As more and more employees want and expect increased flexibility as a part of their job, the UCaaS market is set to grow exponentially. In fact, the market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.6% between now and 2028. However, those who are unfamiliar with UCaaS might be wondering about the available features and what is included in UCaaS solutions. While different UCaaS providers offer unique options and integration options, there are some key features that any good platform should offer.
This article will discuss these six key features, in addition to exploring a little about what UCaaS is.
What Does UCaaS Stand For?
UCaaS stands for “Unified Communications as a Service.” It is a type of SaaS, or “Software as a Service,” that offers companies a full suite of communications tools, including phone calls, webchat, video conferencing, collaboration tools, and more. By using UCaaS, companies can realize the benefits of having all of their communications needs in a single, dedicated space, including flexibility, ease of use, scalability, and often a lower overall cost.
What is a UCaaS Solution?
A UCaaS solution is the technology created by Unified Communications as a Service providers that businesses use for their internal and external communications needs. UCaaS solutions are almost always cloud-based, which means the data and applications are stored on the internet and available for users across a variety of different devices for added flexibility.
UCaaS platforms are excellent options for companies of all sizes, and solutions are commonly found in industries like financial, legal, healthcare, manufacturing, media and entertainment, education, and government.
What is Included in UCaaS?
While every UCaaS platform will have slightly different features and integrations available, there are six communications functions that should be common amongst all providers.
Enterprise telephony is a telephoning system for businesses that includes communications features like call hold, call transfer, call forwarding, and three-way calling. Modern enterprise telephony uses VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, so that agents and other employees are no longer reliant on desk phones for calls. Instead, employees can take calls from any internet-enabled device, like a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone.
One of the main elements of modern UCaaS platforms is the inclusion of a dedicated space for audio, video, and web conferencing. These tools allow for instant messaging, screen sharing, recording, and calendar integrations, simplifying how employees gather, discuss, collaborate, and work together, in addition to providing a dedicated virtual space for employees to meet with external customers or clients.
Unified messaging brings all the various communication channels, such as email, text, and voicemail, into a single system and interface. Not only does unified messaging make things easier for employees—they only have to access one platform to use all of these features—but it provides a better way to prioritize internal and external communications since employees have access to all of them in one place.
Instant Messaging and Presence
An instant messaging feature allows teams to communicate and collaborate in real time—a valuable tool as more and more companies refine their telework policies to allow for added flexibility. However, UCaaS tools go beyond instant messaging by providing a feature known as presence. This allows team members to see each other’s availability, so everyone on a team knows everyone else’s status.
As remote work and mobile devices have become more prevalent, platforms need to be designed with mobile use in mind. Top UCaaS platforms understand this need and have developed solutions that offer a mobile experience that is equally as robust as the desktop version.
Communications-Enabled Business Processes
The ability to integrate automated communications into business processes via the use of application programming interface (API) or software development toolkit (SDK) is a hallmark of UCaaS solutions. This feature can help to optimize business processes, ultimately ensuring continuous, real-time communications between employees, customers, and any other external stakeholders.
Finally, in addition to the features listed above, companies looking for a UCaaS platform should also keep in mind additional needs that are unique to their business. For example, some UCaaS providers offer additional as-a-service options like CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) or CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) integrations.
Find your UCaaS Solution with Managed Services by InterVision
Managing the day-to-day needs of a UCaaS platform may not be feasible for all companies. That’s where InterVision can help. We partner with top UCaaS providers like 8X8, Cisco, and Microsoft to find you the right UCaaS solution for your needs and support your company with the design, implementation, and management of the platform.
If your team is being asked to increase efficiencies, reduce technical debt, or provide a competitive edge for your company, our in-house team of certified experts can help get you there. Learn more about InterVision’s managed services solutions, and reach out to us today to find out more.