Is Your Unified Communications Platform in Need of an Upgrade? Here’s How to Decide
The decision to upgrade any system is often a serious one. Not only will it take a certain amount of time and effort, but there is also typically a financial investment required to get an updated platform in place. Determining if an upgrade to your unified communications platform is needed generally involves several factors. To help you make that decision, here are some key points to consider.
Do you have the functionality you need?
The most critical concern regarding your UC platform should always be functionality. With the rate at which technology is changing, the solution that may have been perfect even a few years ago may not offer the capabilities you need based on the communication options you have today.
For example, many companies have turned to BYOD as a method of improving communication while also experiencing cost savings (when compared to providing company-owned devices). However, not every UC platform supports all mobile operating systems or certain other features like mail integration and call forwarding. While these limits might not have been an issue if company-owned devices were the previous standard, allowing the business to dictate the devices in use, it can become problematic as the number of device types increases.
Is there an end of life issue?
Hardware and software all age out eventually. Solution providers may stop offering included updates on a particular piece of software, especially if newer solutions have been available for some time. While it is possible to continue using a product even after the end of life has been declared, it generally means support for the product will no longer be available. Additionally, if flaws in the system or its associated security are discovered, patches to remedy the issues will likely not be created.
The hardware in place can also cause similar problems if updates to the current UC platform are beyond the capabilities of your infrastructure. This often leaves you with three options; you can simply refresh the hardware to meet the new specifications, you can look for new software that will work on the current hardware, or you can obtain an entirely new UC solution to update the software and hardware components simultaneously. However, neglecting aging hardware can mean you are in the same boat if the newly selected software has system requirements that push your current infrastructure’s capabilities.
Often, once it is known that a solution is reaching the end of life stage, looking for a suitable upgrade is the logical choice, especially for systems as critical to business operations as UC platforms.
Finding a New UC Platform
Once you determine an upgrade is needed, you do have some freedom of choice. If your previous provider was not fully meeting your expectations, then now is an ideal time to explore what other vendors may have to offer. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) options can allow you to take advantage of cloud-based solutions that eliminate many of the upgrade issues mentioned above. So, if you haven’t explored UCaaS for your business, consider looking into it today.