Enterprise applications are rapidly expanding into the cloud, giving more reasons for organizations to adopt complex routing solutions. Site-to-site connectivity is no longer a priority when employees can access computing and storage applications like Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Google Cloud, and Dropbox without sending traffic back to the corporate office.
However, conventional technologies like VPN and MPLS have failed to keep pace with the needs of complex wide area networks (WANs). They also add delays and degrade network performance, as everything is called from the corporate branch.
SD-WAN centers on connecting our remote sites to our core network. It can bring diverse network functions and resources into a unified platform and use the internet to reach enterprise applications hosted on the cloud.
Internet connectivity today is as crucial as water and electricity services for homes and businesses. We rely on it for almost everything now, from VoIP calls and emails to shopping and entertainment. Knowing how to choose the best internet for your business will help you derive the most value out of your services and help you save money on communication expenses.
If you have interactive applications like an online store, a quality internet connection helps you deliver the best user experience for your customers with high availability and faster searches.
When you need help setting up the internet or if you’re planning to switch providers, come to Integrated Communications for the right solutions.
If you’re looking for ways to grow your business and make more money, here is the perfect solution. Fiber optic internet can be an excellent tool for any entrepreneur. It’s fast, reliable, and very cost-effective. To help you learn more about fiber optics, we’ve put together a complete guide to help you understand what it is, how it works, and why every business owner should have fiber optic internet. Read More
Today, many businesses are struggling to stay afloat in the ever-changing world of cloud computing. While some aspects of this area can be challenging, business professionals must pay attention and consider what they need for their company’s needs.
For example, UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) and CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) have recently gained a lot of traction in the market.
While these two areas of cloud computing are often thought to be the same, there is a significant distinction that business professionals need to consider when choosing what services are suitable for their company’s needs. Read More
Effective communication is essential for the success and growth of any business. For decades, legacy phone systems have been the primary communication tool in organizational settings. However, times are changing, and traditional analog landlines can no longer keep up with the modern workplace demands.
Limited mobility, fragmented applications, and outdated features create operational issues that can frustrate users, decrease productivity, and hinder innovation. Many businesses are turning to a fairly new technology known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to help them grow and scale.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about VoIP. You’ll learn what VoIP is, how to get started, and how to find the right VoIP solution for your business. The goal is to help you understand how this technology can save you money and help you grow your business.
Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is a cloud delivery mechanism used by enterprise communications. It supports six communications types, including enterprise telephony, mobility, unified messaging, meetings, instant messaging and presence, and communications-enabled business processes. The UCaaS provider owns, operates, maintains, and delivers the infrastructure to its end users. In this article, we explore UCaaS and its features, advantages, and disadvantages. Read More
SD-WAN is quickly being adopted as the wide area network configuration of choice across multiple IT, voice, and data networking organizations and enterprises. It provides efficient, flexible and versatile software connections. This technology offers faster, smoother networks – a much-needed asset for IT personnel and network managers all around the globe. According to the State of the WAN report published in 2016, conventional WAN has tons of latency issues and packet data loss at higher levels. In this post, we’ll highlight the meaning of SD-WAN and its essential performance benefits.
As technology advances, organizations continue to find better communication solutions than the traditional models. Today, VoIP solutions are growing like never before, impacting business operations and increasing sales and business growth.
Thelatest statistics about VoIP show that nearly 3 billion people will use this technology in 2021. The number will likely go up with an estimated revenue of over $90 billion by 2024. This means that upgrading to this technology can impact business operations. Read on to learn how this technology is impacting businesses. Read More
Wide area networks (WANs) were first established to host computer networking over a large geographic area. With a WAN network in place, connected computers can be far apart, allowing businesses to have a headquarters location and multiple office branches.
WANs have been around since the early days of computer networks. Over the years, modems evolved to increase connectivity speeds. But now we live in an age where remote work is common, and people use the internet on phones and tablets in addition to computers. As the world evolved, so did wide area networks. Today, software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) optimize business operations. Let’s explore the difference between traditional WAN and SD-WAN and narrow down which option is best for your business.
Traditional WAN: How Does It Work?
As we unpack the difference between traditional WAN and SD-WAN services, you will see many acronyms. Before diving in, let’s define these essential acronyms.
- LAN: “Local Area Network” is a collection of devices connected together in one physical location, such as a home, office, or building.
- VPN: “Virtual Private Network” is a network that extends across a public network and allows users to send and receive information as if their devices were directly connected to a private network.
- MPLS: “Multiprotocol Label Switching” is a telecommunications routing technique that directs data based on short path labels instead of long network addresses to speed up traffic flow.
- IP Address: “Internet Protocol Address” is a unique identifying number that associates a device with its online activity.
Now, traditional WAN technology had previously been customary for voice and data networking. Traditional WANs rely on MPLS to provide consistent network traffic flow. Traditional WANs are used to connect various computer locations through multiple LANs, VPNs, and routers.
Traditional WAN works by sending IP packets through a metaphorical tunnel, which in this case is a VPN. IP packets arrive at a designated LAN, the IP headers are taken away, the payload is made unintelligible, and ultimately, private-networking features become accessible.
Traditional WAN needs to use hardware to complete its operations. Due to the physical hardware, scaling traditional WANs can be complex, as establishing supplemental office branches and remote locations require additional equipment. Businesses with conventional WAN services also frequently experience incompatible traffic explosions when attempting to mix cloud-based and hard-drive-based services.
SD-WAN: The New and Improved WAN
Traditional WAN continues to use physical hardware even as the world adapts to using cloud-based applications. Enter: SD-WAN. SD-WAN combines traditional WAN technologies like MPLS and broadband internet. However, since it is software-defined, SD-WAN connects all computer networks to a cloud-based central network to improve flexibility and control.
At its core, SD-WAN operates a network on top of an existing network. It uses pre-existing network structures to unify communication paths and optimize application performance by offloading user traffic to cloud services. Since it is curated for cloud-based operations, many popular business applications are highly compatible with SD-WAN, including:
- Office 365
- Google Drive
- Apple iCloud
- And more
SD-WAN is ideal for businesses with remote work functionalities since it can support multiple high-bandwidth intensive applications simultaneously. In the instance of network traffic, SD-WANs reroute traffic to local networks whenever possible, allowing for near-seamless service and minimal interruptions.
The 3 Main Differences Between Traditional WAN and SD-WAN
Simply put, traditional WAN connects multiple computer networks through physical hardware, while SD-WAN accomplishes the connection through the cloud. But beyond that, how do traditional and SD-WAN compare when it comes to performance? The three main differences between conventional WAN and SD-WAN appear in efficiency, security, and cost.
When you need to make improvements or changes to traditional WAN, everything needs to be done manually with hardware. Because of this, companies that want to add branch offices or allow remote work experience long, drawn-out processes that decrease efficiency.
SD-WAN provides simplified network processes by streamlining operations over the cloud. If your business wants to add offices or remote employees, you won’t run into time delays as you would with traditional WAN because no hardware is required.
With SD-WAN, traffic for high-demand software and applications gets routed through the fastest available connection. By prioritizing the most essential traffic, issues such as lagging and jittering rarely occur, allowing employees to remain efficient.
Traditional WAN has typically always been secure since it utilizes VPNs that offer security through:
However, conventional WAN connections require stringent security because a WAN connection leaves room for vulnerability where an attacker could gain access to a private network. If an office is relaxed with cybersecurity, a hacker could breach a network and access information on the business’s primary WAN. Networks become more vulnerable when mixing traditional hardware and cloud operations, which is a common occurrence with traditional WAN services.
SD-WAN often comes with built-in security services that keep your business networks safe from hackers and breaches. These integrated security features help prevent security issues like:
- Lost data
- Regulatory violations
- Legal liabilities
SD-WAN technology also allows you to easily incorporate added security features like firewall and associated threat management services.
Business owners know firsthand how seemingly small monthly costs can add up quickly. SD-WAN has been shown to reduce internet costs for businesses. This cost reduction is due to not having to spend large sums on regularly upgrading your bandwidth. SD-WAN can also run on 4G LTE and broadband internet, which is usually less expensive than the MPLS networks traditional WAN relies on.
With SD-WAN, you can utilize technology your business already has, such as a WiFi connection or ethernet. Due to this, you won’t need to pay for intensive IT involvement or new overhead costs.
Move Your Business Forward With SD-WAN
While traditional WAN services have handled wide area computer networks thus far, business operations are rapidly modernizing to cloud-based services. Because of these modern operations, SD-WAN is the preferred choice for many businesses to reap benefits such as higher security, improved efficiency, and lower costs.
If you’re ready to take your business operations to the next level, stop mixing hardware and cloud services and make the switch to SD-WAN. Integrated Communications partners with North America’s best SD-WAN providers. Contact us today, and we will perform a free network audit to determine areas of improvement in your business.
Your contact center should offer more than simple answers. It’s the mothership of your customer experience, but its processes require integrations for optimal performance. A unified communication platform can empower collaboration between your contact center and the organization to provide a more seamless customer experience. But why?
Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) can be combined with a contact center as a service(CCaaS) to improve the customer experience at large. Before diving into exactly how these improvements occur, it’s important to understand exactly what UCaaS and CCaaS are in your organization.
UCaaS and Contact Center as a Service: The Basics
While both UCaaS and CCaaS provide essential functions for your operation, they have distinct differences in how they accomplish results.
- UCaaS: a cloud-based business collaboration solution that consolidates various communication channels such as video, voice, messaging, and presence on a unified platform.
- CCaaS: an advanced cloud-based call center tool for empowering a business’s omnichannel customer communication, whether it be by phone, SMS, online chat, or email.
At a glance, you can think of UCaaS as an internal resource for improving communication and CCaaS as a way to bolster external communication with the customer.
The emergence of online resources for call centers revolutionized contact centers — creating contact centers as services to benefit the entirety of the customer journey. This prompted companies to adopt new ways to communicate externally and internally — but all too often, businesses are lagging behind in one of these departments.
Better Together: Why Unify UCaaS and CCaaS?
Combining your UCaaS and CCaaS offers a plethora of unique benefits.
Besides the avoidance of integration headaches when working with multiple companies, there are also cost advantages. Minimizing administrative burden frees up IT staff to focus on core competencies and strategic opportunities. Additionally, you can avoid weighty upfront capital outlays because a contact center as a service is a more predictable cost structure that centers around regular recurring operating expenditures.
1. Access to Information
Contact center employees gain seamless access to contextual information regarding a customer, allowing them to spend more time addressing the problem rather than familiarizing themselves with a customer’s situation or past interactions with the business.
As a customer, this is a huge plus in the customer experience department. Nothing is more frustrating than contacting a contact center for the second or third time and being forced to re-explain the predicament.
2. Meet Customers on Preferred Platforms
Another benefit of combining UCaaS and CCaaS is the ability to readily access and communicate engagement data with these platforms. This data provides valuable insights to where and when a customer engages with your company — whether it be on their phone, SMS, chat, email, and beyond.
Your contact center agents can leverage this data to easily communicate with customers on their preferred platform or device to better the customer experience and provide satisfying services faster.
3. Less Stress on Your Team
Learning new systems can inevitably slow operations and create workflow issues — especially when there are more multiple platforms to familiarize oneself with. Employees have enough on their plate when juggling multiple contact center customers — and keeping mental tabs on platform differences can inevitably affect performance.
Mitigating frustrations with your team is difficult to measure, but it can have an immense effect on the customer experience. Making the lives of your employees simpler and less confusing with combined UCaaS and CCaaS systems will certainly improve work satisfaction and in turn — customer satisfaction.
4. Seamless Coordination
Contact center agents can leverage collaboration tools within the UCaaS to harness rapid answers to inquiries that provide a fast and reliable resolution. Even on their own, contact centers as a service offer incredible business benefits. But, combining these external communication systems with your internal contact center as a service platform allows seamless coordination to handle problems efficiently and quickly.
5. Combined Analytics
Contact center data is a treasure-trove of vital information that can help to improve the customer experience and create advocates for your company. Unified analytics offer a comprehensive view of your business communications along with vital customer engagement systems.
As a business leader, you can highlight ways to adjust the customer experience in meaningful ways — creating a more valuable omnichannel approach.
Enhance Communication Stack By Combining UCaaS and CCaaS
Today, moving communication to the cloud is a must. It’s a flexible environment capable of pushing companies forward and creating new opportunities for collaboration, productivity, and an enhanced customer experience.
- Strengthen Your Data Access: Gain visibility on the entire spectrum of your customer journey along with your business process in a unified platform. Improve decision-making, give employees more accessibility, and enhance your analytics across the board.
- Unmatched Collaboration: Ease communication and collaboration between contact center agents and specialists, internal department heads, and vital sources for a more unified environment. Remove siloes to solve customer problems faster and create a landscape that facilitates sales opportunities.
- Quick Integrations: The cloud makes implementing new tools, artificial intelligence (AI), and automation easier than ever before.
- Boost Customer Experience: Combining UCaaS and CCaaS systems allows agents to work together more effectively, and engage with customers faster and smarter than ever. Additionally, agents can view the entire customer journey from a birds-eye view, easing pain points and providing solutions along the way.
- Cost Reduction: Unifying these systems means less maintenance and less hassle — allowing IT specialists more time to focus on improving processes.
Supercharge your company’s communication stack and improve customer experience across the board by combining your UCaaS and CCaaS systems. Give agents, IT leaders, and even customers the resources needed to grow your business and boost sales today. Cost Reduction: