29 March 2017

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8 Reasons Local Government Agencies Are Hopping on the Unified Communications as a Service Bandwagon

Unified Communications by Tom Collins

Local government agencies have to manage tight budgets, which often means relying on outdated technology.

Sound familiar?

City and state employees point to outdated technology as a leading reason for decreases in productivity, less flexible budgeted spending and inability to integrate with newer technology innovations which only leads to more pressure from citizens and elected officials.

There is a solution for updating PBX technology: moving to Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). Decision makers within local and state agencies, who once considered upgrading as too complex, expensive, and potentially risky, are increasingly asking questions and requesting demos.

We see a shift away from outdated, legacy systems as more local governments and municipalities realize the benefits and savings of a Unified Communications system.

8 Reasons Unified Communications as a Service Makes Sense For Local Government Agencies

1. Streamline with a Single-Source Provider

Moving to a single-source provider for data and phone services simplifies the complexity of managing government resources.

Single Monthly Invoice: Say goodbye to complex invoices full of vague add-on fees and confusing line items. Receive one concise invoice that is easily understood.

Single-Source Support: Forget about listening to "on hold" music and pushing "one" to talk to customer support (only to find out your problem is being caused by a different vendor). Dial one number, every time, and receive personal, professional, and expert support.

2. Support Mobile and Remote Staff

Think government workers sit behind a desk all day?

Think again.

Agency employees from state and local government offices spend much of their day on the road and in the field. Meetings with constituents, environmental or outdoor work, and special programs make up a large portion of government work.

This means your staff needs access to communications wherever their duties take them.

The move to Unified Communications as a Service takes care of remote connectivity.

3. Cost Savings

If budgets are really tight, a move to Unified Communications as a Service may no longer be optional. In fact, most local municipalities use older equipment because of the premium cost of upgrading. But, with the cost savings provided by UCaaS, making the change to the new solution is logical.

Switching to SIP trunking, rather than more expensive PRIs and analog service with heavy maintenance requirements, is less expensive in the long run. Economies of scale, from moving to one vendor from multiple, also adds to the savings.

4. Greater Flexibility

On a UCaaS plan, it's incredibly simple to add and change services.

If local agencies find site consolidation or departmental moves on their agenda, a Unified Communications as a Service system will save time, labor, and money.

For agencies that are expanding the same is true.

Scalability is more cost effective with Unified Communications as a Service because additional lines can be added with the touch of a button instead of a labor-intensive hookup.

5. Increased Functionality

Staff members enjoy the increased functionality available with Unified Communications as a Service. Not only can they communicate more easily with each other, but UCaaS functionality also makes it easier to handle constituent communication.

Agency employees can interact with others easier by detecting presence, forwarding voicemails as emails, and having one inbox for email, faxes, and voicemails. Not only will they have more functionality at their disposal, but they can also use more tools, such as mobile devices, desktop, phone, or softphone.

6. More Effective Disaster Recovery

When disaster strikes, legacy and on-site communications systems can take weeks, or even months to recover. Whether due to human error or mother nature, disaster recovery is faster and service continuity is improved with cloud-based communications. Service can be brought back online, often with the touch of a button. Redundancy planning, including wireless backup, can minimize outage potential even further.

7. Move Away from Slow Moving Technology

Vendors like Avaya and Nortel have long been mainstay solutions for government agencies. But agencies that make the change to Unified Communications as a Service find that consolidating and sharing information within government is easier than on the legacy systems. Agencies that need to do more with fewer employees also find efficiency with the move from legacy systems.

8. Fast, Easy Hybrid Implementation

Government agencies are complex in nature and change doesn't always come quickly. While cloud-based system implementation is fast and easy, it is also flexible. Migrations can be phased, with departmental rollouts planned after individual testing and integration. Cloud-based systems can operate in a hybrid environment for any defined period of time.

Agencies have the flexibility to plan slow or quick implementation depending on need, budget, and resources and retire the legacy system further down the road. Either way, there is no downtime of critical government services during a rollout of Unified Communications as a Service.

Is Unified Communications as a Service Right For Your Agency?

If you're ready to further explore Unified Communications as a Service for your agency, what comes next?

Here are some important considerations when considering the next steps:

  1. Complete an in-depth audit to clearly understand the current system, including strengths, weaknesses and a future needs assessment.
  2. Factor in planned changes in technology. That's a given in today's cloud-based work environment. Functionality and tools such as Office 365, CRM suite integration, Fiber upgrades, and other cloud-based applications should all be taken into account.
  3. Evaluate the total cost of an implementation and how to make it fit the budget requirements.
  4. Pilot or test UCaaS at a new or smaller site, or a site designed specifically for internal testing.

Atlantech Can Help Find the Right UCaaS Solution

Where do we come in?

For government agencies in the Washington, D.C. area, Atlantech can assist you with each of the four steps listed above. Right from the beginning, our experts are able to audit, diagnose, and budget Unified Communications as a Service solutions for your business.

Check UCaaS Pricing here.





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t-tom-collins

About the author:

Tom Collins (Twitter, LinkedIn) - is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.

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