Governments, public services and higher education institutions rely on intricate interconnections between internal departments, contractors, partners, vendors and constituents, such as citizens and students, to function. Unified Communications (UC), without doubt, facilitates workforce effectiveness and collaboration on a daily basis.
Providing instant access to an integrated set of features, including calling, video-enabled meetings and team collaboration, within a unified client enables everyone to better collaborate and share information internally – as well as with external partners, vendors and other agencies.
Inspired by Metrigy’s Realizing the True Benefits of Unified Collaboration for Government study, we decided to take a closer look at what automated provisioning of Unified Communications can achieve.
1. Enhance data protection and security
Governments, public services and higher education need a provisioning solution that meets their security needs – in the US, this means one that is FedRAMP certified. Automated UC provisioning makes security compliance easier to implement and monitor via a single platform that adapts to the existing IT processes, policies and strategies. This ensures a strong security baseline while also protecting data, whether preventing data loss or unauthorized access.
2. Provide precise analytics for a 360° vision
The public sector increasingly requires measurable results. If institutions invest in Unified Communications, they need to explain their choice, show the benefits and justify further investment. This means knowing how users are utilizing the technology, how well the Unified Communications provisioning solution is performing, and what impact it is having.
Integrating intelligent hardware and software UC provisioning tools provide visibility into operations and analytical data from a single pane of glass. The result? Actionable insights that demonstrate cost savings – from reduced travel to lower real estate costs through at-home working – in addition to gains in productivity like shorter meetings and improved processes.
We know that Unified Communications facilitates decision-making and helps keep projects on time and budget—but the analytics from automated UC provisioning solutions provide the proof to convince decision-makers.
3. Improve UX
The analytics and data generated by automated UC provisioning tools also offer insights that enable the public sector to simplify and optimize the experience for users. Older systems and communications infrastructure can no longer match the high expectations of today’s users. Fast access and interactive problem-solving are taken for granted. Optimizing this kind of experience via a single interface within an intuitive UC provisioning solution helps increase adoption across the organization, amplifying the benefits and making users more efficient, whether working on-premises or at home, in the US or anywhere in the world.
In addition, the self-service functionality offered by these tools further empowers end users, while also reducing support costs.
4. Add value in higher education
During Covid-19 lockdowns, remote learning became the norm for many. But it was only possible through efficient Unified Communications provisioning. Let’s take a closer look at what this means for higher education. Initially used mainly for administrative purposes, UC now plays an important role in the day-to-day business at colleges and universities, as faculty and staff rely on it to further their work, from research to lab work to presentations.
Increasingly, this is being taken a step further. More and more classes are going fully online as a result of the pandemic, but also to meet the needs of non-traditional students who may have families or work during the day. Without a robust UC provisioning solution, it is difficult and time-consuming to standardize or automate processes related to managing the UC infrastructure, taking up time better used for other essential tasks such as teaching and/or budget that could be directed elsewhere.
5. Enable a hybrid, cloud-based approach
Most agencies and institutions have to work with existing, often customized, on-premise systems. Even if they want to adopt a fully cloud-based approach, this may not be feasible – at least in the short term. However, automated UC provisioning solutions can enable them to seamlessly integrate new cloud-based capabilities into existing platforms, while also providing the opportunity for full migration at a later point. Such a hybrid, modular and multi-vendor approach has the advantage of combining an integrated user experience with centralized provisioning and management without starting from scratch later.
6. High-potential opportunities
It is clear that the benefits of automated UC provisioning solutions for government, public services, and higher education are wide-reaching. They ensure reliable Unified Communications and collaboration for day-to-day operations, allowing users to stay connected. What’s more, by ensuring security compliance, providing performance data, and reducing costs, institutions can streamline and diversify their operations while getting more from the often-limited resources they have been allocated.