Article contributed by Yeastar
UCaaS stands for unified communications as a service. Unified communications offered as part of the “as a service” model is quickly becoming the go-to solution for businesses with complex communications needs. So, is UCaaS truly deserving of the accolades it is receiving? What can UCaaS solutions offer your business? Keep reading as we take a deep dive into details about the service UCaaS can provide to you.
Unified Communications as a Service
Let’s break this down into two parts. First, what is unified communications (UC)? This term refers to the complex mix of communications and communications methods that businesses use to function today. The components of UC are:
- Instant messaging
- Video and web conferencing
- File and screen sharing
- Contact management
- Collaboration tools
The “as a service” model simply means that a particular technical need is met via a service that is accessed via the cloud. Communications as a service is popular because the customer enjoys the benefits of a unified communications platform while the infrastructure is handled by the UCaaS provider. Even better, that unified communications platform provides an intuitive interface to manage all the components from video conferencing to IP phones. This usually occurs via an app or other software that connects to the cloud.
Problems UCaaS solves
Businesses adopt unified communications as a service because it meets some important needs, including:
- Reducing upfront and ongoing maintenance costs.
- Allowing employees to stay connected while working remotely.
- Integrating the use and administration of a wide range of communications tools and technologies.
- Removing the need to manage PBX servers and other business communications tech on site.
- Reducing hardware and other costs such as phone line installation.
Overview of Unified Communications as a Service
Unified communications as a service offers a single point of management for all the communications needs of your business. UCaaS solutions cover areas including SMS, chat, video conferencing, and customer service center functionality.
UCaaS is also cloud based. There is no need to install additional VoIP servers or extra phone lines. Instead, your chosen UCaaS provider will handle management functions like maintenance, security, and configuration.
Because unified communications is largely driven by VoIP, it’s important to have a basic understanding of business VoIP, and how it supports the voice functionality offered by UCaaS providers.
Simply put, VoIP converts voice into data packets that are transmitted to a cloud phone service. Universal Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) drives the operation of phone numbers and voicemail notifications.
All of that functionality exists with UCaaS, but the complexity is removed. With UCaaS, your employees can make phone calls, but you have none of the infrastructure concerns. That burden is passed onto UCaaS providers. Your team can engage in whatever business communication functions they need to no matter where they are. UCaaS enables business VoIP on any computer or mobile device as long as it can connect to the cloud.
Advantages over an in-house UCaaS solution
If you attempted to build an in-house UC platform, you could expect to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s not taking into account the amount of time you would spend managing it. Then, each time you grew, you would have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. That’s another thing to consider. In contrast, your UCaaS solution will be scalable. It’s also the perfect solution for any company with its eye on disaster recovery. Your service provider can help ensure that you stay online and available through severe weather events or loss of power. Whether your business needs to change or something else comes up, UCaaS guarantees availability.
Difference between UCaaS and CPaaS
As you learn more about unified communications as a service, you may run across information about a different communications platform called CPaaS, which stands for communications platform as a service.
This is a communication platform that is meant for developers who want to add text and voice functionality to the apps they develop. Essentially, they use APIs to add messaging functions to the software they are developing.
This is different from UCaaS, which is a solution for meeting business communications and collaborations needs via a single platform. It doesn’t require you to have any technical skills.
If you are developing an app or other software, and want to integrate voice or text, CPaaS might be a good option for you. However, it isn’t a substitute for UCaaS, which you can use to streamline voice, messaging, video conferencing, contact management, screen sharing, and your business phone system.
Benefits of UCaaS solutions
Many, if not most, companies will benefit from adopting UCaaS solutions. If you are motivated by saving money, streamlining processes, and outsourcing tasks that are not mission-critical, consider the following benefits of UCaaS.
When you consider that UCaaS solutions are cloud-based, it’s clear why unified communications as a service is a budget-friendly choice. Not only do you save on installation and maintenance, you can potentially save on:
- Real estate or property leases
- New users
- Data center management
That’s not all. Because UCaaS platforms are designed to meet all of your modern business communication needs, you can also eliminate expenses related to the following solutions:
- Video conferencing and audio conferencing equipment and services
- SMS messaging
- File sharing
- Private internal messaging
- Online meetings
- Desktop phones
- Web conferencing
The best part is that this cost savings comes without loss of functionality. Instead, your service provider will help you use UCaaS to add value to your company.
Enhanced remote work capabilities
The service UCaaS can provide is miles ahead of traditional phone service. Without this technology, remote employees must often piece together a patchwork of solutions to stay connected with the office and customers. In some cases, they may even have to lug around special equipment for video conferencing, customer support, and other services. With UCaaS, workers can seamlessly execute their duties without dealing with equipment or hodgepodge communication tools.
As long as they have a high-speed internet connection, workers can use business phone services, videoconferencing, instant messaging, web conferencing, file sharing, and collaboration tools.
Streamlined collaboration tools
Without UCaaS, you might have various communications and collaboration tools. You may even pay separate licensing and maintenance fees for them. Worse, different workers may be using different tools, or varying versions of the same collaboration tools. What a mess.
Rather than juggling all of these standalone instant messaging tools and other apps, consider streamlining your business communications tools into a single, cloud-based solution via UCaaS.
UCaaS is easy to set up
Rather than spending hours configuring videoconferencing, instant messaging, SMS, collaboration tools, and phone service for each user, our UCaaS solution practically sets itself up. This means your team can focus on doing their jobs, not replicating the kind of service UCaaS provides automatically.
UCaaS is secure
If you have a staff of remote workers, it makes sense to be concerned about endpoint security. If they are using multiple communications tools, you have even more reason for concern. Are those tools secure, are they updated with the latest security patches? Sadly, the business world is full of people who would love the opportunity to access your sensitive data. With UCaaS, your provider takes care of encryption and other security measures, and your business communications security only has to cover a single suite of tools from one cloud-based provider.
UCaaS platforms also allow you to monitor use of your system on demand and in real time. You can never be too safe.
UCaaS grows with you
Imagine adding 100 new employees, opening a new store, or breaking ground on a new office complex. Setting up a traditional phone system along with providing all the other communications tools your team needs is a major undertaking. That’s the kind of thing that could keep your in-house IT staff busy for a year or more. Can you afford that kind of resource allocation? That’s not including the work you will have to do with your business telecom provider.
That isn’t the case with unified communications. Growing your business with UCaaS means that your communications solution is cloud-based and easy to update. There are no clunky or expensive phone system updates. Instead, your new staff can use features like call routing, call forwarding, IM, and web conferencing right away. They just need access to the internet!
Yeastar UC solution: Linkus UC Clients
Designed for Yeastar's PBX System, Linkus UC Clients enable users to easily access a comprehensive suite of calling, conference, voicemail, presence, enterprise contacts, and collaboration functions from a single interface using mobile phones, desktops, and web browsers. Employees can stay connected with colleagues and customers where, when, and however they prefer. Click on the button below to download Linkus UC Clients for free!
This article was originally published on Yeastar's blog.
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