Unified Communications as a Service (aka UCaaS) is a mobile-friendly communication system that integrates instant messaging, phone service, chats, email, and more. In the business landscape, UCaaS represents an opportunity for operational efficiency, and the cost-savings that come along with it. Today, the remote work enablement inherent in a UCaaS solution is another benefit for companies. Only 11% of employees today want to be on-site all day every day, with 68% informing Quantum Workplace they prefer a hybrid environment. The flexibility to allow employees to be home one day and in the office the next requires solutions like UCaaS. But what does it really mean to “unify communications?” Let’s explore the meaning of these services and what they should include.
What is Meant by Unified Communications?
Unified communications are called “unified” because of how the services are delivered. In the past, your phone service was delivered by one provider. You likely used a different platform for video chats. A third platform supported your employee instant messaging. Unified communications puts an end to all the different logins and communication channels, centralizing all the discussion and its technology in one platform. This allows greater security, efficiency, and collaboration between employees.
What are the Key Features of UCaaS in the Cloud?
UCaaS is delivered as a cloud solution, meaning it is maintained and updated in real-time. In the past, when a new employee was onboarded, their phone would require manual set-up, and other devices and hardware might need the same. Through UCaaS solutions, users and new communications services can be added with far more ease, sometimes as simple as clicking a button.
Here are some of the key features a UCaaS service provider may deliver to clients as needed:
- Telephony: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems host calls and voicemails in the cloud, and can even enable voicemail delivery to an email inbox.
- Meetings: Meeting requests and meeting hosting should both be enabled by the UCaaS platform, either as internal features or through integrations with outside third-party platforms.
- Instant messaging: Instant messaging adoption in the workplace was greatly amplified by the remote work necessities in 2020. 80% of employees mainly use instant messaging on their phone. While only 8% identify it as their preferred channel of communication, it is used by 43% of the workforce overall, including 71% of tech companies. The more spread out a company gets, the more important instant messaging might become. For example, 63% of the workforce at international companies leverage a chat solution.
- Collaboration: Unified communications and collaboration are like flicking a lighter to ignite a candle: one is the catalyst for the other. If the UCaaS system you choose doesn’t enable better work among your employees and more satisfied customers, it isn’t serving the business. Key features might include secure file sharing, alerts and notifications, or self-service portals, depending on the nature of a business and its needs.
- Cross-channel integrations: Part of the utility of a UCaaS solution for an employee is a single source of clarity on all communications work-related. That means integrating email, voicemail, push notifications, and more into the UCaaS solution, as needed for each job function.
- Mobility and security: A cloud UCaaS solution must enable staff to log in from diverse locations and devices without putting company and customer data at risk. This is one area where consulting with a UCaaS managed services provider can deliver a major benefit, as their experts will know the best practices to install a UCaaS system correctly and keep it secured long-term.
These features each deliver unique unified communications benefits to both the business and its employees. For the company, a cloud solution delivers savings in hardware and system maintenance. 31% of companies see the shift to UCaaS as an opportunity to shed technical debt and operate with more agility. This agility also delivers improvements in efficiency. The team may even collaborate better or feel more in touch with their colleagues as a result of the shift to UCaaS.
UCaaS Providers Managed So Companies Can Stretch and Grow
InterVision has helped businesses grow through technology for over 25 years and counting. We recognize that no two companies need the same UCaaS solution. Working to solve complex communication needs through the power of the cloud is our greatest proficiency. From data storage to device networking and security, we help companies prepare for tomorrow while thriving amid the risks of today. We take the mystery out of achieving remote and hybrid work by managing and maintaining the industry’s leading UCaaS platforms. Contact us today to talk about the strategies and tools which could serve you.