6 Questions you need to ask when choosing a UCaaS Solution

David Turcotte
About the author: David is a product manager with a winning track record in telecommunications and managed services. He leverages technology to drive efficiencies, then scales these using Agile methodologies—all while improving the customer experience across Acronym.
Someone checking Internet and network solutions

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) consists of the following features integrated into a single cloud platform: telephony, conferencing, collaboration, messaging, presence capabilities, mobility and software clients. It has become indispensable for businesses aiming to streamline their communications, enhance collaboration and adapt to the evolving landscape of remote work.

By leveraging cloud-based Unified Communications platforms, organizations can consolidate their communication tools into one platform accessible from any device, anywhere. However, with so many UCaaS solutions on the market, it’s important to choose the one that’s the right fit for your business and that is secure and reliable. These questions can help you make a more informed decision.

1. What type of Business Communication solution is right for your organization?

Three main types of solutions are available: A true cloud offering, a hybrid cloud solution and an on-premises or hosted solution. The best choice for your organization will depend on the solution and pricing model that works best for you.

  • With a true cloud solution, the entire platform is hosted and managed by a cloud provider, which reduces the burden on your IT team. This solution allows your organization to scale up or down based on your needs without upfront or ongoing infrastructure investments. Indeed, there is an increasing shift from CAPEX to OPEX: Canadian organizations are increasingly seeking solutions that help reduce their capital expenditures and move to a more consumption-based model. This allows for flexibility, scalability, and greater efficiency. It can also help organizations better manage their budgets and plan for more predictable costs.With a true cloud solution, your team can access the services from anywhere with an internet connection and pay for what you use on a subscription or consumption basis. This might be a good solution for organizations with an OPEX or service model. In addition, users will always have access to the latest versions and features without the costs and hassles of upgrading.

  • Hybrid is a combination of cloud and on-premise solutions. It allows you to keep certain sensitive data or critical functions on-premises (and leverage your existing IT infrastructure) while taking advantage of the scalability and flexibility of the cloud for all your other communication needs. However, integration can be complicated and lead to increased risks. Your security measures must be robust enough to cover both physical and cloud environments.

  • On-premises solutions are hosted at your provider or your own company. Although they offer direct control over your organization’s hardware and data, this solution typically requires significant infrastructure investment and ongoing maintenance costs. Organizations with strict regulatory requirements, such as governments or larger enterprises, may choose this CAPEX model to keep their communications platforms on site.

2. How can UCaaS boost productivity?

A major benefit of UCaaS solutions is that they provide a single platform for all your communication needs. This reduces communication silos and eliminates the need to switch between different applications, resulting in time savings, a consistent user experience and increased productivity.

Another significant productivity advantage is that many UCaaS platforms are compatible with other business apps, which can simplify and automate business tasks. For instance, integrating UCaaS with a customer relationship management (CRM) platform can automatically pull up customer details during meetings and calls, saving you valuable time and providing key insight into your customers and suppliers.

3. Do UCaaS solutions support a remote workforce?

The pandemic sped up the move to hybrid solutions allowing employees to work at the office or remotely. Now, many businesses are embracing work-from-anywhere policies. With the right UCaaS solution, members of your team are able to stay connected wherever they are, on any device, with no one excluded from meetings, lunch-and-learns or group chats. Your workforce can respond to customers quickly and conveniently from their home office or a remote location.

Having access to multiple communications functions while working remotely leads to consistent user experience. UCaaS providers offer desktop, web and mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, as well as software extensions and plug-ins that integrate with business applications such as calendars, email and CRM solutions.

To attract and retain talent, especially younger workers, it’s important to have a remote work option that offers workers the mobility they crave. With a UCaaS solution, your employees can be reached anywhere with one number – whether they are in the office or on the road.

4. Can UCaaS grow alongside your business?

As your business grows, your communication needs may also change. It’s important to choose a UCaaS provider that offers scalability, flexibility and reliability to accommodate your growth strategy. Inquire about the provider’s ability to scale resources, add or remove users and support for additional features or integrations.

Ask also about deployment options—can the solution be easily expanded to new locations or integrated with existing infrastructure? Are there predictable costs to add new users and features? Evaluate the provider’s reach and capabilities, especially if your organization operates internationally. By choosing a scalable and flexible solution, you can future-proof your communication infrastructure and adapt to changing business needs with ease.

5. What is the UCaaS provider’s implementation process?

Seamless deployment and ongoing support are essential for making the most of your UCaaS solution. Inquire about the provider’s onboarding process, training resources and technical support options. As part of your research into UCaaS providers, also ask about implementation timelines, key milestones, project management support and training materials for end-users. It’s also a good idea to evaluate the accessibility of customer support channels, service desk hours and escalation procedures for resolving issues or inquiries.

By choosing a provider that offers comprehensive onboarding and support services, you can minimize disruptions, empower your team with the necessary skills and ensure a positive user experience.

6. What kind of Service-Level Agreement (SLA) is provided?

Service level agreements define the level of service you can expect from your UCaaS provider and documents the metrics by which service is measured, as well as any remedies that are available if the agreed-upon service levels are not achieved. Before committing to a UCaaS provider, ensure you thoroughly understand and are comfortable with the SLA terms. Finally, review the provider’s guaranteed response times and service commitments. Aim for an industry-standard availability to ensure reliable and consistent service are provided to meet your business needs and goals.

Thinking about upgrading and unifying your communication tools? Acronym’s fully managed UCaaS solution is a true cloud-based platform that keeps your team connected with best-in-class voice, messaging, video calling and meeting features in one app. Our UCaaS solution easily integrates with your existing apps and requires no infrastructure upgrades or license management – so your team can hit the ground running. Acronym’s UCaaS solution is backed by a robust Service-Level Agreement of 99.9% availability with guaranteed response times.

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About Acronym

Acronym Solutions Inc. is a full-service information and communications technology (ICT) company that provides a range of scalable and secure Network, Voice & Collaboration, Security, Cloud and Managed IT Solutions. We support Canadian businesses, large enterprises, service providers, healthcare providers, public-sector organizations and utilities. We leverage our extensive network expertise to design and build customized, fully scalable solutions to help our customers grow their businesses and realize their full potential. With more than 20 years’ experience managing the communications system that enables Ontario’s electrical grid, Acronym is uniquely positioned to understand the mission-critical needs of any business to deliver the innovative and reliable services that respond to the changing demands of businesses, and support rapid growth and digital transformation initiatives.

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