Written by Beth Hildreth on January 14, 2015

Adopting unified communications provides the to communicate and collaborate seamlessly with all business stakeholders enables efficiency and productivity improvements for businesses. Additionally, this plan features interoperability between internal and external business partners eliminates barriers to true collaboration.

As business owners are adopting Unified Communications, there are several important factors to keep in mind when surveying the marketplace. Five of these are explored below.

Nature and quality of network architecture

Many IT decision makers are looking for a UC system that can be easily integrated with existing network architecture. They want to gain the advantage of a turnkey provisioning for quality voice, video, text, and instant messaging in a single platform without the need for major architectural change or additional equipment installation.

Therefore, they need to ensure that the new UC technology will support all their existing enterprise applications, streamline processes, and improve efficiencies.

Security

The quality of security is a legitimate concern for IT decision makers. UC addresses much more than just unifying voice, video, and data; it also integrates them into one secure system. Security starts in the architecture itself and extends all the way to all the system components without requiring third-party intervention.

Security goes beyond firewalls. It spins out to multiple layers of defense to protect networks against known and unknown threats and intruders. Secure systems allow businesses to remain continuously available and compliant with regulatory requirements.

Scalable and flexible deployment options

Shifting to UC is a valuable investment decision. Businesses can choose to implement it at the pace that is right for their resources while allowing them to accomplish their business goals.

UC deployment does not have to happen all at once: it can be implemented on a staggered basis, based on business priorities. Business, thus, can start with a few scalable sets of UC technology to address immediate business challenges first before moving on to the long-term business goals.

Vendor choice

Business decision makers need to be confident in the UC vendor they choose. Industry leadership, technical expertise, and customer support are critical benchmarks to ensure that the chosen vendor addresses a business’s needs at each stage of the UC deployment lifecycle.

Planning, design, implementation, and post-deployment support must each have a specific support strategy. The vendor can later go a step further by providing a business roadmap as the business expands, hire more people, and carry out more functions.

BYOD option

IMS research expects smartphone sales to reach the one billion mark in 2016. Market research firm Frost and Sullivan projects that business tablet shipments will grow to more than 49 million units in 2015. Wainhouse Research Analyst Andrew W. Davis notes that one in every five white-collar employees works in the office.

With the unprecedented influx of mobile devices, a BYOD environment in work places is inevitable. Mobile and remote employees need to touch base with their main offices. Entrepreneurs, customers, and suppliers are in constant communication with one another, thanks to mobile devices.

UC is an evolving set of communications technologies that puts together human and device interaction in a common experience. After adopting a switch to UC, choosing the right platform is a crucial decision for organizations that want to be agile and flexible.