Wondering what is Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)?
Unified Communications as a Service, also known as UCaaS, is a framework for integrating various real-time communication tools in your business.
Currently, there are many dispersed communication channels available to employees. Channels like email, telephone, VoIP, Video Conferencing, Social Media, and the list goes on.
The purpose of UCaaS is to integrate all the different channels. This framework enhances business communication, collaboration, and productivity.
If you’re wondering what the real value of UCaaS technology is, or how you can apply its many benefits to your business, this blog post will guide you through everything you need to know.
What Is Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)?
To start, let’s break down exactly what UCaaS is.
“Unified Communications” is mostly self-explanatory; it’s the framework for integrating important communications tools like VoIP, audio and video conferencing, chat, faxing, mobile applications, and more.
Some UCaaS solutions also offer contact centers, collaboration suites, SD-WAN capabilities, and virtual workspaces.
The “as a Service” component of UCaaS refers to how a business implements the unified communications platform.
UCaaS solutions are typically provided over the internet via cloud servers.
Cloud architectures may vary, but most leading UCaaS providers offer purely hosted or hybrid cloud solutions.
How Does UCaaS Work?
UCaaS is designed to provide a seamless user experience by housing all of a business’ critical communication tools within a single platform.
That being said, UCaaS solutions are easy to use.
Users at your business will receive a login or launch an application from their device (usually a desktop, laptop, or in some cases even a tablet or smartphone).
This enables them to seamlessly access all of their communication tools.
If your business embraces a traditional office setup, you’re likely wondering, “but what about their desk phone?”
This is a valid question that demonstrates the beauty of UCaaS.
UCaaS solutions are compatible with a range of communications tools from desk phones to mobile phones, tablets, and more.
Select UCaaS systems also offer the ability to leverage a softphone application from a desktop computer or mobile device.
This flexibility allows a range of businesses to leverage UCaaS in a way that suits their daily operational needs.
Employees working from home can access the same phone system they would use at work, on-site staff can focus all of their attention on one screen more easily, and mobile users can use their mobile device to access the platform without using their personal phone number.
Unified Communications as a Service Benefits
UCaaS offers a range of features to provide solutions for every business communications need.
Here is a breakdown of the most popular features and their respective benefits.
Voice over Internet Protocol is another disruptive revolution for business tech and productivity.
UCaaS solutions are best known for their ability to provide crystal-clear and reliable VoIP services that allow businesses to spend less money on their phone systems.
VoIP solutions also made the concept of a softphone possible, freeing businesses from the necessity of having physical desk phones.
Whatever your business prefers, VoIP is adaptable to the traditional desk phone, softphone, or mobile device of choice.
Setting meetings is complicated enough when everyone is in the office thanks to hectic and frequently changing schedules.
Add a mobile workforce and incorporating external parties to the mix and it becomes nearly impossible.
UCaaS allows you to simplify this vital process with streamlined audio and video conferencing tools.
Although faxing is a technology often associated with a pre-UCaaS era, it still has an important place in modern work environments.
UCaaS can also offer a digital upgrade to traditional faxing with the ability to send faxes via email instead of phone lines.
Mobile Apps & Texting
Desk phones are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to business communications endpoints.
Today, the prevalence of the smartphone is a critical tool for anyone who wants to reach their customers more successfully.
UCaaS solutions extend their platform to smartphones via mobile applications and some even offer SMS/MMS texting services.
Chat & Presence Management
For internal collaboration, built-in chat and presence management tools allow team members to stay in sync with one another with very little disruption.
Built-in chat tools make it easy for users to check in with colleagues without sending another email or meeting face to face and presence management tools allow users to see who is at or away from their desks or on a call as well as click-to-call their extension, all from a single screen.
Unified Communications Cost Benefit Analysis
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits and advantages of UCaaS is the built-in cost savings of using this groundbreaking technology.
Since UCaaS solutions are leveraged via a cloud network, often without any on-premises hardware, businesses are free from expensive overhead costs associated with managing their own hardware, security, and maintenance.
In cases where solutions do require minimal on-premises hardware, it serves to further enhance and protect communications with the result being less downtime and increased productivity.
UCaaS is also typically billed on a monthly or annual subscription where providers can keep costs low thanks to the volume of users utilizing their service.
In summary, the objective of Unified Communications is to unify and streamline all business procedures that involve human communications – Unified Communications as a Service is the integration of all separate communications components into a homogeneous, efficient, productive user experience.
All of this makes UCaaS solutions a very attractive communications option for the modern, growing enterprise.