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.
And there is always the performance issues, which really makes the high cost of these services questionable.
Washington, D.C. companies are discovering a better way to handle telecom issues: moving to a single source provider.
The Benefits of Combining Voice & Data Services
Let's talk about the benefits of Unified Communications, and how other D.C. based organizations are benefitting from them:
It's Less Expensive
Business owners and executive management will be pleased with the cost savings associated with a move to Unified Communications.
The costs savings are derived from the following areas:
Economies of scale from purchasing data and phone from one company
Less wiring and labor for changes and additions
Reduction in labor costs from on-site management
Fewer hardware purchases and software fees
A drop in performance issues and downtime
Billing Made Easy
Billing on a Unified Communications plan is one less headache for you, and a lot less work for your accountant. Sorting out all of the extra fees, deciphering strange line items, and dealing with other billing quandaries, is avoidable with Unified Communications.
Service providers like Atlantech send one invoice every month, something that may not be the case with other providers.
Accessing support when you need it is easier when working with Unified Communication systems. There's just one number to dial. If finger pointing seems to be the first thing you hear when you call your current vendor, this is a benefit you'll really cherish.
No more passing the blame.
With a single vendor solution, the root of the problem is easily discovered and fixed.
Choosing a vendor that can provide a direct, and private, connection helps to increase performance. Jitter, latency, and dropped calls tend to occur when calls are routed over a public Internet connection. A common complaint is call quality. By choosing a vendor that provides private connectivity, internal complaints and dropped calls are minimized.
Many companies need to support employees who are on the move. Empowering them with the ability to work remotely, from the road, or from home improves communication speed, reliability, and productivity. With IM&P capabilities (Instant Messaging & Presence) there is a reduction in missed and unanswered calls. Clients, partners, and teammates can reach one another in an instant.
Additionally, collaborative tools such as file sharing and video conferencing improve efficiency and reduce costs and downtime.
The move to Unified Communications probably seems like a win/win for your company and your bottom line. But before you make the move, there are a few things worth researching.
Questions to Ask Before Buying UCaaS
Which vendor should you choose?
It's critical to lock in with the right vendor.
Are there low-bid options?
But in the world of Unified Communications, you absolutely get what you pay for. Look for vendors with their own certified data centers, solid experience, and a long list of happy clients.
Are employees going to embrace it?
Implementing a Unified Communications plan is easy and fast. What's more, employees find the system so easy to learn and use, there is typically little push back. The ability to "Bring Your Own Device," set up call forwarding, incorporate messaging and easily access email are all benefits employees embrace wholeheartedly.
As for the IT team, less hardware and telephone maintenance frees them up to work on more valuable and exciting projects. Business owners and executive teams should expect a jump in employee engagement with the move to a Unified Communications plan.
What are the ongoing maintenance requirements?
Don't overlook the ongoing maintenance required when switching to a Unified Communications system. Ask potential vendors how expensive it will be to maintain. Look into the total cost of ownership instead of the initial purchase price. As you'll see, the vast savings will overcome the initial cost of making the change.
What happens when a change occurs?
Vendors with a track record of success, and long-term clients, know that investing in the future is important to the longevity of the relationship. During the discovery and audit phase of vendor selection, discuss your future needs. One of the reasons Unified Communications is such a popular choice, is the ease with which customers can make changes, adapt, and scale.
How much bandwidth do you need?
With the advent of bandwidth sucking applications and technology, it can be tricky to estimate future bandwidth needs. Working with your IT team, and a qualified vendor, can help make these estimates. Skimping on bandwidth is not worth risking call quality or downtime. You also should assess the capabilities of your Local Area Network (LAN) to make sure that it can gracefully handle the additional bandwidth used by voice traffic.
What's the plan for redundancy?
Redundancy protects your business and system from failure. Additions like wireless back-up reduce downtime and get your phone and Internet back up within moments.
Eliminating single point of failure increases your protection against a full system failure. Even though you're using a single source provider, a good provider will have redundancy built into their system to protect against single points of failure and mitigate risks of service outages.
A benefit of the cloud is that in the event of a problem, systems can be up and running again with the touch of a button. Be sure to discuss the plan for redundancy with any vendor in the running for your Unified Communications purchase.
Beyond the Basics of Unified Communications
We've covered the basic of why companies like yours in the Washington, D.C. area are making the change to a Unified Communications plan that combines voice and data. It's incredibly appealing, will save money, and improve business communications.
Tom 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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