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7 Considerations When Selecting a Cloud Communications Provider

Moving or expanding communication services to the cloud can seem daunting and confusing. Here are 7 considerations when moving your communications to the cloud.

1. Unified Communications and Collaboration Solution

Like most of today’s modern workforces, your employee base has probably become more distributed across multiple locations, working on the go or from home. The ability for your team to communicate whenever, wherever, and however they want is essential for performing their jobs well and optimizing agility and productivity.

As your company grows, it’s wise to consolidate all of your cloud communications solutions with a single provider to ensure a more complete and seamless user experience that meets the needs of your team or workforce.

So how will your organization benefit?

  • Improved user experience

  • Improved scalability

  • Seamless communications

  • Simplified billing and management

  • Cost savings

2. Integration

The need to be agile and highly responsive is key to staying competitive in business today. Therefore, it’s important to ask your cloud communications provider about its ability to integrate using open APIs on a single platform.

Look for a cloud communications provider that has out-of-the-box integrations with popular cloud applications like CRM, office productivity, document management, service and support, and workforce productivity solutions. For example, if your employees use Office 365™ or Google G Suite, does your provider enable your team to seamlessly collaborate, meet, call, and easily click to dial contacts; schedule and launch video conferences right from their calendars; and archive content that’s easy to find later?

After all, the goal of moving to the cloud is to reduce the complexity and rigidity of on-premise solutions.

3. Cloud Infrastructure

Perhaps the biggest and most essential question to ask yourself when selecting a cloud communications provider is: private or public?

  • Private: If you have particularly stringent security or privacy requirements, for example, you might require a solution that allows you to build out cloud infrastructure within your data centers for your exclusive use.

  • Public: If you are using services hosted in cloud infrastructure that your provider doesn’t own, manage, or control.

4. Connectivity Options

Most companies typically access cloud communications services via public internet connections, and those “over the top” connections are sufficient for many businesses.

However, if you are in search of a higher level of connectivity and quality of service for mission-critical capabilities, direct connectivity to the cloud is essential.

Ask your potential or existing provider whether it offers direct connectivity. If the answer is yes, find out where such interconnections are available and in what sort of configurations.

5. Global Presence

Well-established cloud communications providers should have fully geo-redundant distributed networks that offer full functionality in any region.

By having peer relationships in with service providers in different regions, cloud communications providers can provide seamless, localized, enterprise-class business communications for regional customers.

Plus, using local data centers will allow your company to meet data residency and data sovereignty requirements.

6. Pricing

Moving your communications to the cloud can be a way to reduce TCO. However, the pricing models cloud communications providers propose are not always straightforward or easy to analyze based on your company’s individual needs. Here are some things to look for:

  • Transparency and simplicity in licensing plans: Are per-user pricing and any minimum monthly commitments clearly articulated?

  • Hidden costs: Ask about pricing for toll-free and international calling and how many users and geographies are covered in the pricing. Also, inquire about how individual feature sets are billed on the account—all inclusive or a la carte?

7. Professional Services and Support

As welcome as it might be, moving mission-critical communications functionality into the cloud can be a daunting prospect. Be sure to evaluate providers on their ongoing customer care, including their ability to:

• Support an organization’s planning, design, and implementation needs globally.

• Offer ongoing project management, support, and consulting. As your business grows into a cloud deployment, modifications may be in order to improve efficiency and boost performance.

• Offer professional services around application development, particularly if your company is interested in communications platform as a service (CPaaS).

Now That You Know What to Consider

There's no doubt that moving to the cloud is the right step for modern, agile, mobile business communications. Being well prepared will help you find a solution that works best for you.

Better yet, you aren't alone. Bedrock Cloud Solutions can guide you through the process as your trusted advisor, ensuring that all critical criteria are met for your move to the cloud.

Content provided by RingCentral

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