Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) can offer enterprises many benefits, including streamlined collaboration, a single-access application for all communication formats, and reduced maintenance costs. While these features make a compelling case for investing in UCaaS, it’s important to consider Wide Area Network (WAN) configuration before installation.
More important than the particular type of circuit deployed is the WAN configuration chosen for UCaaS. It requires enough bandwidth to support data volumes and allow you to prioritize voice and video transmissions over other types of data.
The WAN circuit you choose to connect UCaaS to the rest of the world should be robust. There are online tools and equations that can help estimate the bandwidth you need. It’s calculated using the maximum number of simultaneous calls your team members could make.
Once you’ve determined capacity and the appropriate circuit, you’ll need to determine how to configure your UCaaS platform for different types of network traffic. Be sure to choose a WAN circuit that allows you to select the distribution of your data transmissions based on type with Quality of Service (QoS). If you opt not to configure your WAN this way, all data transmissions will be treated the same.
There are some types of data transmissions that don’t require real-time delivery, such as email or file sharing. Items like voice call and video conferencing need to be prioritized because they require real-time connectivity. The retransmitting of dropped video or voice packets can have a detrimental effect on their quality.
There are a couple of options for prioritizing traffic for UCaaS. There are bandwidth management software solutions, or a third-party service can help with configuring your WAN. You might choose to segment the Local Area Network (LAN) to keep other types of traffic from impacting video or voice. If your circuits are particularly slow, you might choose to segment voice traffic onto its own WAN circuit.
Many enterprises are solving this issue with the implementation of SD-WAN, which allows you to set business policy to optimize network traffic without the involvement of providers. SD-WAN also improves deployment and reconfiguration time, while decreasing the complexity of managing WAN settings.
You can talk with your provider to determine what the best WAN configuration is for your situation. Don’t simply ask what the minimum configuration is, because that may not provide the performance level you’re looking for; instead, ask about their ideal configuration.
To start preparing your WAN for UCaaS, contact us at TailWind. With certified, on-site technician support and high-speed broadband connectivity, we can help you navigate your transition to UCaaS seamlessly.