The primary benefit of UCC is improved communications, and one market where communications are critical is state and local government. A broad vertical that contains municipalities, police departments, education and even some healthcare facilities, the applications for UCC are varied and vital. Consider that in 2016, FEMA classified 103 disasters in the U.S., ranging from wild fires to flooding. During those times of distress, communication was absolutely critical. Additionally, approximately 240 million calls are made to enhanced 911 (E911) call centers each year in the U.S.
Not only are the applications for UCC varied, they’re plentiful for solution providers. Assuming you’re already in the position to identify state and local opportunities and also have the necessary registrations in place to actually bid on the work, there are a few important considerations for UCC solutions in this market:
- Keep security/encryption top of mind—IT solutions in government require any text, voice and video to be encrypted both at rest and during transmission. Concerning UCC specifically, keep in mind that encrypting communications requires additional bandwidth so planning for capacity, and accounting for emergency spikes, is crucial.
In some areas of government where security is of an even higher concern, you might need to use ultra-low-emission technology that ensures no signals from the devices “leak” out and become accessible to unauthorized people.
- Lean on automation—In times of crisis, often the most important factors are how people respond and what information is available to them. With the business process automation (BPA) components of a UCC solution, you can automate certain actions to ensure a swift and efficient response. For example, in the event of an emergency, BPA can be used to supplement an inundated call center by automatically networking in additional call centers. In a traditional scenario, an emergency location would have to be set up, people would have to be brought in to handle the phones and the entire call center would have to be wired in. With BPA and modern UCC backbones, call centers can be expanded to handle overflow with the push of a button with no regard for physical location.
- Build in redundancy—Due to the mission-critical nature of many of the communications solutions used within state and local government, it’s necessary to ensure that redundancies are built in for maximum performance and uptime, particularly in a moment of crisis. For example, it’s required to have redundancy for E911 call centers due to their critical nature to the areas they serve. In the past, linking E911 call centers for redundancy was complex and required a different solution provider or integrator for each system being linked. Today, systems can be tied together with relative ease.
If government is your specialty but you’re unsure of how to proceed selling UCC, Ingram Micro has specialists available to help with system architecture, professional services and creating a solution that addresses these must-have components.