Delivering IT as a service, rather than being encumbered by the heavy-duty work of installing and operating technology, is clearly a growing trend. The industry buzz around cloud computing and software as a service are two good examples. The question many organizations are now asking is what benefits might also be derived from managed IP-based telephony and unified communications solutions.
Many organizations prefer to be a user of the technology, not an owner. A managed solution is a way for customers to take advantage of the full features of a system, while freeing valuable resources for other core business projects.”
A managed service for unified communications provides the best of both worlds. Organizations get the advantages of a simple to use UC solution — backed by the expertise of solution partner and vendor—packaged in a way that best suits their needs.
Organizations that are considering a managed UC solution, should evaluate vendors based on the following important criteria:
• Does the managed solution offer the full rich feature set of an in-house version?
• Is the solution easy to learn and use?
• What level of availability does the solution offer?
• How quick is the response time for support and other issues?
• When it comes to customer satisfaction, how does the company score in independent research?
By doing due diligence, and carefully mapping requirements to service offerings, organizations can expect to see several clear benefits from the vendor. These include:
Even as the economy recovers, IT budgets are still tight, and there is a growing trend to use operating expenses for IT expenditures, rather than capital expenses. Reducing capital expenses relieves pressures to improve corporate performance. With a managed UC solution, customers pay a predictable monthly fee based on the number of users.
Using a managed service allows companies to free up their expert IT resources for more strategic activities that drive business value. Out-tasking voice also means that organizations don’t need as much IT expertise in-house. Nor do companies need to devote as many resources to hiring and training IT staff — and supporting users. With a managed service, that expertise is part of the plan.
Business needs can change at any moment, and using managed services creates greater flexibility to scale UC services up — or down — to meet new business requirements or collaboration needs.
When there’s a single vendor to hold accountable for the service, organizations stay in control.