As the pandemic expanded across the globe, enterprises were forced to scramble to equip employees and customers with the communications tools necessary for business continuity. Many turned to unified communications as a service (UCaaS) as a quick upgrade to meet the needs of end users.
While those end users tend to see the wealth of communications options – including chat, email, messaging, video conferencing, and voice – these functions, it turns out, represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to UCaaS. IT teams see the whole picture, including the infrastructure necessary for the success of UCaaS, such as connected devices, bandwidth, and network connectivity.
The immediate solution of providing end users with UCaaS is followed with a need to integrate the IT infrastructure with the communications solution. At the beginning of the pandemic, interest in UCaaS increased to 86% as a way to unify communication and collaboration tools through a cloud-based solution. This is no surprise, given the need for an immediate, flexible communications tool that would allow teams to stay connected with one another and with customers.
The interest in UCaaS won’t be temporary as many of these enterprises were likely prioritizing an existing technology goal, moving UCaaS adoption up the list of action items. It’s also a viable option for businesses of all sizes, and maybe even more so for small companies that may not have had business continuity plans in place before the pandemic struck.
One of the reasons that UCaaS may prove to be a permanent change for enterprises is that companies generally don’t take a step back in digital transformation and return to outdated solutions. With so many companies investing heavily in the customer experience, UCaaS provides a new way to remain competitive, even through the challenges of a pandemic.
When deploying UCaaS, enterprises need to be sure that they are ready to invest in the necessary infrastructure upgrades. These areas include:
Network Performance: More so than other types of communications solutions, UCaaS relies heavily on a network infrastructure that supports high performance connectivity. Introducing software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) may allow teams to better manage network resources, setting policy for automated traffic segmentation and prioritization as well as quicker troubleshooting when problems with latency or dropped packets occur.
Bandwidth: UCaaS tends to be one of the more bandwidth-hungry cloud solutions, requiring a high level of attention from IT teams. Complicating this area is a shift to working from home, where there is variable bandwidth in those home environments. Employees can conduct home speed tests to determine whether they are adequately equipped for voice and video on a UCaaS solution.
Security: As security improves around UCaaS, even slow-to-adopt industries like healthcare and finance are determining that the solution is a good fit for their offices. Many UCaaS solutions now come with security baked into the technology, but enterprises still need to be sure that the solution they choose meets their specific security strategy.UCaaS is not just a temporary solution put in place to meet the needs of the pandemic workforce. It offers a vehicle for a superior customer experience if the right infrastructure is in place. Contact us at ITBroker.com for more information.