More and more enterprises are choosing to adopt unified communications as a service (UCaaS). IDC estimates UCaaS service revenues will reach $644 million by 2016, as enterprises turn to service providers to deliver the productivity and collaborative benefits of unified communications (UC) platforms like Microsoft Lync (and Skype for Business).
Analyst Ovum agrees saying these services “are becoming mainstream. Enterprises are no longer simply curious about cloud-based UC services, but are ready to invest in them.” Here are 5 reasons why.
1. better cost control
An enterprise attempting to deploy its own self-hosted UC solution must bear extensive hardware, maintenance and staffing costs. UCaaS on the other hand is sold on a per-seat subscription basis. This minimizes the capital expenditure and improves financial controls – as CIOs know what the cost per user will be. Such an approach keeps costs under control and relatively predictable. In most (but not all) cases this delivers a lower total cost of ownership for the enterprise.
2. redeploy staff
Many enterprises are evaluating their current and future investment in communications infrastructure. The use of UCaaS can fully or partially replace some or all of the premise-based solutions they may otherwise deploy. This means solutions require minimal internal skills to deploy, enabling the enterprise to redeploy precious tech staff elsewhere. Enterprises seeking UCaaS partners should look for fault-tolerance and up-time guarantees within the deployment.
3. up-to-date technology
Investment in on-premise UC systems is liable to pose significant financial costs on any enterprise. Even once the system is in place, the company must invest in disaster recovery, and manage software upgrades and security patching. Handing the responsibility over to a UCaaS vendor minimizes the risk of technology obsolescence and outsources the challenges of disaster recovery and security, while leaving roles and responsibilities clearly defined.
4. available anywhere
The evolving mobile workforce is a BYOD army, in which employees want to use their choice of smartphone, tablet or PC in order to go about their work. Cloud-based UCaaS systems allow multi-platform access to UC apps from anywhere with a network connection. This means a UCaaS-enabled workforce can enjoy all the productivity benefits of UC and the IT department doesn’t need to worry whether its self-managed solution is compatible (and secured) for use by a plethora of different devices.
5. pay as you grow
UCaaS systems are scalable and provision can be ramped up or down in response to business need. Cloud services use a multi-tenant delivery model, which are typically priced on a per-seat basis. So this means new users or features can easily be added or scaled back to match the changing needs of the enterprise.