Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is becoming essential for many businesses. Keeping your employees “unified” by outsourcing all of your communications and collaboration needs to one provider is efficient and effective – keeping your team members seamlessly connected wherever they are.
What is UCaaS?
UCaaS, which stands for Unified Communications as a Service, integrates communications capabilities such as phone service, chat and messaging functions, and video conferencing into one comprehensive, outsourced platform. UCaaS’s definition is easily broken into two components:
- Unified communications: Phone, chat and conferencing functions provided via one integrated platform.
- As a service: When the platform is hosted – usually in the cloud – by a service provider.
How does UCaaS work?
Companies of all types and sizes are moving from on-premise phone systems to cloud-based phone systems with UCaaS platforms. Integrated platforms enable all functions – phone, chat, conferencing – to work in tandem for seamless collaboration and ease of use. And since your UCaaS platform is in the cloud, it’s better insulated from localized hiccups via power outages, natural disasters, etc. And when interruptions or disasters do strike, it’s easy to get back up and running because employees can access your company’s platform from virtually anywhere.
UCaaS also provides companies peace of mind. IT teams can concentrate on strategic initiatives instead of sourcing and maintaining communications systems. And the finance teams love shifting the costs for those systems from CapEx to OpEx when they’re sourced from a UCaaS service provider.
- Simplified communication via one user interface
- Centralized management via one unified platform
- Functionality across endpoints, e.g., desk computer, desk phone, smartphone, tablet, etc.
- Rapid deployment
- BYOD (bring your own device) capability
- Uninterrupted access
- Extension portability or “twinning” capability to access deskphone features from other devices
- Incoming call control and easy preference setting
- Easy call transferring
- Internal messaging options for voice and text
- Speech-to-text voice mail conversion
- Unified messaging across wireless and wireline connections with customizable alerts
- Videoconferencing options with easy setup and control
- Click to call, chat or conference
- Centralized business directory
Why Should Your Business Move to UCaaS?
All businesses can benefit from partnering with a UCaaS provider. UCaaS can be deployed over the top of legacy phone connections or any hosted VoIP or cloud-based phone system, and in some cases, can even work with an on-premise PBX (if connected to the cloud via SIP Trunking).
Regardless of your plan to take your unified communications to the next level, here are a few of the benefits you’ll realize with UCaaS.
- Flexibility: Decentralizes management and resources, enabling your business to access talent virtually anywhere and facilitating remote work virtually anywhere.
- Scalability: Scales up or down easily to accommodate growth or seasonal needs.
- Cost-Savings: Provides financial forecasting ability by billing via an annual or monthly subscription and negates the need for large capital expenditures for on-premise equipment. And since UCaaS scales on demand, you no longer have to “over-purchase” to future-proof your communications.
- Security: Monitoring access is easier with one platform, and UCaaS providers typically employ sophisticated encryption and multi-factor authentication (MFA) strategies for enhanced protection.
- Accessibility: Creates an “always on” environment where apps and internal teams are easily accessible for collaboration.
- Always Up-to-Date: Platform security patches, bug fixes and new features are delivered automatically, ensuring your communications solution is never out of date.
UCaaS vs. Other Business Phone Systems
Choosing between business phone systems? Here’s how UCaaS stacks up.
UCaaS vs. PBX/PSTN
Traditional PBX on the PSTN provides virtually no collaboration functionality outside of the functions of the handsets you select. UCaaS enables extensive communications and collaboration options beyond the office walls to almost any location and any device.
UCaaS vs. Software-Based UC Platforms
A cloud-based UCaaS platform is accessible from anywhere, enabling collaboration across devices, applications and locations. A software-based UC platform usually runs in tandem with a software-based PBX. UC platforms provide some collaboration functions but are not as robust as cloud-based UCaaS platforms.
UCaaS vs. Hosted VoIP
UCaaS is an all-encompassing service integrating phone, chat and videoconferencing into one platform. Hosted VoIP – or cloud PBX – provides only the telephony portion.
UCaaS vs. CPaaS
UCaaS and CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) are similar in providing unified communications, enhanced collaboration and easy scalability. However, UCaaS is significantly more turnkey, delivering bundled, fully maintained collaboration solutions. CPaaS is customizable and requires software developers, coding expertise and API access. Advanced UCaaS providers, like FlexIP Solutions, can deliver customized UCaaS deployments that provide the right features for each business case. (See our Perfect Fit Promise.)
UCaaS vs. CCaaS
UCaaS is typically used for fostering internal communications and collaboration, whereas CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) is deployed to serve customers or field personnel.
What is the best UCaaS Provider for Your Business?
When you’re ready to deploy a unified communications platform, you should rely on a trusted partner with UC expertise and experience. FlexIP Solutions leverages advanced cloud technology to build and manage a custom collaboration solution that’s perfect for your business. Building on the FlexIP Perfect-Fit Promise, FlexIP empowers your team with an all-in-one communications platform customized to help your business thrive.
Flex UCaaS simplifies business communications and collaboration by integrating voice, video and chat functionality into one platform and enables you to take your office phone wherever you want to go – anytime, anywhere, on any device.
Ready to unify your communications? Let’s talk.