VARinsights: Buying Business Communications Software: Important Things For CTOs To Consider

In 2018, the market value of Business Communications was $56.33 billion. In the next five years, that market will grow at an annual rate of 16.8%.

Business Communications Systems align all of the critical channels in business communication strategy, from voice and email to video conferencing, fax, and even instant messaging. As the channels that today’s team members rely on to serve customers continue to evolve, the demand for UC is greater than ever.

By combining all of the elements of a business communication system into a single pane of glass, Unified Communications can reduce the total cost of ownership, and increase productivity. The right tools streamline connectivity, deliver better experiences to customers, and give your business the support it needs to digitally transform.

The question is, how do you know you’re investing in the right Business Communications Software?

As the Chief Technical Officer of your business, it’s up to you to find the tech that’s best suited to drive your team toward success.

Here are a few key elements to consider.

Incredible Audio Quality

Business Communications technology opens the door to more versatile conversations with your customers and coworkers. You can manage everything from instant messaging to video conference calls within the same platform. This means that phone calls and audio conference calls aren’t your only option anymore. Despite this, a vast portion of communication still relies on audio.

Whether you’re launching a video meeting with a client, or you’re reaching out to a coworker about an important topic, you need a voice solution you can rely on. Audio quality is an important foundation to consider when deciding on what business communication phone system to purchase. Crystal clear quality and noise cancellation can truly change the entire experience of a conversation, meaning it should be at the center of your purchasing decision.

Flexible Deployment Models

Communication standards and opportunities are changing on an almost constant basis. Over the last few years, we’ve seen the arrival of everything from intelligent assistants, to new and improved video codecs. One of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve in this market is for businesses to move to the cloud. Unfortunately, not all CTOs will be able to leap into a cloud model straight away.

While UCaaS offers a lot of flexibility and scalability for the modern business, many companies already have systems in place that they don’t want to leave behind. The right business communication solution will never ask you to rip and replace your devices.

Instead, the platform should be flexible enough to offer the phased migration that’s suitable for you. At the same time, the best solutions also will be able to build on and enhance your existing communication technology. That takes us to our next point.

Integration Options And Flexibility

The best-unified communication platforms don’t ask business leaders to start from scratch whenever they want to upgrade their technology. In a world where there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for comms, you need to have the freedom to mix and match different tools. You might have legacy technology in your landscape that still delivers value to your team, but you also want to access new components that are only available on the cloud.

Your communication solution should preserve the tools that you already have while allowing you to prepare your company for the future. Look for a communications platform that is open enough to connect different types of devices and brands. This will allow you to build an ecosystem of communication tools that interoperates perfectly to suit your needs.

When integrations are available, you can link everything from Cisco and Avaya endpoints to Dolby voice conference phones, cloud UC platforms, and more. You may even be able to connect your UC platform to your contact center.

Future Ready Technology

The speed with which the communication landscape is growing means that businesses always need to be ready to pivot and adapt. The right communication solution should provide access to both the tools that you need and the services that you might want tomorrow.

For instance, there’s a good chance that you’ll need your UC platform to offer all of the basic call management features that your team uses every day. This includes click-to-dial functionality, CRM integrations, call recording, call forwarding, and more. However, you might also want a system that allows your employees to log into their tools from smartphones when they’re not available to use workplace devices.

Alternatively, you may need your UC platform to connect with collaboration technology in the cloud that helps your team to stay productive on the move. Today’s CTOs need to think carefully about not just the tools that they need today, but the features that might help their businesses to evolve in the years to come.

Excellent Customer Service

Your business communications software provider should be a partner for your business. You need a company that you can rely on to deliver a consistently positive experience. This includes having an excellent uptime and quality promise and a track-record for success. In an ideal UC software deployment, your vendor will be able to build the system that’s right for you from proprietary technology with flexible deployment options.

Look for a company that can simplify your communication technology stack and reduce the need to spread your services between different providers. Focus on finding companies that have a passion for innovation and can help you transform at the rate that’s right for you.

Companies that put the needs of your business and end-customers first are crucial when you’re shopping for a business communications system provider. Find out what kind of service you can expect before you sign on the dotted line.

Peace Of Mind

Finally, when choosing a business phone system, it’s often difficult to know for certain whether you’re going to get an excellent service no matter what. However, examining the promises that potential providers can make to you will give you a good head start. To achieve true peace of mind, you need a communications provider that:

  • Scales with you: As your company grows, your UC software needs to evolve with it. The best provider will accommodate the changes in your business that happen naturally over time. They’ll also give you the freedom to add bandwidth and new features when you need them.
  • Protects your data: Security and privacy will always be essential concerns for a CTO. The best UC providers will isolate your data to reduce security risks and make sure that crucial information doesn’t mingle.
  • Secures your company: Your UC provider should offer everything from TLS and SRTP encryption on all communication, to toll fraud security for your contact center. Look for a company that goes above and beyond to ensure infrastructure safety.

Some leading UC companies can even give you around the clock monitoring, to ensure that if anything does happen to your communication connections, they can act quickly to get you back up and running.

Finding The Right UC Software

Great communication is at the heart of any successful business. To thrive in the rapidly evolving landscape, it’s important to find a business communications provider that can deliver all the points we have discussed today. You might even have some additional points that you need to add to your checklist, like support for specific industries, or help with outsourcing your IT needs.

Whatever you do, don’t rush into deciding on your business communications strategy, solutions, or provider. The way your company can communicate internally and externally will be the thing that makes or breaks your business in the years to come. Take your time and make the right choice.

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