30 Mar What is UCaaS? An Introduction
Unified Communication is the heart of business operations today.
Without the right communication strategy, how would your team members collaborate successfully on important projects? If you don’t have a reliable communication stack, your entire organization begins to crumble. “Unified Communications” brings all of your communication components together in a single-pane-of-glass.
That means all your call recordings, call queuing, management, quality of service, voicemail, telephony, messaging, and video exist in the same place.
So, what’s UCaaS?
UC is Unified Communications as a Service.
UCaaS is currently one of the fastest growing “as a service” offerings in the world. Currently, it’s set to reach a value of around $36.45 billion by 2026. Why? Because UCaaS makes your unified communication strategy even more flexible and beneficial.
How is UCaaS Different to UC?
Unified Communications is a communication strategy that combines all of your communication services into a single environment. “UCaaS,” on the other hand, is a cloud-based version of that technology, delivered by a service provider.
Gartner, the leading analytics company behind documents like the “Gartner Magic Quadrant,” defines UCaaS as follows: “UCaaS is a cloud-delivered unified communications mode support six essential functions of communications.” The functionality at the heart of UCaaS includes:
- Enterprise telephony (voice)
- Unified messaging
- Presence and instant messaging
- Communications-enabled business processes
With UCaaS, you don’t need any physical infrastructure set-up in your company to get started. You can simply connect over the internet to your UCaaS vendor. Most solutions even come with portals where you can easily add and remove services according to your needs.
UCaaS reduces the issue of having to rip and replace old technology to upgrade your communication system. It’s also much easier for businesses in the new communication landscape, which need to ensure that all employees are connected in the same environment (even when working remotely).
How Does UCaaS Work?
UCaaS works in a similar way to UC on the surface.
For a long time, the electronic communications within a company were often made up of both phone, and email. Occasionally, you’d get a fax system included too. The features of phone and email systems in the business were managed on-premises. You’d have specific tools and hardware that allowed you to make calls in certain ways, or store information.
On-premises UC solutions allowed companies to build a more aligned environment for communications when new methods of connections began to emerge. For instance, you could have a single system for managing things like SMS, and phone calls. However, you’d still manage most of your own hardware in the office environment.
UCaaS basically takes the extra work off your shoulders. You get easy access to all of the functionality you need within an internet-based platform, hosted by a vendor. That means you just provision new features like “call queuing” to your employees by clicking into a portal and pressing a button. There’s no need for any complex engineering or provisioning.
UCaaS reduces the expenses associated with paying for complex technology in the on-premises environment. It also means that you can have a truly unified environment for examining all of your conversations, from video, to emails, and calls.
What are the Benefits of UCaaS?
So, why is UCaaS often deemed better than UC? UCaaS has a growth rate of around 29% per year, with more companies switching to the cloud all the time. As the business technology landscape grows increasingly “cloud-focused”, UCaaS is just one example of the flexible experiences that companies can create with the right systems.
Some of the major benefits of UCaaS include:
- Increased working options: Since the pandemic in 2020, virtually every company has implemented either a virtual or hybrid working strategy. As more companies continue to allow staff members to work from home, UCaaS ensures that your staff can stay well-connected. Everyone in your team gets access to the same technology, from call routing to collaboration tech. This improves knowledge flow and reduces silos.
- Improved security: UCaaS helps to align all of your communications in a secured environment. That means there’s less of a risk that one part of your system is going to be more vulnerable than another. Cloud providers follow strict compliance guidelines to ensure information remains safe. You can even choose where the data center that holds your information is going to be located.
- Better maintenance and support: On-premise UC systems really only used to be available for larger companies. That’s because smaller businesses didn’t have the technical professionals on-hand to maintain the solutions. UCaaS removes the maintenance stress from your shoulders. Your hosting provider can track your quality of service for you, and even promise a certain level of uptime.
- Reduced costs: Perhaps the most obvious benefit of any cloud investment, is the ability to lower costs. As mentioned above, you don’t need to hire specialists to handle your UCaaS system, because your hosted provider does that for you. There’s also less expense associated with accessing the right technology. Most UCaaS solutions will work with virtually any desk phone or softphone. You can even reduce your costs by pausing features when you don’t need them.
- Quicker innovation: As we all discovered in 2020, the ability to adapt quickly is important in today’s unpredictable environment. UCaaS is gradually growing more advanced, with access to new communication options like messaging, mobile apps, CPaaS, and APIs. With access to a cloud system, companies can easily add features as they emerge, and innovate at speed.
Plus, UCaaS ensures that even if your office shuts down, your employees can continue to work together and serve customers from anywhere with an internet connection.
UCaaS: It’s UC, Only Better
No company can afford to go without a reliable UC solution these days, but UC may not be the best way to leverage your communication strategy alone. Switching to a UCaaS environment that offers the flexibility and scalability of the cloud will save you time, money, and effort. As your business evolves, your UCaaS system will evolve with it. It’s the only way to stay ahead of the curve.