A Guide to UCaaS: The Future of Communication
Communication is a cornerstone of a good business.
Whether it’s communication between employees, managers, clients, or vendors, every organization wants a system in place that allows them to reach their contacts easily and efficiently.
One of the first big breakthroughs in the communication realm was on-premises PBX systems. These old-fashioned phone lines were invented in the 1970s, and although expensive for their time, they were also extremely novel and useful. PBX systems carried on in use for many years, but in the 1990s, a new type of system arose known as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
VoIP gained in popularity and is still used by many businesses today. But now, there’s an even more effective and advantageous communication system building speed with businesses: Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).
UCaaS integrates the benefits of VoIP with other helpful tools to create a fully-fledged communication system that can be used across multiple platforms. Let’s dive into UCaaS a little more to learn how it works and if it’s right for your business!
What is UCaaS?
UCaaS is basically a blend of internet-based phone and messaging with a full-featured communications platform. It’s risen in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic because it allows organizations and their employees access to multiple collaboration tools from anywhere.
So, as most employees are now working remotely, they can access solutions from their computer, phone, or tablet. And this isn’t only helpful when users are working from home. Even when employees start heading back into the office, UCaaS allows them to continue easily communicating whether they are traveling for a meeting, on the road, doing a site visit, or more.
One of the system’s biggest benefits is that it consolidates what usually is multiple different applications into one. It’s a simple solution that has everything all in one place.
Even further, the “as-a-service” inclusion in UCaaS means that everything is hosted online in the cloud. That means zero infrastructure that you have to purchase and set up—and zero initial costs that usually come with advanced communication systems.
Because UCaaS is a fully-fledged communication tool, it does more than just call. It also includes real-time chat, audio and video conferencing, and more.
Voice communication is still a necessary component of nearly every business. So, VoIP is actually at the heart of many UCaaS solutions. The flexibility of the cloud makes it easy for users to make and receive calls no matter where they are. On top of that, UCaaS systems often offer even more advanced features such as call recording, AI implementations for intelligent call routing, and sentiment analysis.
We’ve all likely increased our video conferencing ten-fold in the last year as we’ve been working from home. And this new trend likely won’t end even when employees might be back in the office. Companies have realized that video is a great alternative to voice calling because it allows users to get to know each other better, offers more body language cues, and evokes more of the connection that comes with talking face to face. With the inclusion of video conferencing in UCaaS systems, employees can continue to communicate over video easily.
Another go-to included in UCaaS is messaging. Messaging is often the communication style of choice for users wanting quick, real-time conversations. More and more clients and customers are even using text messaging to communicate with businesses. UCaaS sweeps messaging into the bundle of tools offered with cloud-based instant messaging and SMS or MMS texts. Devices integrated into your UCaaS system can also give employees access to social media chat, voicemail, transcriptions, and instant messages.
UCaaS solutions also include presence features. These are the features that allow you to see who is available and who isn’t. Presence features make working and communication even more efficient because users can see who’s available for a call before even dialing a number. Managers can also use presence features to keep up and in touch with remote workers, determining if they are unavailable to chat because they are in a call, currently in a meeting, or have stepped away for a break.
One of the largest benefits of UCaaS is that you can build it how you want. By customizing your UCaaS solution, you can access the applications and software you need and use in your organization. This can include collaboration tools, project management tools, and more. Add in document sharing, simultaneous editing, to-do lists, shared calendars, and even joint file storage. You can even include faxing tools that allow you to send and receive faxes straight from your computer or phone.
And the best part is that all of these solutions are integrated into one place. Your UCaaS solution can even integrate with other third-party solutions you are using. That way, when you’re calling a client and want to access data from your CRM or email, such as Salesforce or Outlook, you can. Integration allows you to have everything you need at your fingertips in one place—launch a call directly from an email or your CRM dashboard. UCaaS takes all the data that used to be dispersed across a myriad of different communication apps and bundles them in one place.
In the end, UCaaS is the next big breakthrough in communication tools and will likely replace the VoIP system many businesses are currently using. It’s efficient, it’s effective, and it’s easy. If you have questions about UCaaS systems, reach out to us today and we can walk you through a few of the benefits and whether it’s the right time for your business to make the switch!