The Unified Communications Essentials Series: The Importance of a Nationwide Network

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A UC provider with a reliable nationwide network is essential for facilitating communications and collaboration for companies with a distributed workforce.

So the time is here—you’ve decided to implement Unified Communications (UC) for your business. You’re in good company—UC continues to be one of the fastest growing IT solutions in the industry these days. In this TechNavio report, analysts predict that the global UC market will increase by more than 15 percent each year through 2016. But with countless providers touting the benefits of their Unified Communications solutions and products, where do you start? How do you even begin to decide which one is right for your business?

That’s where we come in.

Unified Communications is so much more than just a fancy desk phone. In this series, we’ll examine the different aspects of UC solutions and what to look for when researching the various options

In this first installment, we’ll talk about the foundation of all good Unified Communications solutions: the network.

Today’s business needs require most employees to have some form of remote entry into to their company networks and mobile IT support, enabling “anytime, anywhere” access to corporate applications, systems and functions. No matter where employees are physically—at their desks, on the road or at home—or the type of device they’re using— smartphones, tablets, PCs and laptops—they need to maintain productivity and efficiency without skipping a business beat.

In order to tie multiple business locations together and reach those remote workers, a successful UC provider should have a robust, reliable network. With Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) networks at the core of all good UC solutions, it’s beneficial for you to choose a provider that can customize an MPLS structure that supports your current business goals and that can grow as your business does.

To determine whether a prospective UC provider is right for you, ask these questions:
  • Does the provider I’m considering have the footprint to support my company’s multiple locations—within a city, state, or even nationwide?
  • Does the provider I’m considering offer adequate network redundancy and survivability?  Do they offer QoS (Quality of Service) guarantees or SLAs (Service Level Agreements) to back up their network? What are their performance thresholds for network latency and availability?
  • Is there a need to integrate via a SIP connection?
  • Is the provider willing to customize a solution, specifically designed for my business? And what about future expansion? Is their network limited or can they extend my company network as my business expands and grows?
  • What does the provider’s support structure look like? Are we just another account number or can I count on my provider to become part of my team? 

At Windstream, we have an industry-leading enterprise network infrastructure backed by reliable, state-of-the-art data centers. Our nationwide fiber and IP footprint includes more than 115,000 miles of fiber and one of the largest VoIP long distance networks in the country. We have more than 1,200 MPLS-enabled POPs, and have been recognized with Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards as the leader in VoIP access and SIP trunking in the United States, two years in a row. It’s this solid foundation that allows us to build “smart solutions, personalized service” for businesses of all sizes.

Visit the Unified Communications Solutions page on the Windstream website or contact a Windstream Advisor and learn how we can help your business with: 

  • More productive person-to-person communication
  • Increased operational efficiencies
  • Enhanced employee collaboration
  • Superior customer service
  • Significant cost savings through system consolidation

And check back for the second installment in our Unified Communications Essentials series. We’ll be looking at the “Nuts and Bolts” (or….phones and equipment) of UC.