrated, unified user interface and experience across all employed devices.
Currently, two types of deployments are available to businesses – on premise and cloud-native. When it comes to flexibility and scalability, the UC-as-a-Service (UCaaS), cloud-based model offers significant advantages in terms of reduced cost and greater business agility.
But, before you rush to invest in a UC solution, it is important to remember that not all solutions are alike. Below is a list of the top features you should look for in a UCaaS solutions vendor to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money.
Importance of the As-A-Service Model
It’s a well-known fact that IT departments often face tight budgets and staff with limited expertise. As a result, implementing full scale on-premise UC solutions or migrating an on-premise deployment to the cloud is more complicated than just installing a traditional VoIP architecture.
For many businesses, this is a significant barrier to adopting the type of UC solution that would serve them best. In fact, according to a survey conducted by THINKstrategies, 43% of all cloud migrations fail.
The as-a-service approach to UC, including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), provides an excellent answer for making it easier and more cost-effective for enterprises to invest in UC solutions. For example, a vendor offering IaaS helps businesses adopt the UCaaS tools and features they need without worrying about concerns related to underlying infrastructure. This lets them concentrate their limited IT resources in other areas.
UCaaS Service Providers Revenue Above Infrastructure
For service providers looking to sell UC solutions to end-users, a vendor offering IaaS and UCaaS capabilities also empowers them to keep control over their profitability models. In fact, as we noted earlier on our blog, the IDC reports 80% of service provider revenues are above infrastructure.
Check to make sure your provider has the capability to offer services on an as-needed basis. Which will undoubtedly give you the business flexibility needed to scale as you wish.
The modern workforce is incredibly mobile. In fact, by 2020, 72% of the American workforce will be mobile. Harvard Business Review has also found that mobile workers are 13% more productive than their always at-desk counterparts. Think about it like this: work is a space, not a place.
The trend to mobility also ties into the Bring-Your-Own-Device trend. Digital natives entering the workforce are looking for communications tools that can work with the device of their choosing. Whether it is a VoIP desk phone or their smartphones/tablets.
As a result, enterprises and the service providers that serve them need UCaaS solutions that offer mobile applications to extend VoIP functionality beyond the landline or desktop. This is extremely important for end-users to enjoy a consistent experience across all devices. The bottom line is that if you want to appeal to the future needs of enterprises, finding a UCaaS vendor that has mobility features is key!
Mobile Application Features
- Voice-to-Text Voicemail Transcription
- Virtual Attendants
- Seamless Wi-Fi/Cellular Handoffs
- Ability to move calls across devices
- Shared Contacts
- Real-Time User Presence Indications
Your UCaaS Vendor Should Have Geo-Redundancy and High Availability
High availability is critical for IP-based communications. What is it, you might ask? It’s the ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere at any time. And without it, companies can face decreased productivity, lost revenue, customer dissatisfaction and weakened market positions.
To achieve high availability, users need to be able to place and receive calls during peak times, planned device maintenance, or unexpected failures. A UCaaS solutions provider that features a geographically redundant architecture can provide significant benefits in this regard.
Here, geographic redundancy ensures that call processing systems can handle the required number of users/devices. While remaining resilient and available during potential network or application outages.
Investment in Your Future
In an ideal scenario, multiple, geographically dispersed nodes will share call processing and other IP communication workloads. Resulting in seamless fail-over capabilities, which eliminates a need to plan for downtime in case of system maintenance. This also offers superior disaster recovery/business continuity capabilities. Simply put, it’s an investment in your future.
Here is the most important point of all. The next-generation features of modern UC platforms can provide significant benefits to businesses but only if they are affordable. However, many UCaaS providers have restrictive pricing models often based per-seats or features. Which constrains the ability of enterprises and service providers to scale and make money.
Under the traditional seats-based approach, enterprises and service providers must pay additional licensing fees for every new employee or customer they add to the platform. This creates ongoing, surmounting marginal costs that often prove to be a barrier to UC adoption and profitability.
In contrast, with a sessions or concurrent calls-based approach, enterprises and service providers can use each license for multiple end-users. This provides both types of customers with added financial agility, which is needed in today’s competitive marketplaces.
At netsapiens, we offer an award-winning UCaaS platform, SNAPsolution, that satisfies all these important features. Providing our enterprise users and service provider customers with a powerful way to grow revenue and tap new markets. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our contact form below!