Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is a cloud delivery mechanism used by enterprise communications. It supports six communications types, including enterprise telephony, mobility, unified messaging, meetings, instant messaging and presence, and communications-enabled business processes. The UCaaS provider owns, operates, maintains, and delivers the infrastructure to its end users. In this article, we explore UCaaS and its features, advantages, and disadvantages.
What Is UCaaS?
This is an on-service platform with characteristics such as multi-tenancy, which includes tenant partitions on UC infrastructure with examples such as:
- Data centers
- Common equipment
It also has web-portals offering self service on management, provisioning and performance reporting. The model does not demand its end users to set up their own infrastructures to get started. This feature makes it a good choice for businesses and organizations of all sizes. Here are some other features of the UCaaS.
Voice and Telephony
Poor communication leads to lost productivity of around $62.4 million annually. UCaaS seeks to solve that by combining everything you may need to pass information from one end to the other in the same environment. It eliminates connection problems by creating high voice quality systems for clear communication, with features such as recording for future reference. UCaaS also implements Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business to enable sentiment analysis and intelligent call routing to speed up conversations with customers.
This is one of the most popular modes of communication in the corporate environment. Businesses prefer messaging because they can easily automate it, reach many people at once and at low costs. Many clients prefer instant messaging and text messages to phone calls these days. In UCaaS, messaging refers to real-time conversations, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and Short Message Service (SMS). UCaaS solutions give businesses ways to organize and manage their messaging strategy to offer a more omnichannel service experience to their clients.
Video and Meeting Solutions
UCaaS can also bring video and meeting solutions to enable easy collaboration of employees and staff in a business or organization. The cloud feature ensures that all your employees don’t need to be at the workstation to deliver their services or work on similar projects.
Because of the rising demand for better collaboration among the workforce. Many UCaaS are being entwined. The right service will give you many ways to connect with your team and inform you who is online for you to communicate with and what they’re doing. Presence features make it easy for remote employees to seek help and support each other after they identify who else is working on similar projects as them.
Mobility and Apps
Mobile and remote workers have led to the demand for mobility in communication systems. A reliable UCaaS ensures mobility in a business strategy. For instance, your team can access tools through an application on their phones or tablets through the cloud.
Understanding the Importance of UCaaS
UCaaS usually benefits businesses operating across multiple sites that have staff working remotely and those changing their budgeting and paying for communications services. The advantages of UCaaS include:
- Managing across sites: UCaaS makes problem resolution and performance monitoring easy through its simple reporting feature, centralized call, and advanced analytics. Being cloud based makes it ideal for businesses working in multiple locations, as they can deal with many communication aspects online.
- Cost management: Business communications services used to be managed on a capital expenditure model in the past. This means that businesses buy solutions and own the infrastructure and its services rather than buying only what they require. UCaaS uses an operating expenditure model that is more flexible and has more predictable billing as it charges according to need and consumption.
Challenges of UCaaS
Despite UCaaS having many benefits, there are some challenges a business can encounter during migration or in the solution. They include:
Switching From Legacy
Some businesses may experience problems when moving from an on-premise or fixed solution to UCaaS. The problems may include training their staff on a new solution and transforming to cloud while remote.
Security and Compliance
On a cloud computing basis, industries have different security regulations. UCaaS is cloud based, concerns about its ability to comply with the standards set such as the general data protection regulation (GDPR), and its use may arise. It is therefore important to settle for a UCaaS solution that is robust and developed to meet the security and compliance levels.
Moving to UCaaS
Even large businesses that were once very reluctant to join the cloud have now made noticeable transitions. If you’re also planning to transition, here are ways to streamline your path.
1. Consider a Hybrid Strategy
Hybrid UCaaS implementations allow you to keep some of your technology on-premise and move others into the cloud. It also allows you to use any benefits of the cloud without interfering with the existing technologies. You’ll just need to first calculate and define how much you require to migrate to the cloud as you start for a swift transition.
2. Understand Your Environment
Before migrating, assess your environment and ensure you have the right systems to support the communication stack you’re willing to build. When assessing the support you need, don’t just base on current use cases. Keep in your mind that the business can grow and transform in a short while and require more support.
3. Monitor Performance and Quality Proactively
To ensure keeping up with the market price, continue testing your performance even after implementing your UCaaS. This is because networks are very dynamic and can change almost consistently. Monitor your conversation with your customers and conference calls with your partners, then take the required actions to ensure you are always in a dominant position.
Are You Ready to Try UCaaS?
UCaaS has changed and transformed the operational ways of many businesses for the better. The advantages it brings along are incomparable with the traditional systems. If you have questions about UCaaS don’t be afraid to reach out to Integrated Communications. We help you eliminate any telecommunication issues and polish your trusted business reputation. Contact us today for more information and book your free telecom audit.