In a previous post, we discussed five factors to consider when evaluating a Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) solution. It’s important to evaluate functionality that is relevant to your organization, the ability to integrate with your business applications and workflows, security and compliance, and training and support. One important consideration that necessitates a deeper dive is the reliability and availability of the UCaaS solution. Although any cloud-based tool requires dependable connectivity, many real-time UCaaS applications, such as video and voice, are bandwidth heavy and negatively impacted by the slightest delay or service interruption.
The key to providing uninterrupted UCaaS services is redundant architecture. However, it’s important to realize that a provider offering two network access points is still susceptible to service disruption, whether the problem is caused by equipment failure or disaster. If one access point fails, all of your in-house tools have to reboot in order to connect with the backup system. Look for a provider that has redundancy in hosting facilities, as well as redundancy in how users can connect with those facilities, so there is no single point of failure. The provider should also have server redundancy in a backup data center with equipment that is capable of supporting UCaaS applications.
Another concern directly related to UCaaS availability is call quality. Call quality is one area that can clearly differentiate one provider’s solution from another. Voice application performance becomes more difficult in multivendor, cloud-based networks. Jitter, packet loss and latency on the network can cause poor call quality, which affects both the user experience and the customer experience. Make sure the cloud network will be monitored around the clock so issues can be addressed before they affect call quality. Administrators should be able to analyze traffic and usage data to predict when and where problems are likely to occur and address them accordingly.
Find out if the provider uses MPLS networks to effectively manage quality of service, prioritize traffic, maximize performance, and minimize latency. MPLS enables any-to-any connections, providing direct access between any sites on the network and eliminating unnecessary hops to the main data center. With MPLS, your UCaaS platform will appear as another site on your private network, allowing for a direct, high-bandwidth connection that delivers the level of performance required by UCaaS applications.
ShoreTel Connect CLOUD was designed to deliver the high call quality and availability that users demand from a UCaaS solution. Using multiple layers of redundant, load-balanced hardware, ShoreTel Connect CLOUD’s built-in redundancies maximize uptime and ensure business communications continuity. ShoreTel Connect CLOUD is a fully hosted, end-to-end business phone and UCaaS solution, providing a single point of contact for everything from handsets to system deployment to user support.
IPC’s engineers are certified to design and implement ShoreTel Connect. We can ensure that your UCaaS solution meets your business goals and architect a robust network using MPLS services. Let us show you how ShoreTel Connect CLOUD, backed by IPC’s expertise, delivers the call quality and reliability you need from a UCaaS solution.