Quick Tips for Choosing your UCaaS Provider

Quick Tips for Choosing your UCaaS Provider

UCaaS, or Unified Communications as a Service (Sometimes referred to as “UC”), is the future of business communications. Currently one of the fastest-growing markets in the digital world, UC goes beyond the basics of things like VoIP and fax, to combine multiple communications tools. By aligning all of your communications investments into a single environment, UCaaS streamlines business operations, enables innovation, and minimises costs.

Of course, to unlock the ultimate UC experience, you’ll need to make an important choice: which UCaaS provider are you going to use? Today, there are countless UC solutions on the market, all promising the most flexible, cost-effective, and scalable tools.

Here are some quick tips to help you make the right choice.

Tip 1: Know Your Needs

First, it’s time to assess your existing communication environment, and the goals you want to accomplish with assistance from your UCaaS professional. Are you just looking for a more efficient way to track all of your communications assets in one place? Or are you hoping for a UCaaS solution that offers access to additional tools, like collaboration for hybrid teams, and AI analytics.

Crucially, you’ll also need to think about the deployment model you want to use for your UC technology. Are you looking for something that combines your existing offline equipment with cloud-based technology? Do you want someone to help you to shift completely into the cloud?

Tip 2: Know your Must-Have Features

Which features are most essential to your team right now? Most UCaaS solutions will come with a selection of basic tools, like call forwarding, number porting, voicemail, and access to multiple channels for customer conversations. Of course, some solutions also come with specific “extra” features which might be essential to your business.

Make a list of the must-have features most crucial to your company right now. This could include analytics tools, so you can learn more about your customers and colleagues, or AI solutions like IVR systems with natural language processing. The options are potentially endless.

Tip 3: Look for Scalability

Scalability is crucial in a modern UC system. As your business grows, you’ll want the freedom to add new numbers and functionality whenever you choose. Consider how easy it is for you to upgrade your UC ecosystem with each potential provider. Remember to think about the company’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve with their feature set too.

UC features are constantly evolving, with more essential options appearing on the market all the time. This often means it’s important to look for vendors who have a strong investment in resource and development, and an eye on the future of the industry.

Tip 4: Consider Integrations

Though a broad collection of in-built features is essential for a good UC solution, it’s also important to look for ways to expand your technology too. Today, many of the leading UC solutions can work seamlessly with other software and solutions. For instance, you might need your UCaaS system to work with your Microsoft Teams environment for collaboration.

It’s also worth thinking about whether you want to transform your technology stack even further, by combining things like UCaaS with CPaaS for communications APIs, and CCaaS, for contact centre as a service. Though not all providers offer these combinations, the various aspects of the communication landscape are growing gradually more intertwined.

Tip 5: Look for Excellent Control and Support

High levels of control are crucial in a UCaaS system for security and compliance purposes. You want to ensure you have a say over things like where your data will be stored from conversations, and who should be able to access certain features within your UC environment. At the same time, it’s also worth looking for access to support from your UC provider, in case you need any extra help with things like managing your data flow or keeping your network operating smoothly.

The best UC provider will be able to work with your company to build the perfect solution for your needs, accounting for everything from data sovereignty, to GDPR and compliance requirements.

Tip 6: Examine Security and Reliability

Alongside compliance and control, think about the in-built security and privacy protections your UC provider has in place. Today, with more data moving between systems than ever before, companies need to take extra precautions to protect themselves from attacks. Solutions offering state-of-the-art encryption for all communication data, from video through to voice, are crucial.

It’s also worth looking for extra tools, like automatic fraud detection and alerts to keep you aware of any potential attacks in your environment. For extra peace of mind, look into reliability too, by checking things like Service Level Agreements and guaranteed uptime for all of your communication networks.

The best UC provider will be able to work with your company to build the perfect solution for your needs, accounting for everything from data sovereignty, to GDPR and compliance requirements.

Tip 7: Prioritize Ease of Use

The best UC systems are the ones your employees feel the most comfortable using. This is particularly true if you’re migrating from an older UC environment into a new space. Look for a solution that’s going to be easy for your employees to adopt. A comprehensive single-pane-of-glass environment for all of your communications will be essential here.

If possible, it might be worth looking for a UC solution that can offer training for your team members, and extra guidance for people who need it most. You could also set up things like knowledgebases with documentation to assist your employees.

Tip 8: Remember Collaboration

Finally, remember that most of the top UC solutions today come with collaboration built-in, to accommodate the ever-evolving workplace. If you’re increasingly supporting new hybrid and remote workers, a collaboration tool built into your UC solution could be an essential investment for all kinds of businesses, and a great way to encourage more creativity from your team.

Most solutions today will come with tools for instant chat, video messaging, file and screen sharing, and other helpful features. If your UC solution doesn’t have it’s own collaboration tools, make sure it can integrate with the services you most like using.

Need help choosing your UC provider? We’ve got you covered at UC Advisor.

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