22 June 2017

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What to Expect When Upgrading to a Unified Communications System

Unified Communications by Tom Collins

When it comes to technical transition, change can be an intimidating thing. The risks associated with any technology implementation can cause fears of disruption, and when it comes to something as crucial as your organization's phones, data, and other communication tools, the risks of service interruption can affect the bottom line.

One-third of organizations today are currently planning to adopt Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). The cost, integration, and convenience benefits of hosted UCaaS are clear. However, the idea of any technology changeover can still feel like a headache waiting to happen. For IT pros in highly-regulated industries or at organizations with complex technical requirements, the idea of implementation planning is particularly scary.

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20 June 2017

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9 Steps to Adopting Unified Communications Solutions

Unified Communications by Tom Collins

Organizations realize the time is right to break up with their clunky old phone systems and make a move to seamless, integrated Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) tools.

UCaaS can allow your company to operate without communication hangups, giving all of your employees access to the data and applications they need from anywhere in the world to get their work done.

It's common for IT to feel apprehension about any technical change and the potential risk of failure. Fortunately, with the right vendor, UCaaS adoption can be truly pain-free. Failing to understand your UC needs or properly train your administrators is a risk that could lead to unsatisfactory results. However, an implementation plan that addresses all of these risks and controls against failure can help you unlock the benefits of UC without fear.

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25 May 2017

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Are You Paying Too Much for Unified Communications Services?

Unified Communications by Tom Collins

Does your monthly UCaaS bill seem a little different than what you expected during initial talks with your vendor? Does it also seem a bit expensive for what you're actually receiving?

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23 May 2017

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How Washington DC Businesses are Putting Cloud Communications to Work

Today's IT pros are focused on optimizing costs and increasing efficiency while conducting low-risk pilot programs on how to innovate with technology. In Washington D.C., cloud communication tools may lend a particular flexibility and security to highly-regulated firms. Currently, 85% of organizations have a multi-cloud strategy in place, which accounts for an estimated 79% of enterprise workloads.

Cloud communication tools are a method of delivering business communications, typically unified communications as a service (UCaaS). Instead of hosting your voice-over-IP (VOIP) telephones and apps on-site, you can take advantage of direct connectivity to a cloud vendor for more agile, integrated, and fast communications.

The benefits range from cost-savings to the ability to change your apps and phone lines in near real-time.

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25 April 2017

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Why Washington D.C. Companies are Finally Combining Their Voice and Data Networks

There's one bill for your Internet connectivity.

There's another bill for phone service. And the phone bill may be split between two vendors... one for local calling and another for long distance calls.

Your business has used multiple service providers for so long, you may not even remember why you chose them in the first place.

This is a common scenario for most Washington D.C. businesses, and one that leads to a growing number of concerns. When your business starts to grow, it can consume more time of your staff.

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12 April 2017

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The 9 Critical Roles Unified Communications Plays in School Crisis Situations

Unified Communications by Tom Collins

Communications are a major component of crisis preparedness for schools. IT directors at colleges and other educational institutions are responsible for helping plan for emergencies that can impact students, families, and staff. The US Office of Justice Programs recommends that organizations have a specific model for response to the four main categories of crisis, which they define as follows:

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5 April 2017

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7 Mistakes Companies Make When Transitioning to Unified Communications

Unified Communications by Tom Collins

Email, voice-over-IP (VoIP) phones, and customer relationship management tools (CRM) have become increasingly popular communication platforms for businesses of all sizes. However, organizations are starting to make the leap to unified communications as a service (UCaaS), choosing a single vendor to handle their VoIP, data, Internet, cloud backup, and other communication needs.

One recent survey of 250 IT managers revealed that 68% are using UC tools beyond email and voice. The most popular UCaaS services mentioned in that survey include:

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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.

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15 March 2017

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6 Reasons You Should Consider Hosted Unified Communications

Unified Communications by Tom Collins

One by one, your competitors are moving to a hosted unified communications system. Organizations from every industry have become convinced of the value of UCaaS.

Typically, smaller companies adopted UCaaS systems because they tend to be early adopters and there were several companies that offered a convenient and affordable bundled package to smaller businesses. Larger enterprises, or businesses with large multi-building campuses, were forced to find specialty providers or cobble together hybrid solutions.

Today, advances in telecom technology have made unifying communications easier and more convenient for these businesses.

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8 March 2017

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Why High-Quality UC-as-a-Service Isn't Always Guaranteed

Unified Communications by Tom Collins

If you're considering Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) solution, you're drowning in choices. You've probably done a quick search for your options and discovered there's no shortage of vendors. You can select from local vendors, international vendors, low-cost vendors, high-cost vendors, and everything in between.

While vendors may have different approaches to Unified Communications, UC is generally defined as a set of tools and features that may include:

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