Overview of unified communications
Unified communications (UC) refers to a phone system that combines different communication methods within a business.
Many businesses communicate in a range of ways, including email, fax, SMS, instant messaging, video calling, and so on. With a unified communications solution, everything is wrapped up into one simple system, making business communication more effective.
Aside from making communication easier, unified communication helps increase productivity, efficiency, and profitability due to the availability of multiple communication lines.
There are different kinds of Unified Communication platforms, and this is something we are going to cover as we move on.
Kinds of unified communications platforms
Unified communications systems empower people to communicate, collaborate, and connect efficiently regardless of device or location. A large number of businesses are already on board because it helps their systems break down difficult company silos.
We are going to be covering the different kinds of Unified Communication platforms to help you understand what each of them entails and also to help you decide on which is better for your business.
Cloud-based unified communications (UCaaS)
The cloud provides you with a way of reorganising and centralising your data. Everyone in your organisation, therefore, has access to the same information irrespective of location. This breaks down one of the biggest problems in business, which is access to information whenever and wherever.
Cloud-based unified communications allow you to operate on a fixed subscription fee basis, giving you access to enterprise-level technology at an affordable price. Here, your service provider handles all the heavy lifting, removing all upfront investment costs, as well as ongoing repair and maintenance costs.
Company staff can, at this point, focus more on driving the business and less on dealing with the stress of maintaining the service. One of the most noteworthy benefits of this unified communications platform is instant scalability. The use of a managed cloud service means that there is absolutely no upfront cost. Cloud services are constantly modified to meet business needs. This means that new devices and systems are not a challenge. Finally, you have the freedom to make important decisions because the cloud is everywhere. You can grow your team, you can relocate if you want without service disruption, and all you need to do is pay for what you need.
Mobile unified communications applications
This is a unified communication system that allows your mobile network operators to provide you with sophisticated telephone services that allow users to remain connected and productive. This system has numerous features that improve the value of your mobile network operator’s offering, increasing customer satisfaction.
Mobile unified communication offers cloud-native, carrier-grade mobile platforms that combine the traditional dialler experience of smartphones with collaborative features, voice services, and group communications.
These mobile unified communications services are highly customisable, which means that every client can have personal, organisational issues solved. Some of the customisable solutions include video conferencing and chats.
This UC platform is ideal for family and independent consultants because it only leverages the traditional native dialler experience where users can easily control communication. Big and growing organisations would find this system challenging due to service limitations.
On-premises communications is a demanding UC platform, which involves the use of Physical Services that demand office space for deployment, power supply, and cooling systems to make sure the system runs continuously.
One major argument for on-premises communication is the overall reduced cost of ownership of the company over time, rather than the recurrent subscription costs.
However, looking at the big picture, there is more to the total cost of ownership aside from the initial cost of setups, such as maintenance, hardware, physical space, energy, and unplanned downtime, which has many financial consequences.
With on-premises communications, your data is being maintained and controlled by your IT department, which means that there has to be 24/7 monitoring – another cost entirely.
Furthermore, with so much to handle maintenance costs and managing your IT department, scalability is more complicated. In times of economic change, organisations have to waste resources to keep their systems running, which is another thing to worry about.
Hybrid unified communications
The hybrid UC platform is a combination of cloud and on-premises systems. This combination does not come as a setup but as a result of companies looking for cloud services with previous systems.
This system allows different tech communications, and remote offices can be fed a service through the cloud model of delivery, even with the physical hardware located in one primary position.
Hybrid systems are hard to maintain due to the use of multiple vendors, leading to a lack of unison. Many organisations that are reluctant to make the switch to cloud from on-premises systems are putting their collaborative tolls into the cloud for better services.
Pros and cons of different types of UC platforms
In this section, we are going to compare different unified communication platforms. This would comprise the pros and cons of every system discussed in the previous section.
Pros of cloud-based unified communications (UCaaS)
- Low implementation and maintenance cost
- Better data recovery – you have access to data recovery in every situation
- Work access for mobile employees
- Rapid service deployment
- Centralised management
- Improved team collaboration
Cons of cloud-based unified communications (UCaaS)
- Lack of ready-to-use UCaaS solutions
- With current infrastructure, there is a lack of interoperability
- Security concerns due to increased information sharing
Pros of mobile unified communications applications
- Available with the traditional network provider
- Reduced operational cost
Cons of mobile unified communications applications
- Only applicable to small businesses and family use
- Reduced applications and uses compared to other platforms
Pros of on-premises communications
- Lower long-term cost
- Little or no monthly cost
- Owned hardware servers can be shared and virtualised and used for other internal needs
- A high degree of control for customers
- On-premises systems can work without internet access
Cons of on-premises communications
- Speed problems, especially in companies with a large number of users using the same application
- Difficulty accessing the system outside the company premises
- No recovery or backup in times of crisis
- Infrastructural depreciation over time
- Longer implementation time
- Low scalability
Pros of hybrid unified communications
- Flexibility – a long-term asset to an organisation
- Cost-effective compared to the on-premises system
Cons of hybrid unified communications
- Time-consuming – a need to test all the servers to be used
- Conflict of interest between numerous systems
In this section, we have seen the advantages of unified communications as well as the disadvantages across different platforms.
Many of these pros and cons give us a full understanding of these systems and help us make important choices that would benefit your organisation.
We have been able to compare different, unified communication platforms, covering many aspects of their systems as well as their functions.
These unified communication systems have different functions, benefits, and disadvantages, and we have covered every aspect of this.
Cloud: this is a hosted solution where your provider hosts the services in their data centres, with your business getting access to these services by paying subscription fees.
On-premises: this makes use of in-house stored hardware with everything handled by the company IT team.
Mobile: the use of your traditional phone companies for your communication services.
Hybrid: the connection of cloud-based unified communication and on-premises technology.
There are many factors to consider when selecting the best-unified communications system for your business. At VoIPTech Solutions, we provide you with the best option, which we believe is Microsoft Teams, as it complies with many variables and overall business growth plans.
The future of information technology is changing, and one thing you cannot afford to take likely is remote access to your information, especially in times like this. The world of business is customer-centric and is constantly changing, which means that for you to remain relevant, you need to move with the times.
This is why it is important for you to consider VoIPTech solutions, as our Microsoft Teams offering can help you redesign your software infrastructure and put you back on the map.
We are here to help you succeed, and the first thing is to re-engineer your software infrastructure at no start-up cost and with a subscription plan of your choosing. Want to learn more about our services? Feel free to give us a call today.