UCaaS and Cloud

Upgrade Communications With a Successful UCaaS Implementation

Traditionally, businesses have relied on on-site technology to facilitate communications between departments, team members, and customers. This structure doesn't work as well in hybrid working environments, however, where more people work from home. In this setting, UCaaS is an ideal solution.

The Benefits of UCaaS

While the task of migrating to UCaaS from a traditional communication structure may seem daunting, the payoff can be significant if implemented successfully. From improved customer experiences to higher organizational efficiency, the potential benefits of UCaaS are substantial.

  • Reliability. Most UCaaS providers operate multiple data centers, so even if one is affected by a connection or power loss, your service continues uninterrupted. 
  • Security. Multi-layered security is built into UCaaS data centers. Many providers offer extra features for businesses that need to comply with regulations such as HIPPA, GDPR, and PCI.
  • Flexibility and Stability. UCaaS can be scaled up or down more easily than traditional solutions. The cloud enables you to add and remove users and capabilities remotely whenever needed. 
  • Low Labor. Updates and patches are installed by your UCaaS provider, saving IT labor costs for your business.
  • Collaboration. UCaaS streamlines communication services into one platform, improving collaboration and productivity while allowing people to work remotely as if they were in the office.
  • Advanced Business Calling. Mobile integration is supported by UCaaS, allowing calls to be transferred between a desk and mobile phones, which can ring at the same time. Softphones can also be used for greater flexibility.
  • Hybrid Packages. Upgrading to a UCaaS ecosystem doesn't have to mean high expenditure on hardware. UCaaS can integrate with much of the equipment your business likely already uses. 

How To Achieve Successful UCaaS Implementation

Since UCaaS migration can be complex, it's important to approach it strategically.

  1. Start with Strategic Planning.

Before you try to implement new technology or even start looking for a provider, you need a strategic plan for what services your business needs and how you should implement them.

The planning stage should begin with an analysis of your existing communication structure, noting what works well alongside what could be better and how you'd like it to evolve. From this point, you can begin to develop a detailed strategy for migration. LinkSource can work with you to come up with an achievable plan that takes into account all considerations:

Network Readiness

Because UCaaS relies on the internet, you'll need to make sure your bandwidth and connected systems can accommodate its requirements. If a large proportion of your workforce works from home, you may want to consider secure VPN connections. Add-ons such as SD-WAN can be beneficial when connecting more than one location, as it prioritizes applications and controls network traffic to boost performance.

Business Needs

You shouldn't assume your communication needs aren’t necessarily the same as anyone else’s. When planning UCaaS implementation, think about exactly what your organization needs from its communication infrastructure. This might include things like

  • Security
  • Global accessibility
  • Regulatory compliance
  • API extensions and integrations
  • Customer experience

If customer experience is a central aspect of your business, you consider finding a UCaaS solution that supports contact center as a service (CCaaS) integration. UCaaS and CCaaS together allow for more seamless communication between departments, which creates a better experience for your customers. 

The expectations for customer service continues to rise as 80% of customers now weigh the experience a company provides higher than their actual products or services. For example, customers don't want to have to make repeated calls to a company about the same issue. When they do have to call more than once, they certainly don't want to have to repeat themselves. Customers expect the organizations they're buying from to know about previous calls so they can focus on fixing the problem.

Because a successful UCaaS implementation includes integrated communication across channels, it becomes easier to engage with customers on multiple channels. UCaaS centralizes the data from all customer interactions to create a more seamless customer journey. 

Because UCaaS is based in the cloud, it's easy to add functionality to an existing package. For example, you could improve the customer experience further by adding AI and NLP/NLU (natural language patterns and natural language understanding). AI with NLP/NLU can learn from historic and real-time interactions with customers to better understand their needs. This makes it easier for customers to communicate with your business and reduces the amount of contact time needed with your customer service team to resolve issues.

Existing Technology

It’s likely that your business has technology that can support UCaaS. It's often better to integrate UCaaS into the equipment you already have rather than to replace hardware. Many UCaaS solutions can integrate with contact center technology, as well as other systems, such as Microsoft Teams, that you may already use.

  1. Find the Right UCaaS Provider

When you have a plan in place for what your business needs out of a UCaaS solution, you can begin the search for a UCaaS provider. Keep these five key considerations in mind:

User Experience

While a provider might impress you with figures, statistics, and specifications, these don't count for much if your team struggles to adopt UCaaS because it's too complex to use. You need to select a provider that delivers a user-friendly experience for your staff. This could include mobile apps and tools that allow field and hybrid work with an equally reliable experience across devices.

The Future

There's no doubt that the future is cloud-based, but consider what else could benefit your business in the future. Could your organization potentially capitalize on AI or new mobile networks in the future? If so, look for a UCaaS vendor that invests in R&D to facilitate your future needs.

Security

Finding a UCaaS provider means finding a vendor you can trust with your data. A vendor should be able to protect your system and encrypt your data both at rest and during sharing. You may also need your leadership team to have complete control over access to specific tools for individual users.

Reliability

While most UCaaS providers have built-in redundancy in some form, you should check that you're satisfied with it. You may be able to get a guarantee of 99.999% uptime. Choosing a provider should involve an examination of their failovers and redundancies.

Scalability

Such a significant technological upgrade should last you a while. You may want to ask yourself how easy your UCaaS provider makes it to add or remove capacity or specific tools. Ensure you pick a vendor that can grow with your business.

  1. Implement UCaaS Step by Step.

Once you have your plan for UCaaS implementation and you've chosen a suitable provider, it’s time to introduce UCaaS to your team. The implementation can be broken down into six key steps:

Step One: Build staff training.

Organize your training tools and establish the learning environments in which your workforce can get to know the UCaaS system. When building training tools, it's important to consider all the ways each of your employees will use UCaaS. 

Step Two: Select a test group.

Choose a group to test the initial implementation of UCaaS. This should include people from different departments so you can understand the variety of ways your organization will use the system.

Step Three: Conduct testing.

Give your selected group training and access to the UCaaS system. As they use the new structure, gather their feedback and note any difficulties they encounter.

Step Four: Make updates.

Update your UCaaS system using the feedback you received in step three. It's unlikely you'll have achieved the perfect solution immediately so choose a second group to test the updated system.

Step Five: Run a second test.

It's unlikely you'll achieve the perfect solution the first time around, so choose a second group to test the updated system, appointing members of the first group to help them if needed.

Step Six: Make final adjustments.

Gather feedback from your second group of testers and, if necessary, make the final tweaks and updates to your UCaaS package. Then you should be ready to roll out your new communication structure to the rest of your organization.

It's important to listen to your employees throughout UCaaS implementation as they may offer useful insights that can help you further improve the adoption and overall effectiveness of your new system.

LinkSource can help your organization find the perfect UCaaS solution based on your project requirements. As a vendor-agnostic consultant, we can focus entirely on the needs of your business and recommend the best solution. While this guide provides insight into how to implement UCaaS successfully, LinkSource can oversee the entire implementation process and source any hardware you need to ensure you get the most out of your new UCaaS system.

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