Is your agency or organization still using separate applications for voice, instant messaging, video conferencing, screen sharing and other essential functions? If I were to choose just one example of a robust technology solution that could benefit almost every government agency and organization for the better today, the first solution that comes to mind is Unified Communication and Collaboration (UC&C).
So what’s so powerful about UC&C? Right out of the gate, it breaks down the siloes that can come with disparate communication applications, streamlining agencies’ or organizations’ communication systems into a single application that is more efficient for IT departments to manage. For many, it all begins with migrating legacy voice systems to the cloud through securely hosted Voice over IP (VOIP).
Moving Voice Systems to the Cloud
So how does one get started? The move to a secure cloud infrastructure for public sector agencies and organizations is simpler than many people think. The federal “Cloud First” policy dating back to 2011, encourages agencies and organizations to digitally transform aging government IT infrastructure by adopting a variety of newer and cost-effective cloud-based solutions. From the beginning, this results in easier deployment than what was seen with cumbersome legacy systems of year’s past, greater interoperability, and improved predictability at a manageable cost. The results? Consider the benefits of achieving enhanced productivity and cost savings with VoIP, unified communications, and collaboration applications that all reside in the cloud for an interoperable, rather than siloed, communications strategy. That’s a win by any measure.
Of course, your unified communications strategy needs to include compliancy and the service provider that you choose must operate a compliant cloud. Once those boxes are checked, you’ll need a strong carrier class network to ensure optimal performance. The offerings you choose should also be specifically designed to minimize implementation obstacles associated with compliance-bound environments. In other words, moving your voice and other communications systems to the cloud needs to be done with compliance and security in mind from the get go.
Some of the first questions agencies and organizations ask when they’re getting ready to move to the cloud revolve around security. Any solution provider worth considering needs to have proven experience building for the public sector. Here at CenturyLink, we offer fully managed government unified communication solutions designed to meet federal security and cloud compliance standards, for example. Your UCC solution should include full integration with a secure, carrier class network and Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) and the ability to provide hosted cloud and/or premise SIP VoIP services on a single management platform across all of your locations.
With today’s technology, moving legacy systems to the cloud can actually increase security and privacy. The important thing is to choose a government UC&C solution that is already designed for mandated compliance-bound public sector environments like FedRAMP, FISMA, HSPD-12, HIPAA and more. Built on top of those foundational layers of compliance and security, you can rest assured that you’re providing users with a secure and reliable UC&C offering with advanced calling features and onsite services. Done right, the process leads not just to more secure communications but to accelerated productivity and often a boost in morale as well!
Harnessing the natural increase in productivity that comes with UC&C implementation also leads to reducing operating and maintenance costs. That’s why taking the time to understand what the right UC&C solution is for your organization is so critical, especially for organizations, IT leaders and agencies who want to do the following.
- Reduce cost and complexity with predictable pay-as-you-go costs while configuring phone services quickly, freeing up valuable IT resources.
- Improve collaboration and engagement across unified communications features by integrating with mobile and desktop communication applications for improved productivity.
- Retire legacy PBXs/phone systems by moving phone and communications services to the cloud with greater confidence and flexibility.
- Enable work-from-virtually-anywhere mobility thanks to extended phone services to authorized mobile devices.
UC&C: How CenturyLink Can Help
Choosing the right UC&C solution has the potential transform your agency or organization for the better. CenturyLink provides private, secure, cloud-based unified communications, eliminating the burden of managing legacy equipment. Our integrated solution is securely hosted, cost-effective, scalable, and self-serve, and it’s easy to transition from legacy voice systems. For more information on how CenturyLink government solutions can help move your agency or organization forward, contact us today!