What to Look for in a Unified Communications Provider

Troubleshooting and Long Term Success

The overriding benefit of a cloud-based unified communications solution is that when new capabilities launch or existing features are enhanced, they’re immediately accessible to you. All that’s required of you and your team is to upgrade the application. That process will be familiar to anyone who has ever pushed the “upgrade” button on a mobile device to get the latest version of a favorite app.

So, what should the provider deliver?

  • Reliability. With a traditional PBX system, you often had one service provider who delivered the trunking to the PBX and another—a system integrator or value-added reseller—who installed the equipment. It was often up to you as the business owner to coordinate the service provider’s and system integrator’s work so that your business received the complete solution it needed.
  • The network and application together. That eliminates the possibility of you having to navigate finger-pointing and attempts to shift blame between the voice and network providers. “You want to know who is responsible for your experience,” says Eric Hyman, director of product marketing at Comcast Business. “When buying a solution, consider who is going to be responsible for that call quality and how it is going to be maintained.”
  • Scalability. This impacts how easily your operations can grow, expand, or simply deal with seasonality. “How easy is it for the solution to grow as you grow? With a cloud solution, it could be as simple as shipping another telephone, while everything else is delivered via cloud,” Hyman says.

In terms of structure, successful unified communications implementation requires a hosted, cloud-based, mobile solution. It should run over an advanced voice platform that is easy to manage, scalable, and able to integrate applications.

Read the Unified Communications: What to Look for in a Provider guide to learn more about what providers should.

Along with features and benefits, look for reliability, delivery of the network and application together, and scalability.

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