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Are you thinking of purchasing a Unified Communications solution?

Are you thinking of purchasing a Unified Communications solution?

Factors to Consider for a Unified Communications Purchase

The Unified communications (UC) market has been a continually evolving one. While VoIP remains the foundational technology, the breadth of UC applications has expanded to include collaborative applications such as video, mobile services, social media and document sharing. In addition, deployment options have expanded from on–premise solutions to hybrid models that include hosted, cloud-based capabilities.

In this dynamic technology scenario, it’s important that users choose the right vendor. Solutions that look smart in the short term may have hidden costs that hurt in the long run. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a UC solution:

Total Cost of Operation: As the concept of UC is still evolving, vendors have their own implementation methodologies. Some position the software as ‘free’, while the total cost may actually be much higher than anticipated, as new hardware has to be purchased.

Architecture: Do not consider UC as a point product. Think of it as an architectural platform that will need to be built upon to serve future needs. For that, advanced UC architecture components, integration structure, and software communities, among other factors, need to be considered.

Business Processes: To benefit from a UC platform, business processes may have to be changed, in consultation with line managers, to remove issues related to human latency.

Financing: Benefits become tangible only when a UC implementation is complete. So check if your vendor can structure a payment deferral period during solution build/implementation and whether it can offer leasing terms of 3–4 years. Additionally, it would make sense to understand whether financing is available for most, if not all, components.

ZK Research, through its paper, Top Considerations for a Unified Communications Purchase, points out that the UC market has shifted and organizations considering a purchase must view the technology as a platform for current and future collaborative experiences.

The paper highlights the key factors that organizations should consider while making the decisions with regards to the acquisition of their UC solution. Click here to read more.