Not all UcaaS providers are created equal. Whether you're speaking with a local provider, or simply searching for online vendors at large, it's important to dig in a little deeper to ensure that you're not ultimately disappointed with your solution.
Due diligence is a natural part of any purchasing decision. But where to start?
The advantages associated with Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) are becoming increasingly clear for organizations today. Seamless collaboration under a single platform. A solution that goes where you go (especially beneficial in a hybrid/remote work environment). Potential cost savings, easy scalability, and centralized management, to name a few.
But further investigation into UCaaS solutions is critical. First, it's important to check your own communications environment to help determine where exactly you want to take it. What are your pain points? What are the essential features of your new platform? Is your environment ready to support a UCaaS system? Secondly, not all UcaaS providers are created equal. Whether you're speaking with a local provider, or simply searching for online vendors at large, it's important to dig in a little deeper to ensure that you're not ultimately disappointed with your solution.
Ready to dial up a new cloud-based communications platform? Before you do, consider these four questions to help you begin your due diligence journey.
4 key questions before dialing in on your cloud-based phone system.
1. What are my current pain points?
Consider starting with a consultation.
If you’re simply purchasing through an online vendor, this may not be an option. However, using a locally-sourced technology company can sit down and listen to your current challenges and ask relevant questions. This process will help you discover more about what’s working, what’s not, and where you want to go with your solution.
In speaking with a potential UCaaS partner, consider these common pain points:
- Disruption of service due to power outages or loss of Internet service
- Need for mobile access to the system
- Challenges with adding new lines or upgrading, which may require provider intervention and high fees
- Restrictions on devices, as most on-premises solutions only work with physical phones
2. What's my Internet speed?
A simple but unmistakably significant component to successful performance? Your Internet speed.
Consider that the Internet is now your source for making and receiving calls. Not all providers will offer what’s commonly called a VoIP Scout Test, but running this test on your existing environment has major benefits. A VoIP Scout Test essentially simulates making calls over the Internet over a given period of time and provides a detailed report on how adequately your Internet service could support a VoIP phone system.
Obviously, it’s better to know Internet inadequacies prior to plugging in phones.
3. What do the finances look like?
Consider pulling out your existing phone bills (particularly if you’re using a traditional phone system) and comparing it with any cloud-based phone proposals. It’s not at all abnormal to discover that you can reap the benefits of UCaaS (phone, video, text, mobile, file collaboration, etc.) and still come out saving money.
Another thing to consider: By adopting some of the tools that come with UCaaS, many organizations can do away with paying for applications like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Zoom. Other financial considerations:
- What’s the total cost of ownership (TCO)?
- Does the provider offer a leasing option?
- What's the length of Contract?
- Do you have to use their phones, and if so, what’s the cost?
- Is support extra?
- Are there different plans or tiers?
- Does it include long-distance calls?
- Are add-ons available (i.e., toll-free numbers)? And what are the costs?
4. What will support look like?
In short, are we talking self-service or full-service?
This starts with the delivery of the phones themselves. Is the provider going to simply ship a load of phones to your office and send you links to YouTube Support videos? Or is there distinct onboarding and training to help you fully utilize the many features available with your new system? Additionally:
- Is the provider local?
- When you call for support, are you talking to a real person? In your area, or overseas?
- Is the provider local, with onsite IT technician availability, or are you dealing strictly with overseas phone support?
- Is it 24/7/365?
- What type of support channels are available (phone, chat, email, etc.)?
- Do they make support a priority, with the ability to share actual service response metrics?
Where people work, and how they choose to communicate, continue to transform. At Datamax, we're ready to help you embrace the evolution of how your employees and clients expect to communicate. Interested in learning more about UCaaS? Let's visit!