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What is UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service)?


(UC) Unified Communications as a Service Concept Art

UcaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) is a cloud-based model that puts together all the capabilities and features of UC (Unified Communications) like chat, file sharing, telephony, and video conferencing tools into a single and comprehensive platform.  


What Does UCaaS Stand for?

UC or unified communications, refers to the multiple communications and productivity tools that are integrated into a single platform.

UCaaS, short for Unified Communications as a Service, refers to the combination of various communication and productivity tools that are integrated into a single platform.


“As a service” refers to the delivery model used for cloud services.


UCaaS vs UC: What is the Difference?

The main difference between UCaaS and UC is their delivery. UC is a broader term that encompasses UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service). In addition, UC solutions can be delivered via the cloud or on-premise while UCaaS is only provided through the cloud.

Thanks to its cloud-based nature, UCaaS solutions are typically easier to scale and more cost-effective when compared to traditional UC offerings. Since your solution is hosted in the cloud recurring fees such as maintenance, installation, and on-site support are eliminated, making Unified Communications as a Service cheaper and easier to deploy.


How Does Unified Communication as a Service Work?

To fully comprehend how UCaaS works first you need to understand how UC (Unified Communications) operates. 


The Truth Behind UC

UC provides a platform that allows you to switch seamlessly between your business communication channels including e-mail, SMS/Text, video conferencing, calls, and more. That sounds good, doesn’t it? The issue is that UC requires users to switch between multiple communication channels resulting in lower productivity and stress.

 

According to a Harvard Business article, “People spend just under four hours a week reorienting themselves after toggling to a new application. Over the course of a year, that adds up to five working weeks, or 9% of their annual time at work”.


This study also found that “After 65% of switches, users toggled to yet another app less than 11 seconds later. In other words, the time spent on an application is not significantly higher than the tax paid for toggling over to it. The result is that users are being asked to constantly refocus, and their attention spans are fragmented, which leads to them being depleted.”  


Unified Communications as a Service Boosts Productivity

UCaaS eliminates the need of toggling between applications by providing a streamlined platform for all your communication services, resulting in increased collaboration and productivity. In addition, its cloud-based nature makes UCaaS solutions accessible from anywhere at any time making it the perfect solution for mobile or hybrid work environments.


Man sending a text message through a Unified Comms as a Service Platform.

Essential Tools of UCaaS

A good, unified communication as a service system should include:


Chat

Enhance team collaboration with instant messaging. Stay connected in real-time with features like individual and group messaging, team and project channels, and easy file-sharing options for seamless communication. 


Collaboration

From shared calendars to seamless file sharing and comprehensive project management tools, unified communication as a service makes it effortless for employees to work together across functions, driving alignment and achieving goals.


SMS

Integrating your UCaaS solution with text/SMS allows you to expand and increase your organization's reach while enhancing your communication and marketing strategy.


VoIP

Efficient communication is vital for making informed decisions quickly. By leveraging UCaaS innovative VoIP services, businesses can streamline their processes and accelerate decision-making while ensuring seamless communication.

Some of the features included in VoIP services in unified communication as a service solution include:

  • Call forwarding

  • Conference Calling

  • Call Recording

  • Advanced Call Routing

  • And more.


Video

Maximize team collaboration with UCaaS video feature. Conduct seamless online meetings and engage in face-to-face interactions across time zones. Enhance productivity with advanced collaboration tools such as screen sharing, recordings, and chat. Unlock the full potential of video with unified communications as a service.


Pros and Cons of Unified Communications as a Service 

Even though unified communication as a service has plenty of benefits, every

solution has its drawbacks. That’s why it’s crucial to be informed before deciding if

UCaaS is for you.  


Pros Unified Comms as a Service

  • Lower investment

  • No maintenance or installation needed

  • Greater mobility and scalability

  • No need to invest in software updates or hardware

Cons of Unified Cons as a Service

  • High dependency on the quality of your internet connection 

  • Little to no emergency calling 

  • Compatibility issues with existing hardware 


How to Move to UCaaS

(UC) Unified Communications as a Service Concept Art.

Moving to a unified communication as a service provider can be beneficial for both enterprise-level organizations and small businesses, but not planning your migration properly can lead to disruptions, reduced productivity, and increased costs. Before migrating to a UCaaS solution, make sure to follow the following tips:


Tip 1: Audit Your Current Communication Systems

Identifying your existing tools and application systems will allow you to avoid overlapping tools and reduce costs by identifying which tools you need and which ones you don’t. In addition, auditing your tools will allow you to identify untapped communication opportunities to boost your business productivity, reduce costs, and more.

Tip 2: Conduct a Needs Assessment

Every organization has unique needs, so having a clear understanding of the features you require and identifying any gaps in your current setup is crucial. Additionally, this assessment phase provides an opportunity to gather valuable feedback from your team members and pinpoint areas where workflows could be enhanced.


Tip 3: Inform your Team of your Migration Plans

Keeping your employees in the loop will allow them to plan accordingly and smoothen your migration process to avoid unnecessary drawbacks and ensure minimum disruption.


Tip 4: Train Your Team

Training your team on unified communications as a service platform will ensure you reduce the learning curve associated with a new system. Make sure to leverage any learning material or resources provided by your UCaaS provider to ensure your team knows how to handle your system.


How to Find the Right UCaaS Provider

Man managing workflows through a UC Unified Communications as a Service-Platform.

Investing in a new UCaaS platform brings numerous advantages to both new and established businesses. However, selecting the right UC provider can be a daunting task. To ensure you find the best fit for your business, keep the following criteria in mind.


Support Services

Your UCaaS systems will be as efficient as your UCaaS services. Do you have 24/7

support? Is your provider assisting in your installation process? Is your team

receiving the right training? Before choosing your next provider, ask yourself the

following questions to ensure you have a deep understanding of your

provider's offerings.


Security Services

The rise of hybrid and remote working environments has made security a crucial

vertical for all organizations. When searching for UCaaS services, ensure your

providers have comprehensive security in their whole infrastructure.

Reliability

When evaluating UC providers, it is crucial to examine their uptime history and

request documentation on their reliability performance. You should prioritize

providers with an uptime percentage exceeding 99 percent. Additionally, it is worth

checking the UC providers' social media pages for any recurring patterns or past

outages.


User Experience

A Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) system streamlines cross-device

work for employees, highlighting the importance of a consistent user interface (UI)

and user experience (UX). This not only saves time but also enhances employees'

ability to efficiently navigate and oversee their daily communication tools.


Additionally, a consistent UI and UX facilitates IT support when necessary. 


The Future of UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service)

Women using unified comms as a service platform to make a video conference.

With the rapid advancement of communication technology, businesses are

increasingly embracing cloud-based UC platforms to stay ahead with innovative

features and robust security. Additionally, several other trends are reshaping the

landscape of business communication technology.


AI (Artificial Intelligence)

UCaaS services are now adopting AI and machine learning technologies to boost

productivity, reduce their cost and improve the overall efficiency in their workplace.



CRM Integration

As technology advances, an increasing number of UCaaS solutions are offering a

seamless way to improve customer experiences by integrating contact centers and

customer relationship management (CRM) tools into their platform.


This makes UCaaS services not only beneficial for employee communication and

connection, but also it makes it an efficient tool for managing customer relationships.


Security Measures

With the increasing number of communication and collaboration methods, it's

essential to stay vigilant against security threats. Thankfully, UC platforms are

continuously enhancing their infrastructure to better manage threats, provide robust

encryption services, and ensure effective data protection.

Additionally, investing in specialized UCaaS services like the one offered by BTI will

allow you to meet your specific compliance requirements while having a specialized

team of experts monitoring your systems 24/7/365.



Looking for UCaaS Services? 

Here at BTI, we have more than 35+ years providing UCaaS services to small

businesses and enterprise-level organizations. If you are looking for a

UCaaS provider that can take care of all your communication needs including

installation, support, upkeep, and the integration of your UCaaS platform with the

latest AI advancements and other technologies for an affordable price, you are in the

right place!  

 

Experience world-class communications today! Contact us now and schedule your

free business assessment!  



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