As U.S. government agencies at all levels, from federal agencies to local municipalities, shift to the cloud, communications technologies – voice, mobility, unified messaging, conferencing, etc. – are too frequently a last consideration. But Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), is widely deployed, with benefits beyond centralized administration, security and business continuity. It is rapidly becoming a standard component of modern cloud infrastructure.
U.S. Government’s Cloud First Initiative
The U.S. Federal government initiated its Cloud First Strategy in 2010. The goal of this move away from individual data centers is to streamline operations and processes, reduce costs, and simultaneously enhance government technology infrastructure. In the last two years, the strategy has seen marked acceleration in adoption rates, including trickle-down into state and local government agencies. The strategy is already showing results in the form of reduced waste and improved efficiency in data management and government services.
Unified Communications as a Service
The Cloud First Strategy and programs like FedRAMP have made UCaaS a viable option for agencies at all levels of government. UCaaS features include unified messaging (integrating voicemail and email), voice and video calls, mobility, IM and presence, customer care applications like contact center suites, integration with Microsoft O365, Skype for Business and Gmail, and E911 functionality.
Beyond improvements in communications and collaboration capabilities, UCaaS offers a wide array of benefits to federal, state and local government agencies. Let’s take a look at the five benefits of UCaaS for government.
5 Benefits of UCaaS for Government
- Modernizes Operations – Improves efficiency and collaboration while reducing down time
- Simplifies IT Management – Provides free internal resources, a third-party supports the cloud infrastructure
- Increases Productivity – Including Mobility, Unified Messaging, Presence, Conferencing – UC features to empower public employees
- Improved Pricing and ROI – Secure enterprise-class UC features for a predictable monthly operating expense
- Connects Workers – Removes barriers hampering communication across the building, country and oceans
To accelerate and streamline the transition to the Cloud First Strategy, state and local governments work with established non-profit agencies like NASCIO, while the Federal Government agencies use the FedRAMP program. These organizations pre-qualify cloud technology purchases and contracts. AWS GovCloud, Google, MS Azure and others already offer pre-qualified digital storage services, Big Data processing, and Office suite software.
Communications providers like collab9, in partnership with AVST have engineered UCaaS platforms to pre-qualify their communications technologies. These hosted telephony services provide a comprehensive suite of unified communications technologies, integrating the latest applications and functionality in a secure, reliable and flexible cloud platform. These cloud solutions are completely scalable, and suitable for small, remote county offices as well as large, cross-country divisions of the federal government.
About the Author
Tom Minifie is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Applied Voice & Speech Technologies, Inc. Mr. Minifie is responsible for the strategic direction of the company’s multiple product lines. Prior to his promotion to CTO, Mr. Minifie served as the Vice President of Product Management for AVST since its inception in 2003. Mr. Minifie is a recognized authority in the field of Unified Communications and a frequent speaker on the topic. Prior to joining the communications industry, Mr. Minifie held various product management positions within the high tech industry. Tom holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington.