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5 Considerations to Guide Your UC Decisions

Before you take the leap into unified communications, make sure your top choice will meet business and users’ needs

Despite its inception as enterprise technology, unified communications (UC)—with its convergence of voice, video, and data communications on a single IP-based network—offers small businesses several benefits. Users can easily make a call, send an email or instant message, or launch a voice or video conference through a single interface on their computers. In addition, UC can help- keep mobile workers more closely connected to the rest of your employees and enable better collaboration among everyone in your company.

Companies are recognizing these benefits and turning to UC more and more. In fact, according to research firm AMI-Partners, small to medium-size businesses in the U.S. are expected to double their spending on UC solutions by 2015.

If you’re among the many small businesses planning to add UC to your network, you may be shopping around for a solution right now. Before you decide, you’ll want to take these five considerations into account:

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Unified Communications Enables Load-Sharing and Increases Productivity

In the third chapter of our Valley Sleep Center customer story, we get a closer look at the company’s phone system upgrade. Working closely with a Cisco certified partner who understood its needs, Valley Sleep Center replaced its inefficient phone system with a user-friendly Cisco UC540 solution. In the past, calls were routed to a single location, and periods of high volume were frequent. Now empowered by the right network, employees in the five locations share the load and can route calls efficiently. Watch the video to learn more.

Part One of the Valley Sleep Center

Part Two of the Valley Sleep Center

Watch Part Three >>

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High-Performing Virtual Private Network Makes Life Easier

In the second installment of our Valley Sleep Center case study, we witness the importance of installing a robust, secure virtual private network (VPN). As a medical clinic, Valley Sleep Center needs to maintain HIPAA compliance and also allow employees to review confidential patient records. Overhauling its antiquated VPN technology, the company implemented a high-performance Cisco VPN solution. Now, employees have reliable connections and can efficiently transfer files among the business’s five locations. Perhaps the best benefit, however, is the peace of mind that comes from the security provided by the right network.

Part One of the Valley Sleep Center

Watch Part Two>>

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How Cisco IT Organizes Its Voice Operations

How many people does it take to manage the service infrastructure supporting over 150,000 hardware phones, 50,000 soft phones, and 10,000 room and desktop video devices. That’s the size of our UC infrastructure at Cisco, and today we manage all our voice, voicemail, and video services with an integrated voice and video Tier 3 operations team of 25 people, and another 5 people supporting contact center applications and services. We do this by continually finding new efficiencies – learning new ways to support existing services so we can spend more time learning how to support the new technologies.

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The Right Network Helps Cut Costs by 50 Percent

Today, we’re debuting a four-part customer case study on sleep disorder clinic Valley Sleep Center. Located in the metropolitan Phoenix area, the business was looking to expand from two to five locations within a year. Struggling with slow VPN connections and an outdated phone system, the company decided to upgrade its network. The result? A 50% reduction in costs. Watch the video below to see how upgrading to the right network benefited Valley Sleep Center’s bottom line.

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