Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is now a business communications staple. Demand for cloud services is growing ever faster as businesses roll out hybrid working.
Read on to discover all the benefits of Unified Communications. We cover:
What Is Unified Communications?
You’ve heard the buzzword, but what is UC? Unified Communications (UC) is a suite of software and services that host many communication tools.
UC is a set of cloud-based communication systems and collaboration tools. These systems include many channels.
- Instant Message
UC offers remote admin, tight security and more phone features. As well as integrations through other business apps.
How Does Unified Communications Work?
As a cloud solution, UC is entirely IP-based. This enables more features like:
- Real-time Billing
- WebRTC Video Calls
- Unified Messaging
- Collaboration Apps
- File Sharing
VoIP technology plays a crucial role in UCaaS. It transfers the UC media packets to the cloud. All while powering SIP phone calls over the internet. UCaaS and VoIP networks work off data centres. Furthermore, there are no physical lines needed.
Unified Communications infrastructure is a suite of communication and collaboration apps. These apps enable teams to work together from anywhere in the world. That is, once they have suitable devices and internet connectivity.
Regardless of location, a UC solution works the same. Companies need the below equipment to add UC to their toolkit.
- Active internet connection
- Softphones (Desktop or Mobile)
- IP desk phones (approved by UC vendor)
- An account with a UC Provider
Your organisation may not be able to manage UC. That’s exactly why businesses lean towards cloud-based UCaaS.
What Is UCaaS?
Unified Communications as a Service utilises the cloud for delivery. UCaaS is similar to SaaS (Sales) and PaaS (Platform). Here are some examples of aaS businesses:
- SaaS: Salesforce, Google Suite, DropBox etc.
- PaaS: AWS, Google App Engine, Heroku
- UCaaS: Blueface
Can you have UC instead of UCaaS? Yes! The difference between UC and UCaaS is the “as a service” aspect. Both provide a similar suite of comms and collaboration apps.
The critical difference is that your provider hosts UCaaS. That means you don’t have to set up your infrastructure to get started. – UC Today
UCaaS is treated as a cloud utility and is managed by your service provider. This makes it easier to deploy and maintain. It also allows you to scale services based on your usage. Add new features, users and devices based on your needs. Now, onto the all-important apps. UC features include:
- IP Telephony (Voice)
- Video Conferencing
- Messaging Systems
- Mobile Integration
- Faxing (eFax)
- Voicemail (to email)
- Business Integrations (MS Teams, CRMs)
- Security Systems
- Device Management
UC offers all of these features and a whole lot more. Many think that UCaaS and VoIP are the same. This is true to an extent, but there are also some huge differences to consider.
UCaaS vs VoIP
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a key module of UCaaS. VoIP first came about in the early 1990s. It was the first internet phone system and was created to combat long-distance call quality and lower costs. VoIP is a digital evolution on old phone systems. It uses the internet to make and receive calls.
Then came Unified Communications. UC uses VoIP for its cloud phone technology. It brings many collaboration tools listed earlier into the mix. UCaaS then helped IT teams offload a lot of heavy-lifting to their service provider.
VoIP and UCaaS together offer businesses a modern, hybrid working solution. Backed by reliable service provider support.
Why Unified Communications?: UCaaS Benefits for Businesses
Business communication needs have changed. Collaboration has evolved beyond physical phones and emails. The sprawl of teamwork tools is overwhelming and costly.
UC solutions cut technology sprawl. Providing future-proofing features for hybrid working solutions. Employees can work from any location. All with the highest level of reliability.
Let’s get into all the UCaaS solutions’ benefits.
There are many ways UCaaS cuts costs. So if that’s what’s holding you back, check these out.
- Phone Bill: Old phone lines are costly. Line rental can break the bank before a single call is made. Unaffordable long-distance and mobile calls add up. UCaaS offers a cost-effective solution with a flat monthly fee.
- Fewer Suppliers: If time is money, time spent managing your business tools is costly. Why have one provider for video and another for voice? Why get a new phone company for each location when you can get a global provider? Cut your suppliers and make multi-location billing a breeze.
- Less Hardware and Support: On-premises hardware is not cheap! So, less hardware with UCaaS means fewer overheads. With a cloud-based phone, all you need is an internet connection. Additionally, UCaaS platforms deliver remote support. This saves on costly call-outs.
Flexibility and Mobility for Employees
The future of business is all about mobility. Are your employees working from home? Some working overseas? Or others working on the road? UCaaS is the solution that your business needs.
55% of employees want to work remotely at least three days a week. – Zippia Inc.
Hybrid working is now a must-have. Employers need to offer flexible options to retain staff. Turnover is expensive and the talent gap for senior positions is growing. UCaaS offers the features your business needs to help keep your most productive staff.
- Desktop Phone App: Fancy having your work laptop and phone system on one device? The Desktop App allows you to make and receive calls from your PC or Mac. A simple click to call option with no downtime.
- Softphone App: The days of sitting by your desk phone are gone! A UCaaS softphone app is your business landline on your mobile phone. Download the app and connect to the internet. Enjoy business calls and features – in your pocket.
- Microsoft Teams Phone System: Adding mobile and landline calls to MS Teams is easy with UC. Forget Microsoft’s complex call plans. Take advantage of your UC provider’s clear billing and fantastic call quality. Direct routing turns Microsoft Teams into the ultimate communication hub.
Softapps are treated as standard devices. That means you can forward calls to them (for free!) and add Softapps to any call flow.
Unparalleled Reliability and Scalability
Reliability is the cornerstone of any phone system. Stronger internet speeds and better reliability are driving mass adoption.
Reliability is ranked as the highest purchasing factor at 63%. – PR Newswire
UC always delivers on reliability. Old phone lines are hard to manage and will soon be obsolete.
True UCaaS carriers deliver service through private data centres so call transit is short. Put simply, your voice reaches your call recipient faster with private internet. Blueface, for instance, works with Equinix Data Centres. Great carriers also connect with rival carriers, including PSTN, to improve call quality.
When choosing communications, plan for business success.
As companies grow, so too will their technology. UCaaS is uniquely scalable. A cloud platform means businesses can click to add devices and any number of users needed. No capacity limits.
This makes growing your team easy – across any location.
Excellent teamwork ensures business success and smooth operations.
Virtual collaboration has risen to new heights! We all know tight teamwork improves productivity. Likewise, it improves employee satisfaction.
Team building and collaboration is the highest-ranked aspect of a great workplace. – Finances Online
UCaaS has many features to enhance team collaboration. However, one such tool improves individual communication by a massive 90%.
You guessed it! Business Video Conferencing (VC) and virtual meetings.
Blueface VC comes with one-click calls, screen sharing and IM. Quick scheduling with up-to-100 attendees makes video meetings a cinch.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Customer experience is high on business agendas. 93% of customers continue to purchase after an excellent customer experience. These UCaaS features will boost CX:
- IVR: IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. This automated menu is your one-stop-shop for customer satisfaction. Speed up responses by offering an automated menu. They can get to the right department and the correct answer – faster!
- Call Reporting: Call data can be one of the most powerful tools for CX. Learn your customers’ voice calling trends. Similarly, identify high call volume times. Data is king and will ensure your team is at hand for all customer queries.
Too many channels will drain team time! It doesn’t matter if you are a small or large business. UCaaS unites all apps under one platform and great service providers offer easy self-service.
- UC Platform: Manage all users, devices, sites and call strategies from a UC Portal. Make data-driven decisions with real-time call reporting, recording, voice and video. Blueface delivers a fully hosted phone service with powerful tools. Unrivalled management and collaborations all-in-one!
Businesses are moving to the cloud. Therefore, security is a top priority. Additionally, data breaches are on the rise. You may think that big businesses are the main target of data breaches. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Small businesses are the victims of 43% of data breaches. – Dataprot
UCaaS handles business security concerns. Here are just some of our security features.
- Advanced Permissions
- Secure Phone Provisioning
- Phone Health Monitoring
- ISO Certified Calls
- TLS / SRTP Encryption
- Change Audit Logging
- Remote Customer Support
- Data Protection Trained Staff
When choosing a provider, security should be front and centre. The above features add trust and are fuelling fast growth.
The Growth of UCaaS and Its Many Use Cases
The UC market will grow by $170bn from 2021 to 2025. More than 35% CAGR. -UC Today
The UCaaS market has enjoyed huge growth. So, why is this the case?
- Work is changing
- The move to hybrid working
- Obsolete lines and PBXs
- Digital transformation
UCaaS offers a solution to recent workplace changes. With the mass move to remote work, UC came to the forefront. It empowers employees to collaborate from anywhere.
Another reason for UC’s popularity is the end of legacy systems. The PSTN shutdown is impending. Likewise, soon-to-be-obsolete phone lines cause reliability issues. No more PSTN means the end of line rental and on-site PBXs!
31% use UCaaS to shed technical debt from legacy systems. – UC Today
The Future of UCaaS
74% of business CFOs say the cloud will have the most measurable impact on a company’s transformation. -UC Today
UCaaS is no longer nice to have. It is essential to keep up with changing employee and customer needs.
Hybrid working is the future. Only 11% of workers are set to return to the office full time. Therefore, cloud-based technology can future proof your workforce. UCaaS solutions make it safe and seamless for global collaboration.
Ready to Try Unified Communications with Blueface?
So, we now know the benefits of Unified Communications. The next question is, what UCaas provider is best?
Blueface offers a highly flexible and scalable unified communication solution. A market-leading UC Platform that makes global business easy. Our solution is backed by secure private data centres. Oh and don’t forget about the wealth of features too!
Top UCaaS providers like Blueface offer:
- Cost-Effective Plans
- Limitless Scalability
- Easy Self-Service
- First-Class Customer Service
- All-In-One Cloud Features
Consolidate all your comms supplier needs with Blueface. Why not learn more with a demo from a Blueface expert?
Contact the team to boost your business productivity!