Effectively supporting a remote workforce requires a solid business communications strategy that enables people to connect and collaborate through a variety of channels. That’s why so many organizations have accelerated adoption of unified communication solutions that link voice, video and text capabilities with office productivity suites and line-of-business applications.
A new IDC report says worldwide UC revenues have grown by more than 25 percent this year as organizations seek to provision secure and scalable communications and collaboration solutions for growing numbers of work-from-home employees. In their haste to deliver UC, however, many organizations have experienced issues that lead to less-than-satisfactory results. Inadequate network infrastructure, insufficient bandwidth, poor diagnostic capabilities and limited application integration are among the factors that can negatively impact a UC project.
The good news is that a UC-savvy technology partner can help you resolve every one of these potential pitfalls.
Fact is, few organizations have all the resources and expertise they need to deploy, manage and support rapidly evolving technologies. Even large organizations may need guidance in selecting the right solution. Smaller businesses often need help with implementation and integration as well as ongoing maintenance and updates.
This is certainly true with communication platforms. UC is inherently complex because it isn’t a single application but rather a collection of distinct technologies that must be tightly integrated into one platform. Technology providers with extensive UC experience can help you choose the solution that best fits with your existing infrastructure and suggest updates or upgrades that will help ensure a frictionless experience for your remote workforce.
A technology partner with specific UC expertise brings a lot to the table, including deep knowledge of telecommunication networks, network infrastructure, remote data access, mobile technologies and application integration. With these skill sets, a good partner can help you overcome common UC deployment challenges such as:
Infrastructure requirements. Voice and video traffic are particularly sensitive to network delays, which is a major consideration for remote workers. Many remote workers attempt to use audio and video features over a VPN network connection, which introduces substantial latency and results in a poor UC experience. In some cases, SD-WAN technology may be required to effectively deliver services to multiple locations. Implementing redundant network links and high-quality network cabling are other critical services your partner can provide.
Bandwidth considerations. Running UC over a public Internet connection can lead to diminished performance because your latency-sensitive data is being transmitted alongside traffic from the Internet provider’s other customers. During periods of peak demand, voice and video packets may be delayed or delivered out of order. Your partner should be able to evaluate your requirements and suggest dedicated connectivity when necessary.
Integration issues. The value of a UC solution is greatly enhanced when communications are tightly integrated with essential business applications such as CRM, ERP, sales force automation, supply chain management and productivity suites. This integration ensures users don’t have to break up their workflow by toggling between services as they perform regular tasks. A qualified partner will understand how to use open APIs to streamline this process.
Ongoing updates. UC is a continually evolving technology. Solutions such as Mitel MiVoice Business are enhanced through regular updates that refine existing capabilities and add new features. A good partner will ensure updates are implemented in a timely fashion to improve efficiency and increase productivity.
In the age of social distancing, unified communications solutions help knit together remote workforces through multiple modes of communication and collaboration. However, implementing and updating a UC solution can be a challenging process. IPC’s dedicated team of UC specialists can help you select and manage a solution that can drive business growth.