Monthly Archives: September 2020

Unified Communications Can Help You Stay Connected

In our current situation, the ability to work anywhere is even more important. Whether at the office, on the go–or quite commonly these days, at home–unified communications (UC) supports the ability to communicate by voice or email and send information back and forth. Read on to learn more about how this technology can help your business always be available.

According to a recent Gartner report, Unified Communications is expected to grow by $167.1 billion over the next five years, an average of 16.8% per year. This technology brings together various modes of communication–phone, text, web conferencing and email, providing a streamlined way to keep businesses connected. Employees working at home can collaborate via web conferencing, send data via email, and communicate with customers by phone. Voice Over IP (VoIP) supports this technology by providing phone connections via the Internet. Companies no longer have to rely solely on analog or private branch exchange (PBX) systems. Chat and email with customers and other employees is made easier. Applications like CRM can be integrated to expedite service, too.

The Need for Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN)

Unified Communications technology, enabled by the cloud, needs a fast and reliable network. Software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) uses multiple carrier service providers to furnish a wide area network with failover; if one part of the network experiences a bottleneck, another can pick up the traffic. Not only does SD-WAN provide a highly available network, but it can also save costs over legacy MPLS with added flexibility and a variety of carriers. Unified Communications can test the limits of your company’s  network.  With SD-WAN, your company’s wide area networks will always be available, from anywhere.

Considerations for Adopting Unified Communications

As always, unified communications depend on a reliable network. Consider evaluating your network for its bandwidth and security, making sure it can handle additional traffic and no vulnerabilities to cyber attack. Your company’s antivirus and antimalware definitions and firewall should be up to date, too. Also, check to ensure only authorized users are able to access your network.

Unified Communications and its supporting technologies can be instrumental to helping your staff work anywhere. To determine your company’s readiness, contact us today. 

Migrating to the Cloud to Access Line of Business Applications

Our unusual times have pushed businesses into adoption of cloud computing, the main reason being the increased demand for remote work along with the ability to maintain business operations. Gartner’s prediction for increase in cloud revenue in 2020 was 17%, from $227.8 billion to $266.4 billion, even before COVID 19. It’s possible that that revenue may increase even more. The “why” of moving to the cloud is easier to define for some than the “how.” Read on to learn more about the benefits of moving your line-of-business applications to the cloud. 


Benefits of Cloud Computing for Business Applications


The question on the minds of many business owners is how to migrate critical business applications to the cloud. Some applications are cloud-ready (for fast migration) or cloud-optimized, running on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) delivery models. As with all options, these have their benefits and considerations. Another option is cloud-native or SaaS applications, wherein computing resources are available via the Internet. The cloud service provider provides the infrastructure, too, so there is no need for costly capital expenses. Instead, SaaS provides an economical, subscription-based delivery model for cloud services, services which provide a wide range of mission-critical applications–CRM, accounting, HR, email and more. These can be accessed both in office and–very important, now–away from the office for remote workers. Another benefit of SaaS is that customer-facing applications (online chat, for example) can be rapidly deployed. 


Considerations for Cloud Migration


As ever, a business needs to consider its business needs before cloud migration. What are the mission-critical applications that need to be available at all times? Where does the cloud data center reside, and what provisions are there for redundancy or fail-over? Another consideration is the health of a company’s network, whether it has any weak points that need patching, or any antivirus or anti-malware definitions needing to be updated. Yet another is bandwidth; is there enough to support the heavy Internet use? 


If you know you want or need to move your primary line-of-business applications to a cloud environment, and need guidance, contact us today for an assessment of your cloud readiness.