As companies increasingly search for innovative ways to enable dispersed groups and teams to communicate with one another, Unified Communications (UC), has stepped into the forefront. According to data recently gathered by the Synergy Research Group , the UCaaS market is seeing an annualized growth rate of about 29%, as significant adoption drives the sector forward. Retail-based services in the UCaaS space currently account for over 80% of the market overall, while the segment for smaller wholesale solutions continues to grow stronger at a level of around 45%.
The cloud has made the decision to deploy a UC platform an often-easier choice, but also one that comes with greater complexity when it comes to networking and security, among other factors. Here are three considerations when moving toward UCaaS.
- Quality of Service (QoS): A fully distributed, decentralized UC environment will connect all services over a wide-area network (WAN). To ensure that network infrastructure can handle this shift -and do so securely- internal stakeholders should conduct a thorough network health and readiness assessment focused on evaluating current network infrastructure (such as T1, SIP, MPLS, SDWAN), bandwidth capacity and future requirements and assess QoS enablement, design and eadiness across the entire network.
- Disaster Recovery: Enterprises should have a UC business continuity plan in the event the business loses connectivity for any reason—like a natural disaster, cable cut or a loss of power. They should have SLA with partners and communication plans with internal stakeholders establishing a clear escalation and site recovery plan should their communication and collaboration services become unavailable. Storing important documents and files in the cloud is becoming the new normal, so maintaining near perfect uptime requires thorough planning and is critical to keeping the business moving forward.
- Financial Model: For most businesses these days, simply building a data center is considered “bad spend”. Services with Cloud-based consumption models provides organizations with better cash flow management, allowing them to accelerate cloud migration and leveraging a cloud annuity model. By moving to a UCaaS model, businesses can free up critical resources, lower expenses and transition from on premises to public/private hosted or hybrid designs to manage their cloud transition.
Moving to a UCaaS model is a good time to reflect on critical business needs and the requirements to consider when making the switch; inflection points can help bring better understanding and clarity to your desired business outcomes. Advantage represents dozens of regional, national and global UCaaS service providers, and can help find the right fit for your specific organizational goals.