Medium-to-large business enterprises face a unique landscape when considering to deploy a unified communication platform. Midsized business can feel like the middle child in the business world. Internal changes and demands usually mean that processes and solutions that worked in the small business no longer translate productively to new business units and work flows. While still being much smaller than the largest of enterprises, the business must remain nimble, connected, and dynamic. Add to all of this the layer of multiple locations and midsize business face a real challenge approaching telecommunications without proper consultation.
Here are five points to consider before deploying a unified communication system (UC) for multi-location businesses.
- How does your business operate? While this is fundamental, it is important to take assessment of the current environment and identify areas that need improvement or special consideration when deploying UC. Examples:
- Does your business have a diverse workforce?
- Does it have remote workers?
- Does it have multiple physical locations?
- Are there communication issues that need improvement?
- Will you be employning a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy?
- How do people access information?
- Are there bottlenecks or service issues that need to be resolved.
- Redundancy, Failover, and Backup. Three Disaster Recovery Concepts to Protect Your Business. Which business units, if any, can afford downtime? What measures could be put in place to prevent loss of business due to disasters outside your control? What would happen if your core location burned down tomorrow?
- Network infrastructure. Do you have a unified network? Unified communication only works when there is proper network access to tie systems and locations together for the unified experience. MPLS, VPN, IPsec all provide routing and provisions of security in the network experience between locations and allow for proper QOS (quality of service) of voice and video traffic.
- Security. Many people in the IT world are familiar with security in one form or another, but most typically, how it relates to data networks. Data networks have intentional latency built in to help with packet inspection to meet security requirements. The issue is if a webpage loads a fraction of a second slow no one notices. However if you impose the same restrictions on voice or video traffic the effects are immediately met with frustration and disdain. A special device for voice and video traffic called a Session Border Controller (SBC) can help meet the security requirement for the voice and video communications.
- Line Pooling and Line Bursting. Allows any business with multiple locations to see a nearly identical bill across the sites. Each site has internet, voice service, long distance, and toll free numbers. With a UC system enploying Line Pooling and Line Bursting, the individual voice services can be consolidated to allow positive cash flow or increased ROI.