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6 Questions to Ask Your Cloud Communications Partner

With cloud communications, businesses gain all the benefits of cloud computing – layered data security, greater flexibility, and cost savings. Plus, with integrated communications solutions, they can provide better experiences to both employees and customers. But to gain the most out of the technology, it’s important to work with the right cloud communications partner.

The problem is, finding a partner that’s a good fit for your business isn’t always easy. To make sure you work with a provider that can resolve user challenges – from onboarding through to compliance and security – you need to ask the right questions. Let’s look at the top six questions to ask before signing up with a cloud provider.

1. Will Users Have a Single View for All Communications Tools?

According to a study conducted by Frost & Sullivan, for 68 percent of UCaaS buyers, having a single dashboard for all of their communications tools is a priority.

With unified communications, you can access team chat, file management, video conferencing, and phone all from one interface. This all-in-one view makes it easier to collaborate with co-workers. It also helps users save time when connecting with customers.

When vetting cloud communications partners, make sure they offer a unified communications (UC) solution that combines all the communication channels your employees use.

2. Can Users Integrate Their Cloud-Communications Platform with Other Business Apps?

You also want to be able to integrate your video, phone, and contact center software with other business apps. This way, users will see the same data across all applications and they won’t have to sift through different work apps to find the information they need.

Users will also benefit from up-to-date data, a must-have for companies that want to ensure a high level of customer service. When your customer service representatives or sales agents communicate with customers, they should have real-time data at their fingertips so they can quickly resolve issues or provide a seamless experience to help encourage a sale.

3. What Tools Will Users Have During Video Meetings?

Video conferencing took off during the pandemic. From March 2020 to June of 2021, cloud videoconferencing usage spiked by 253 percent.

And as remote and hybrid work models are expected to be a part of the new business normal, video conferencing is going to continue to be a central part of business communications.

This is why it’s so important to work with a cloud communications partner that offers advanced video conferencing software. While common solutions like Zoom and Google Meet allow teams to launch real-time meetings, they lack the engagement features and video quality that you’ll get with a professional video meeting solution.

The problem with a subpar video meeting platform is that you’re more likely to run into issues like video meeting fatigue and a lack of participation if the tool itself doesn’t serve a business’s needs.

Find out how your partner’s solution ensures meeting participants stay engaged. Features like HD-quality video, screen sharing, live Q&A sessions, rich chat, and real-time polls can take both your conferencing and webinar experiences to the next level.

4. How Does Your Platform Address Regulatory Compliance Challenges?

From GDPR to industry-specific regulations such as HIPAA and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, companies today have a lot on their hands when it comes to compliance.

The good news is, technology providers can solve most compliance challenges by including things like data encryption, file capture and backup, and maintaining a top-notch security environment.

Ask your partner what they are doing so users stay up-to-date with GDPR requirements and other compliance regulations. You also want to check what type of physical security and network security they use to keep data safe. Because data security is so critical, don’t settle for a partner that offers anything less than industry-leading security protocols.

5. How Reliable Are Your Cloud Solutions?

One of the advantages of using cloud computing is better reliability. Because data and applications are hosted in the cloud, your business won’t go offline if something happens to your on-premises servers.

However, not all cloud partners have the same standards for reliability. And poor reliability could lead to all sorts of issues with uptime and worker productivity.

Ideally, your provider can promise at least 99.99% reliability, and they’ll include that guarantee in your service-level agreement. However, five nines are even better. With 99.999% reliability, your business is looking at a maximum of 5.26 minutes of downtime a year.

6. How Does the Onboarding Process Work?

One of the biggest questions businesses have when switching to the cloud is – how long will it take?

This depends on your cloud communications partner.

  • Will they handle cloud migration?
  • Do they have experience migrating email data and files for their clients?
  • Can they offer a custom migration plan with minimal interruption?
  • Will they set up services and shift your employees over?

If a cloud provider can answer yes to all of the above – and if they can fulfill all your usability, security, and compliance challenges – you may have found the best partner for your business.

Choose a Partner that Solves Your Challenges

The bottom line is, your cloud communications partner should be able to offer a comprehensive solution. Advanced technology. Top-notch security and reliability. And a smooth process. This will allow you to offer more to your customers.

Intermedia offers all of the cloud communications tools businesses need, as well as the hardware and support. Learn more about why you should partner with Intermedia for cloud communications.

About Darcy Mekis