These days, many of us depend on communications tools such as chat, video conferencing and softphones, and the global pandemic has put that into overdrive. Flexibility and remote connectivity are critical, and organizations need cloud-based communications to ensure both. In fact, over half of HR leaders in a recent Gartner snap poll indicated that poor technology or infrastructure is the largest barrier to remote working.1
To overcome the technology challenges necessary to support remote employees and help ensure business continuity, enterprises must create a digital workplace that runs on well-orchestrated networks and cloud-enabled communications tools. Moving network infrastructure and communications technologies from physical to virtual environments is key.
That’s where Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) comes in. It’s delivered through the cloud on a reliable, security-rich network, and designed to provide a seamless experience across communications channels. Imagine our communication with colleagues being even more personalized and collaborative.
UCaaS also supports that same fluid communications experience across devices. For example, start a chat on your mobile phone, then switch devices and smoothly transition to your laptop and continue chatting.
A shared, collaborative experience
Cloud-based unified communications go beyond delivering the latest technologies, providing employees — especially those of us working remotely — with a more cohesive experience. That can translate to enhanced collaboration and productivity that provides a better work experience overall.
At many organizations, IT and internal communications teams are joining forces to make UCaaS readily available. Remote deployment with no-touch provisioning gets teams up and running quickly.
“UCaaS adds tremendous business value. By putting one suite of tools on the cloud, employees across the enterprise have access to the same communications tools from any connected location or device and a much deeper collaboration experience,” said IBM Services Global Offering Manager Rick Key. “We see clients go from struggling with using different tools and not collaborating well internally to really transforming communication and productivity.”
Communication solutions for industries
UCaaS can be used in virtually any industry, including retail, healthcare and government. Take large retailers, which need a way to manage communications technology across digital, store and supply-chain operations.
“There’s an enormous amount of complexity involved with retail IT infrastructure that many don’t realize, including networking requirements, communications tools and a multitude of phone lines in the stores,” said Key. “Centralizing IT and communications in the cloud — ‘a store in the cloud’ — helps retailers streamline and eliminate much of that complexity. This can result in increased flexibility, scalability, quicker adoption of new functions and significant cost savings.”
Additionally, if a company has a large number of sites and wants to upgrade to a software-defined networking wide area network (SD-WAN) infrastructure, they can consider UCaaS for conceivably substantial savings in deployment costs.
Scalable for the future
As enterprises grow and the current demand for work-from-home collaboration intensifies, cloud-based unified communications offer an effective, scalable solution.
“UCaaS in the cloud helps enterprises transform network and communication infrastructures from physical to virtual environments that are used in a consumption-based model,” said Key. “It offers the holistic communications experience that employees expect, and the cloud economics that companies need.”