Cloud-based UCC solutions have come a long way. They’re more affordable, more effective and, more importantly, more reliable than ever before. Much of the reliability and effectiveness has to do with improvements in the technologies and codecs, but credit also has to go to solution providers getting better at building and deploying the solutions. At Ingram Micro, we interact daily with successful solution providers and know firsthand what they’re doing to build good cloud UCC solutions.
Here are 6 best practices we’ve identified from top performers:
- Perform assessments—Your customer’s internal network will affect a cloud solution so make sure everything is sufficient for the solution. If you aren’t the only IT provider, you’ll want to identify other technologies that could impact performance. Voice and video readiness assessments can be a great tool to stress the network and find the breaking point. If the customer is using any wireless communications, be sure to include a Wi-Fi assessment.
- Double-check bandwidth—Make sure the customer has sufficient WAN resources for the type and amount of traffic that will be utilized. Also be sure to account for other business applications such as backup and recovery and video surveillance which might be utilizing bandwidth intermittently.
- Leverage SD-WAN—SD-WAN, or software-defined wide area network, combines two or more WAN connections to gain networking efficiencies. It can automatically calculate the fastest, cheapest and most efficient path for traffic. Most importantly, it makes cloud UCC very stable.
- Study users—An important preinstallation step is to profile users to understand what they do daily and how technology can improve their production. With this understanding, you can provide a UCC solution that meets their exact needs.
- Monitor—During the installation and after it’s complete, take the time to make sure what you implemented serves the purpose you intended. In every design process, there should also be a performance check and ability to course correct if needed.
- Perform security and penetration tests—Regardless of whether the UCC solution is in the cloud, it’s never a bad idea to include tests to ensure customer applications and data aren’t vulnerable to attacks.
By following these essential best practices, you can ensure that your cloud UCC solutions satisfy customer needs, are stable and perform as expected. Skipping these steps means you’ll potentially wind up paying more for the time and truck rolls and end up with headaches and customer dissatisfaction when something goes awry.
Finally, if any of the above items are beyond your level of expertise or you simply don’t have the time or personnel to tackle them yourself, Ingram Micro’s Professional Services can help. Contact your Ingram Micro sales rep for more information.