Unified Communication increasingly means ‘in the cloud’, ie UCaaS. The opportunities for MSPs within the SME segment are great. 7 questions and answers about UCaaS.
What is UCaaS?
Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) is a communication service that is (usually) offered from the cloud. Gartner states that it is a Unified Communication model that supports various communication functions. Namely, first of all, Enterprise telephony. In addition, meetings through the use of (a combination of) audio, video and web conferencing.
It also enables uniform exchange of messages and users can benefit from instant messaging. And finally, it communicates seamlessly with mobile devices and can also be used in modern hybrid working methods. UCaaS easily integrates with other applications – think of software used by the reception or customer service – and integration with CRM environments is possible.
Why should you use UCaaS?
More and more applications can now also be purchased as a service from the cloud. This also applies to Unified Communication (UC). Many businesses, especially small businesses, use UCaaS to avoid the capital and operational costs associated with deploying a UC service on their own. In practice, smaller companies are the early adopters of UCaaS technologies because they often lack the staff and resources to maintain and support on-premises UC. However, with a cloud solution they can rely on their MSP, which can easily offer and manage Unified Communication.
But hasn’t Unified Communication been an unfulfilled promise for twenty years?
The global corona pandemic has profoundly changed the way many people work, learn and communicate with each other. Before the pandemic, working from home was seen by many as an afterthought, not the norm. Since corona, remote working and hybrid working methods became the norm overnight. UC can make that hybrid working and learning successful.
So unified communication is really breaking through?
You can say that. According to Frost & Sullivan researchers, the global UCaaS market is expected to grow at a double-digit annual rate through 2025. Unified Communication is a strategic investment for companies that want to improve their communication in an increasingly remote working environment. And not for nothing. According to a report from Forbes Insight, 61% of executives say their company uses three or more video communication platforms. The same applies to smaller companies. Just think: Whatsapp, Zoom, Teams are used in addition to perhaps a VoIP service for sales calls and a separate webinar platform for training. This leads to a fragmented user experience. And management is also difficult with such a wide range of applications.
What are points of attention for an MSP who wants to roll out UCaaS at an end customer?
Used properly, UCaaS is a communication and collaboration liveline of sorts for enterprises. This means that as an MSP you do have a responsibility. Not only in the implementation of the solution, but also in management. Let’s list some points of interest.
- The first tip is of course: carefully analyze the current communication practice at the customer and make an inventory of the wishes. Link the result of that research to use cases. How does the communication behavior of such a company develop in practice and how can you respond to this when offering the UCaaS solution?
- How is the UCaaS platform secured? Does this protection against external threats (cybercrime), but also the defense against internal threats (data leaks, careless use) really fit within the established security policy of the company? If not, adjustments must follow.
- Take an honest look at the user experience of the platform and analyze whether it fits the employees and work culture of the customer.
- Does the platform integrate seamlessly with applications the company already uses? Think of Salesforce and Microsoft Teams.
- As an MSP, can you also offer end-user training via the provider? Or do you have to put together a complete program yourself?
How will UCaaS evolve?
UCaaS vendors are increasingly adding Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) capabilities and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to their cloud platforms. Msps can use CPaaS capabilities and APIs to embed cloud-based communications capabilities into their business applications and workflows.
Does UCaaS always bring communication all the way to the cloud?
Nope, companies can take a hybrid approach to UCaaS to keep certain applications on-premises for security or management reasons. Enterprises can also choose hybrid deployments to allow their PBX or other on-premises systems to reach end-of-life before migrating to the cloud. But good advice from the msp is important here!
The post UCaaS is ideal for SMEs appeared first on ChannelConnect.