Top Factors to Consider When Selecting a UC Vendor

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When it comes to unified communications, or UC, the ‘U’ could just as easily stand for ‘unique,’ because a unique, custom design is what it takes to install an effective unified communications solution. Businesses are like snowflakes—no two them are alike. And the same applies to UC deployment.

It’s important to be prepared and conduct research when shopping for a unified communications solutions provider. UC continues to grow at impressive rates. The latest numbers from a recent IDG survey say that 90 percent of the 1,100 respondents revealed that they will begin to deploy UC and collaboration solutions, or upgrade current communications plans, within the next year. But, that doesn’t mean you should rush into your choice to play catch-up. The well being of your organization is too important to risk on a hasty decision.

When selecting a unified communications solution provider, there are several factors to consider and important questions to ask:

  • Price:
    • Is the solution affordable?
    • Will the results be worth the investment?
    • What will be the short-term and long-term effects of this solution?
  • Customized Solution:
    • What needs does our UC solution have to address?
    • Does the solution offer a business-grade, dedicated Internet connection?
    • Is the solution easily adaptable if our company changes?
    • Does the solution meet our hardware and software needs?
  • Hosted vs. Onsite:
    • Does the solution guarantee QoS on VoIP-based traffic?
    • Do we have the personnel to support this internally?
    • Will we need external assistance?
    • Does the vendor have a trained sales staff to assist with customer service and consulting if necessary?
    • How would it be implemented internally?
  • Security:
    • Is the network that the hardware and software lives on secure?
    • Does the vendor provide its own security solution to properly secure our network and devices, or will we need to seek additional security services?
    • What levels of cloud security does the vendor offer?
  • Business Continuity:
    • Is this a cloud-based solution?
    • Is the network that the hardware and software lives on secure?
    • Will communications still be accessible in the event of an emergency or disaster?
  • Results:
    • Is the UC solution used by all employees?
    • Will the organization be better off—more collaborative, more competitive—than it was before UC deployment?
    • Will profit margins improve on account of UC deployment?

No matter the size of your organization, these are the questions that must be answered if unified communications is to serve as an effective solution. The nuts and bolts of UC certainly go beyond the factors included on the list, but these serve as the most pressing matters when researching for the ideal provider and can be used as a starting point.