Pew research indicates that more than of office workers are working from home during the pandemic. This caused major disruptions in many companies’ internal communications and everyday operations. At first, businesses scrambled to figure out remote work and adapt infrastructure to communicate internally and externally. Even though the World Bank projects the global economy is recovering, much of the workforce is pushing to continue working from home, and companies must continue to adapt. Keep reading to learn how you can use strategic sourcing and take advantage of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solutions for your business.
UCaaS in a Nutshell
"United communications" simply means taking the various communication tools and methods that organizations use and blending them into a single platform. This platform incorporates elements like mobility management, instant messaging, unified messaging, and cloud-hosted PBX phone systems.
A Gartner survey from December 2020 found the 90% of HR leaders said they would continue to allow workers to telecommute after a vaccine became available. This trend means that UCaaS has become even more important in companies’ struggle to stay relevant.
What Are My Options?
UCaaS is an integrated mesh of communication tools. Hosted in the cloud, UCaaS covers a multitude of options. Your ideal solution will depend largely on factors such as
- The size of your organization
- What your organization does
- Your budget
- The size of your IT department
Depending on these, you may decide you need a full UCaaS suite of products or just the individual components that make sense for your organization. Adopting any or all of the available cloud-based technologies is likely to boost your workforce's productivity and improve your organization's communications and security.
What UCaaS Solutions Does My Business Currently Use?
It’s simple to evaluate your business's current solutions. To find out whether you are already using a UCaaS solution, ask these questions:
- Are all telecom services hosted centrally in the cloud?
- Is the PBX system cloud-based?
- Do all the communication tools work together seamlessly?
What Products/Services Does My Business Need?
What aspects of UCaaS your company needs depends largely on your business's digital footprint and the relative importance of various communication tools for your business. Of course, a fully managed system is the easiest to work with and will provide all the benefits UCaaS has to offer. UCaaS incorporates services such as
- Voice integration
- Video conferencing
- Internal and external messaging
- Collaboration tools
Knowing which services will enhance your business is useful when looking for a provider. Let's take a closer look at some of the services that typically form part of UCaaS offerings.
Voice over IP is now an essential communication method that most businesses use. Because UCaaS integrates communication systems, your voice requirements are included. This means reduced costs, better quality, and easy access for remote workers. You can also expect lower costs for POTS lines, long-distance, and PBX as they move into the cloud.
Video conferencing has risen at almost the same pace as VoIP across the world. It's far more common now for companies to rely on platforms like Zoom or Skype. Integrating your video conferencing requirements into a single solution allows you to keep control of IT policies, security, and privacy. Because UCaaS functions as an extension of your corporate network, all the usual corporate rules apply.
Internal and External Messaging
Traditionally, companies have relied on a mix of internal and external messaging. This has led to some unfortunate security lapses, and organizations have had to tighten up rules quickly.
Combining your messaging platforms into one provides the same benefit as video conferencing and voice integration—enhanced security. Once you are using a single solution, applying specific corporate policies becomes simple.
In the past few years, collaboration tools have seen a massive upsurge in adoption. Whether companies are large or small, IT departments have begun to roll out tools that allow employees to work together. With the rise in remote work, this has become more challenging. It became difficult to oversee access to shared resources as well as restrict access to potentially sensitive documents. UCaaS does offer solutions for this through a wide range of rules and permissions based on profiles, which helps enforce policies.
Outsourcing Technology Management
Outsourcing your technology management can help your company save money while keeping up with current trends. It also allows you to take advantage of strategic sourcing services.
The concept of strategic sourcing isn't a new one. The process uses benchmarking and models the requirements, costs, and deliveries of specific suppliers and solutions to make it far easier for organizations to select reliable vendors and ensure their services are priced correctly.
All your telecom expenses can be benchmarked and evaluated to save you money and get better service:
- Network services such as MPLS, WAN, IP provisioning
- Cloud services such as UCaaS, CCaaS, and SaaS
- Wireless services
- Colocations, offsites storage, and DR services
Reducing the cost of your core network services is always worthwhile. Strategic sourcing can help reduce both capital and operational expenditures.
Building a Smarter Infrastructure Plan
Although every organization has unique challenges, virtually all can benefit from UCaaS services. Combining a good, solid UCaaS solution and strategic sourcing can help reduce the costs associated with your telecom services. Check out our for a quick idea of how much you can save.