Three Things to look for in Your UCaaS Provider
Modernization of government technology has been a consistent theme in the hallways of government agencies – regardless of if they are a federal, state, or local agency. Premises Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) telephony systems are approaching “legacy” status, and some would argue they are already there, prompting agencies to start planning for their next solution. Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) is regularly chosen for many reasons: scalability, security, ease of management and cost effectiveness, just to name a few.
The logical next step, then, is to identify a UCaaS provider. But what should you look for? Here are three things to look for in your search: Security, an integrated, multi-vendor approach and their capabilities to support the transformation.
1 – Security
Let’s start with the most obvious consideration when procuring a Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) provider: security. How can you ensure that your chosen provider has the required security measures in place to keep your agency’s data safe? Simple: FedRAMP authorization.
When a cloud service provider (CSP) submits their solution for a FedRAMP Authority to Operate (ATO), they are subjected to a rigorous evaluation process. In addition to an exhausting documentation process, any provider who wishes to become a FedRAMP authorized service provider must undergo a series of audits by an accredited third party assessment organization (3PAO) to assess, among other things, the provider’s ability to withstand outside threats. This is not just a “once and done audit,” however, but an annual process every year for the next three years.
State and local agencies should take note as well. FedRAMP authorization may be focused on federal agencies, but this program can be beneficial to you as well in your search for the right UCaaS provider. We’ve detailed these benefits in this blog, and in short: state and local agencies can avoid having to reinvent the wheel of validating the security of the provider’s cloud offering. GCN has reported that Matt Goodrich stated at a June 2017 event: “FedRAMP sets the bar for how to protect federal data when it resides in cloud environment, and GSA believes that state and local governments can leverage this security standard for comparable needs at the local level.”
2 – Best-of-Breed Solution
An integrated, multi-vendor solution provides a roadmap to the end state rather than “lifting and shifting” a proprietary solution to the cloud. This “best-of-breed” approach enables the CSP to offer an enhanced, premises-cloud hybrid deployment, which offers agencies a “crawl, walk, or run” approach to modernizing their unified communications system. Best-of-breed instances are designed to provide scalability, flexibility and agility. Agencies can begin their migration NOW, and begin to realize the cost and operational benefits, regardless of where they are in their UC deployment lifecycle. Additionally, best-of-breed solutions are more readily able to support and accommodate agency specific requirements. Migrating to a Unified Communications solution doesn’t need to be an “all or nothing” deal.
3 – Migration Support
Government agencies are challenged with supporting their mission while addressing financial and personnel resource constraints, hampering their ability to modernize or transform. Given that your workforce may be “over-extended,” you should ensure that your provider has the resources to manage and maintain implementation throughout the entire transition. Learn more about how UCaaS can help you simplify the management and migration of your communications platform.
Communications are vital to any organization, public sector or private. In times of disasters, citizens will be looking to their government to help them get back on track. UCaaS, with its inherent redundancy and extended availability, enhances your agency’s capability to support its mission in the most dire circumstances. Learn more about how Collab9, the first UCaaS provider to obtain a FedRAMP ATO, can help your agency reduce costs, increase security and still provide adequate disaster recovery and business continuity.