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UCaaS and SDWAN: Why They’re Better Together


UCaaS is accelerating into a state of rapid growth, driven by the demand for greater flexibility, scalability, and versatility introduced by the pandemic. In the last couple of years, companies have discovered how important it is to access more of the functionality they need in the cloud.

Unified Communications as a Service empowers businesses to access all of the functionality they need for exceptional communication and collaboration in a single environment. More importantly, with UCaaS, your team members can access this technology anywhere, whether they’re working remotely, or in the field. It’s no wonder UCaaS is growing at a rate of around 13.4%, towards a value of $69.93 billion by 2028.

However, despite all of its value, UCaaS does have some limitations on its own. To really get the most out of UCaaS, many companies also need to consider how they can enhance their network infrastructure for the age of cloud. SDWAN, or Software-Defined Wide Area Networking, could be the solution.

Let’s explore why SDWAN and UCaaS work so well together.

The Rise of UCaaS Enhanced with SDWAN

Cloud-based communication strategies have grown increasingly valuable in recent years. Frost and Sullivan says around 85% of companies have moved either part or all of their communications into the cloud. In large part, the transition to the cloud has a lot to do with the pandemic, and the need to keep teams connected and productive in a distributed world.

However, the UCaaS environment also offers a lot of benefits. UCaaS can scale easily up or down to suit budget needs and changing marketplace expectations. With UCaaS, you also get a convenient environment for managing all kinds of tools and user profiles remotely. Most solutions come with zero-touch provisioning and very few requirements for ongoing maintenance.

UCaaS gives companies the power they need to achieve business continuity in an unpredictable world, while also ensuring you have an easy way to innovate and add new features to your technology stack. However, there are some issues with old-fashioned systems. For instance, many older UCaaS packages rely on PBX solutions and MPLS connections with inefficient processes in place.

While UCaaS naturally moves communications into the cloud and digital environment, it also doesn’t differentiate between which packages of information need the most bandwidth and speed. This is where SDWAN can really save the day.

How SDWAN Supports UCaaS Connections

SDWAN is the convenient virtual alternative to old-fashioned WAN technologies. This virtual solution was specially built for the age of the cloud, and is growing to an estimated value of $8.4 billion by 2025.

SDWAN gives companies more control over which connectivity avenues they want to access, and which connections get the most bandwidth. In the communications landscape, having the ability to control your traffic is crucial, because different modes of communication are more likely to be affected by lag and latency.

You may not notice a little delay when sending instant messages to colleagues or customers, but video and voice are more likely to be negatively influenced by packet loss, jitter, and delays. With old-fashioned solutions, all forms of data in a UCaaS environment would move data through your network at the same speed, giving everything an equal share of bandwidth. However, with SDWAN, you can control your communication network, and ensure the most important connections gain the most support (such as voice and video).

Advanced SDWAN solutions can conveniently and automatically differentiate network traffic, prioritizing real-time video conferencing and phone calls, so you can ensure more effective conversations. SDWAN also allows you to expand the network of your UC infrastructure as cost-effectively and conveniently as possible. You can even decide which locations in your business get the strongest connectivity.

The Benefits of SDWAN with UCaaS

Connecting SDWAN and UCaaS allows companies to more easily leverage all of the unique benefits a cloud-based communication system has to offer. Depending on the level of service you access, you can even have your entire ecosystem managed for you by a service provider.

Instead of requiring companies to rely on a one-size-fits-all approach, SD-WAN gives you the freedom to adjust your communication strategy to suit your specific needs. The benefits of this significant flexibility include:

  • Improved routing: SDWAN is an excellent tool for addressing common UCaaS landscape issues, such as packet loss, latency, and jitter. By deploying dynamic tools for traffic management across various network links, SDWAN improves the routing experience for everyone, and improves communication quality.
  • Better security: Security is a crucial consideration for any business, and SDWAN can help you to make your environment more secure. When you can control your WAN environment, using segmentation and solation, you can minimise the potential impact of any attack in your ecosystem. There are even solutions like SASE in development which combine SDWAN functions with additional applications for security.
  • Compliance: Outside of making your business more secure, SDWAN can also help to make your UCaaS environment more compliant too. Having complete control over how you move communication data through your network means you can comply with the latest regulations in your industry. You can even make sure certain pieces of data stay within a particular country if you have certain requirements for data sovereignty.
  • Boosted reliability: Every company wants a reliable communications environment they can use to strengthen team performance. SDWAN helps to enhance your communication stack by building failover strategies into your environment, with multiple networks to switch to if anything goes wrong with a single connection. For instance, if a company had an issue with a broadband connection, they could switch to an MPLS solution then switch back at a later date, when the connectivity was fixed.
  • Greater visibility: Enhanced visibility in a UCaaS environment can have a lot of value. It ensures you can track performance elements more effectively, and even reduce the risk of high expenses. SDWAN provides a centralized environment for controlling all of your communication connections. Depending on the kind of service or solution you pay for, you may also be able to access real-time monitoring tools with useful AI insights and guidance.
  • Enhanced scalability: A major benefit of using UCaaS for your communications stack, is the ability to scale your service up and down according to your needs. Because you’ll have more control over your communications environment, you can adjust your network architecture whenever and however you choose, often with minimal initial investment. SDWAN and UCaaS together creates a far more scalable environment for a rapidly-changing business communication landscape.

The Future of UCaaS and SDWAN Combined

Ultimately, companies of all sizes are now under increasing pressure to shift more of their operations into a flexible, cloud environment. However, this transition isn’t always easy, particularly when you’re using old-fashioned networking solutions. Embracing SDWAN at the same time you access UCaaS technology could be the best way to get the most out of your investment.

With SDWAN and UCaaS together, you get a more flexible and controllable environment for your day-to-day communications. You can even access tools that allow you to scale your cloud environment even further using SDWAN. For instance, you may eventually decide to bundle your UCaaS and SDWAN strategy with new CPaaS integrations and CCaaS (Contact Centre as a Service) solutions too. This would provide an all-in-one cloud for all of your communication needs.

Increasingly, many vendors are beginning to offer a wider range of SDWAN and UCaaS packages to choose from too. For instance, we’re seeing an increasing interest in SASE technology as the next level solution for combining SDWAN with new tools for security and control.

SDWAN has the potential to turbocharge your UCaaS investment, but as always, you need to make sure you’re using the right vendor if you want to get the right results.