Understanding Cloud-based Unified Communications

Avatar for Jody GilliamBy Jody Gilliam|Aug 20, 2020|7:30 am CDT

In today’s distributed work environment, is it any surprise that cloud-based unified communications is the fastest growing sector of the enterprise communications market? These advanced applications combine the familiar voice and unified messaging features that we’ve all come to expect in the workplace with new functions that increase employee productivity regardless of location.

Here’s an introduction to what cloud unified communications applications can do for your digital business.

Tools include instant presence, VoIP, video and web conferencing, call recording and team collaboration. Applications like Cisco Webex provide employees with a consistent user experience across the multiple devices that they use, whenever and wherever they are. Cloud-based unified communication services are hosted by third-party service providers, like Masergy. These providers bring value in ensuring a high-quality user experience with VoIP, video, and real-time communications. They package the applications with high-performance network services so clients get a more consistent and predictable application performance all across the globe. Learn how SD-WAN benefits cloud communications. Plus, these services are software driven, making the features provided infinitely customizable to meet the growing and changing needs of today’s businesses.

The Benefits of Cloud Communications

Remote work enablement, cost savings, and flexibility are the big drivers behind hosted unified communications. As companies retire their expensive PBXes and hosted PBX services, they look to cloud providers to offer more cost efficient alternatives. IT organizations are becoming more strategic and their focus is shifting to revenue generating projects. They spend less time on keeping the lights on and outsource anything that is not a core competency. Unlike premise-based solutions, a cloud-based service is never obsolete. Software upgrades and hardware refreshes happen on a regular basis with minimal disruption to users.

Other business and technology benefits include:

  • Detailed analytics
  • Disaster recovery
  • Managed support
  • CRM integration
  • Communications-enabled business processes (via APIs)
  • Support for new work-related regulations
  • Intelligent SIP (session initiation protocol) trunking
  • Hybrid deployment solutions
  • Global service availability
  • 24/7 support with proactive monitoring

On the workforce side of the equation, cloud-based unified communications offer:

  • Improved customer interaction and satisfaction
  • Increased staff productivity
  • Support for the mobile, distributed workforce with unified presence
  • Shared workspaces for shared documents and team collaboration
  • Reduced business travel

There are also lots of unintended benefits of cloud communications.

Migration Paths and Implementation Made Easy

The move to a cloud-based unified communications environment doesn’t require a forklift approach. Managed service providers work with companies to assess their current network infrastructure and identify the business processes that need to be integrated. Enterprise customers can opt for a phased-in approach, maintaining a hybrid environment to see how the UC solution works.

A good option is to bring a couple of corporate sites online first to see how the implementation goes and then slowly migrate various offices, departments and employees in a well-thought-out and strategic manner.

A good implementation should be transparent to users and advanced training can be conducted to bring employees up to speed on the more advanced features of the system prior to implementation.

The move to a cloud-based unified communications approach should be an easy decision for companies to make. It offers quantifiable benefits to the business, employees and corporate IT.