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What is Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)?

Unified communication as a service (UCaaS) helps businesses communicate more efficiently by bringing all their communication channels together into one streamlined, cloud-based system.

This article will bring you up to speed on what UCaaS looks like, how its features can benefit your business, and where industry trends are likely to take us over the next few years.


Why Is UCaaS Crucial to Business Communications in 2020?

Most industries have seen their teams spreading out geographically – in many cases across the globe – for several years now.

A nuanced and specifically targeted collection of communication tools has emerged to support the new face of teamwork. These include team-based chat environments, VoIP telephony, and online video conferencing, to name just a few. Leveraging these new ways of working together, countless companies have built a more skilled workforce, a greater diversity of ideas, and resilience to unexpected changes.

But this abundance of choice has brought its own challenges. A proliferation of tools and team perspectives has come at a cost: complexity. Information can easily become encased in silos, or worse, completely overlooked or buried in the endless traffic of incoming information.

UCaaS has become a vital business solution because it tames that complexity. It unifies all those competing channels into one place, equipping teams with a way to think less about which software platform they should use, and more about how to share information to get the best possible result.


Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of cloud hosted PBX systems - >


Benefits of UCaaS

UCaaS is a technology that can help businesses rise to the challenge of building a cohesive way to communicate, both internally and with their customers. Here are some of the key benefits of UCaaS.


Less Administrative “Busy” Work

Imagine working in an office where your keyboard, monitor, mouse, and phone were situated in separate corners of a room. UCaaS performs the communications equivalent of bringing your tools together into one integrated environment.

It becomes much easier to intuitively understand how to use email, chat sessions, voicemail, and phone conversations cohesively when they’re integrated into one central location. Moreover, once-manual processes of interpolating data from one channel to another can be handled automatically by UCaaS software.


The end result? Your workforce is better positioned to lift their gaze from busy administrative tasks to thoughtful analysis.


All Your Important Data and Decision Points in One Place

A non-unified approach to communication isn’t just chaotic; it also compartmentalizes important information.

Compartmentalized ways of sharing information cause duplicated effort. But worse, with every new channel comes a greater risk of missing something critical — whether the decisive moment in a customer’s journey or a strategic data point that might have informed an important growth decision.

UCaaS helps break down unhelpful data silos, and this leads to better decisions.


Happier Customers, Better Customer Support

Over 80 percent of employees use text-based messaging to communicate with potential customers, a TechRadar survey reports. Despite a growing consumer preference to interact via text, social media, email and other channels, many sales-based companies center the customer journey around phone calls.

UCaaS unifies sales data. In one place, a team of sales and technical people can see who a customer is, their history of interaction with the business, records of prior conversations, and sales data. Additionally, UCaaS is proving an important piece of the puzzle for feeding the value-add of AI chatbot conversations and other AI touchpoints into customer relationship management.

UCaaS allows sales teams to better understand what their customers want, and to more effectively work as a team to meet that demand.


Recruit From a Larger Pool of Candidates

For most industries, remote office environments are here to stay. There’s every indication that your future workforce will strongly prefer continued remote work. Close to 60 percent of workers report that they’d choose remote over onsite work according to a recent study cited in UC Today.

Moreover, by equipping yourself with UCaaS you face considerably fewer communication obstacles when recruiting outside of easy commuting distance to your offices—or even recruiting internationally.


UCaaS positions companies to be a desirable employer in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.


Manage Large Remote Teams Effectively

With a large workforce working across multiple locations, team members can easily lose sight of who’s doing what, when they’re available, and how to efficiently mobilize a team to work effectively.

UCaaS can go a long way toward solving this by giving team members the ability to see who is online in real-time, along with their availability. Where close management of a larger workforce of remote operators is necessary, line managers can track account logins and communication records across a whole workforce.

UCaaS allows teams to communicate with less administrative friction.


Predictable Communication Costs

The significant HR, equipment, and maintenance investment of on-site solutions like PBX centers, meeting rooms, administrative staff, and teleconferencing facilities can be replaced with a monthly UCaaS subscription fee that you can scale up or down in line with your workforce and communication requirements.

UCaaS is a subscription service. It could costs less than the equipment and HR outlay of many conventional communication services. But most importantly, it eliminates extreme peaks and valleys of hardware replacement and upgrade cycles.


UCaaS can future-proof your business. Read more about this and other reasons why CIOs and CTOs are interested in UCaaS ->


UCaaS Trends to Watch

Here are some UCaaS trends to watch in 2020 and beyond.


Continued Disruption of On-site PBX

By combining unified communications with a hosted cloud-based PBX service for handling voice communications, teams can effectively work from anywhere. All the benefits of conventional PBX apply, but voicemail to email, group intercom paging, direct phone numbers, and a wide range of voice enhancements can work seamlessly alongside your company’s email, chat platforms, and databases.

Conventional on-site PBX simply can’t compete. Hosted PBX solutions are gradually becoming the norm.


Flexible and Tailored Communication Solutions

A handful of industries are rapidly adopting UCaaS and cloud communications, according to Mitel. These include professional services, healthcare, education, and retail.

With more configuration options added all the time, companies across these industries aren’t looking for generic UCaaS products. Instead, they’re using the technology to tackle very specific challenges.

UCaaS offers tailored solutions to specific communication challenges.


More Scope for Freelancers and Contractor Participation

“There’s a growing reliance on bringing freelancers and contractors into the workplace while supporting home and remote working strategies,” according to Rami Houbby (Mitel VP of UCaaS Cloud Sales) recently interviewed for UC Today’s 2020 UCaaS Roundtable.

By allowing companies to efficiently onboard freelancers and contractors for short-term or rapid turnaround work, UCaaS will continue to help companies react quickly to emerging opportunities.


What Is UCaaS? It’s an Opportunity

The world won’t become a simpler place in 2021. This is as true of business communication as any other challenge we face today. A singular and aligned platform for communications won’t just bring order to chaos—it’ll position your company to grow and adapt quickly when new opportunities or threats emerge.

If you’d like to learn more about how a UCaaS solution can help your company build meaningful conversations out of a jumble of communication channels, check out our favorite UCaaS solution for small to medium businesses.


We can tackle your unique business challenges head-on, and work with you to build smart, practical solutions.

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