What is UCaaS, and does your company need it?
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a cloud-based solution that integrates communication and collaboration tools into a single platform. UCaaS solutions typically include Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), video conferencing, instant messaging, file sharing, and more.
Some of the top UCaaS providers on the market today include RingCentral, 8×8, Cisco Webex, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, and GoTo.
Before modern-day UCaaS systems came about, organizations used a combination of disjointed tools for communication. Instead of having an all-in-one solution, companies would source and manage tools like traditional telephone systems, email, instant messaging platforms, video conferencing solutions, and collaboration platforms (think shared calendars or document sharing) separately. This works but lacks integration and interoperability, two abilities that can make or break an organization’s collaboration culture. With UCaaS, collaboration is seamless.
As more and more companies adopt flexible remote work policies, collaboration across devices, channels, and locations is increasingly important.
Why would I use UCaaS vs. more traditional phone systems?
There are several reasons why an organization may choose to switch over to UCaaS from a traditional phone system or on-premises UC solutions. We’ve listed a few below.
UCaaS offers more than just voice calling – it allows for video conferencing, instant messaging, file sharing, and integration with other company systems.
Hosting your communications solution in the cloud is often more cost-effective than implementing and managing traditional hardware on-site, especially up-front.
The cloud also allows for scalability, giving you the ability to add or remove users as your company grows without the headache of hardware upgrades or maintenance.
Access your communication tools anywhere with an internet connection, from any device.
On-premises solutions require your team to upkeep system maintenance and take care of any updates that may be required. For UCaaS subscribers, this responsibility falls on the UCaaS provider. This ensures that your call quality remains high.
On-premises solutions again require your team to take on additional responsibilities, this time to keep your system secure. UCaaS users rely on the provider to provide enterprise-level cybersecurity and support for safeguarding their data.
So…does my company need UCaaS?
UCaaS can be valuable for companies of any size or industry. For distributed organizations with multiple locations or remote teams, the flexibility of UCaaS is particularly valuable. Small-medium-sized businesses and startups can gain an advantage by avoiding upfront costs and maintenance associated with on-premises solutions. They can also grow their teams without worrying about additional hardware projects. Enterprise companies can benefit from the more advanced features of UCaaS, such as integration with existing tools, helping streamline communication and collaboration across teams while enjoying the flexibility and scalability valued by smaller companies.
If you want to determine if UCaaS is right for your unique organization, you can ask these questions:
- How many employees do I have? How do they currently communicate with clients or customers? Have we experienced any gaps in communication?
- Do we need a more efficient way for employees to communicate with each other/customers?
- Do we have remote employees or multiple office locations that need to cross-collaborate?
- Are we growing? Is a scalable communication solution a good idea for us?
- Do we need a centralized communication solution that can integrate with other company applications (CRM, ERP, project management platforms)?
- Would reducing the cost and complexity associated with managing and maintaining an on-premises system solve any employee bandwidth issues for us?
Overall, UCaaS can benefit any organization that wants to improve communication and collaboration among employees, reduce communication costs, and access advanced communication tools and features.
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