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How to Choose a Unified Communications Platform

Technology has completely changed business communications. Today, we have numerous options every time we need to send a message, discuss an issue, or ask a question, from instant messaging to voice to web conferencing. This has brought wide-ranging benefits, including the ability to collaborate with teams across the world in real time and to hold virtual meetings at the touch of a button. It has also made it challenging to keep up with the changes – and even harder for businesses to ensure efficient communications that boost productivity and enhance the user experience instead of overwhelming it. That’s why so many businesses are turning to a unified communications platform to solve this problem.

What Does a UCaaS Platform Do?

With unified communications as a service (UCaaS), all communications channels live on one platform. As a result, instead of having to invest in and manage multiple pieces of technology, your business has only one communications solution. Employees can access all communications channels from one place rather than juggling logins and manually switching from one channel to another throughout the day, cutting down on wasted time and the frustrations that can come with a disconnected work style.

Who Is Using a Unified Communications Platform?

Businesses of all sizes are turning to UCaaS, including SMBs. It is estimated that the unified communications market size will be worth $167.1 billion by 2025. As more businesses adopt the cloud and with the virtualization of data and devices, business leaders will continue to look for solutions that can bring everything together, simplifying the user experience so employees and other stakeholders can focus on their work with seamless communications.

What to Look for in a UCaaS Platform

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to unified communications. Some businesses will require a customized platform while others will want to prioritize flexibility and scalability. Still, there are fundamentals that every business should consider. When choosing the right platform for your business, here are a few factors you want to keep in mind.

Easy integration – Make sure your unified communications platform will be able to integrate with your other business tools, such as your productivity software, your content management system, helpdesk management applications, and customer relationship management software. Intermedia Unite makes integration effortless. The platform connects all communications features, including voice, chat, video conferencing, and contact center functionalities, into everyday business applications, including Salesforce, Office 365, Zendesk, and Slack.

Fast adoption – Adopting your platform shouldn’t be a complex process, nor should it be difficult for your employees to start using the features right away. Look for a UCaaS platform that you can deploy quickly and that won’t require intensive training to adopt.

File backup and storage – Your platform should include secure file storage and backup. This is a critical feature if your teams collaborate remotely as it will allow your employees to access files, update them, and make changes without worrying about the safety of the files or data loss.

Simple remote management – Look for a platform that makes it easy to scale and manage the platform from anywhere. You should be able to add users as your company grows. Likewise, you want to be able to enable or disable permissions by group or individual user, set up groups based on business requirements, and track employee productivity, all from your management portal.

Mobile capabilities – Teams should be able to access the platform from their smartphone or other mobile devices. With Intermedia Unite, users can download the Android or iOS app to access their business communications securely. From the mobile app, it’s possible to place and receive calls, check to see who is available, send chats and text messages, sync contacts, and manage voicemails.

The right communications features – Think about which communications channels are important to your business and ensure your platform offers advanced features related to those channels. For example, if your business holds virtual meetings with remote teams, excellent video conferencing features including screen sharing and HD video are a must. When choosing your platform, think about what capabilities you need now, as well as what you may require in the future.

Moving Forward with Unified Communications

There’s no reason why your business should be relying on disparate platforms to communicate, both between teams and with customers. With a unified approach, communications are more fluid and easier, allowing for greater productivity and for you to get more out of all your technology.

Learn more about Intermedia Unite, a fully integrated UCaaS and collaboration platform designed for SMBs. Discover how the right unified communications platform can support your company’s needs and employee work style.

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia