Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a collective name for cloud-based solutions that gather your company's communication in a single system. UCaaS provides several benefits for all organisations, like a more coherent customer journey, lower costs, and a better overview.What is UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service)?
Unified Communications (UC) is the process of unifying different types of communication tools. Everything must be interconnected to be able to communicate with colleagues and customers through telephony, mail, chat, or video calls in the best way possible. The number of communication channels keeps increasing. Hence it has become essential for all channels to interplay smoothly. Unified Communications provide the prerequisites for seamless and effective communication – both externally and internally.
Like in other IT areas, Unified Communications has moved towards subscription-based SaaS (Software as a Service) models. That led to the creation of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). UCaaS means that you subscribe to a cloud-based solution for Unified Communications. By doing so, you won't have to deal with high initial costs previously connected to old UC versions, and you only pay for the number of users you actually need. As UC platforms are in the cloud today, the systems are cheaper and easier to manage.
Why is UCaaS important for businesses today?
The interest in UCaaS has grown intensively during the last few years, increasing by 86% after the pandemic. Huge players like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Cisco add thousands of new users to their platforms each week.
The main UCaaS feature is that it gathers telephony, mobile, PBX, chat, and video calls – in a single system. Some UCaaS vendors also offer contact center capabilities, like call routing and interactive voice response (IVR).
UCaaS offers greater scalability and flexibility as you can quickly add and remove users without making more extensive infrastructure changes. All your employees' lives will also become easier as you can integrate with your CRM system or other favourite ticketing or analytics tools like Power BI. Your employees can work more efficiently and be more present during conversations as they can stay in the same tool the whole time.
The result is a unified communication solution that optimises your telephony solution, your external communication with customers and improves collaboration between team members.
8 essential benefits of UCaaS
- Easy administration and user-friendly design
- A cohesive customer journey
- Effective communication and improved customer experience
- Lowered costs and increased flexibility
- A superb overview of the statistics and fewer missed calls
- Enables remote work and better internal communication
- Reduced security risks
- Save time with self-management
1. Easy administration and user-friendly design
Older UC solutions were complicated to install, update and manage. It required costly consultants to make changes to the settings, and the capacity of the physical system limited the opportunities to scale up when the business grew. Modern and cloud-based UCaaS-solutions are easy and intuitive to both install and manage. They're updated automatically, so you'll always have access to the latest software version.
2. A cohesive customer journey
A cohesive and unified customer journey builds trust, increases sales, and results in happy customers. With Unified Communications, you'll see that communication with your customers is seamless and efficient – from the first contact to the purchase and onto customer support. For example, by connecting your telephony and PBX with a system for CRM and another for customer support, you'll give your employees optimal opportunities to create a positive customer journey.
Cloud-based enterprise communications also offer a more consistent user experience for remote and mobile workers, as access to UCaaS features is constant regardless of location.
3. Effective communication and improved customer experience
With Unified Communications, you'll create the basis for effective communication between agents and customers – a must for increased productivity and growth.
If you've connected your telephony with your CRM, your agents instantly get a notification when someone contacts you. In an instant, the details about that customer, like their name and company, are shown to the agent, meaning they can provide a much more personalised approach, including answering the call or text message by greeting them by name. That creates trust and results in an improved customer experience.
4. Lowered costs and increased flexibility
UCaaS is usually a licence-based business model where you only pay for what you actually use and the number of users. Instead of paying separately for your various communication channels like telephony and messaging, all tools are gathered and paid for in the same licence. You can easily add new users or cancel a subscription if someone quits or is hired. With this flexibility, you'll avoid old subscriptions that cost unnecessary money after the previous user has left. You'll also get a better overview since the cost for the company's communication is gathered on a single invoice.
When people can work wherever they want to, there is no need for equally large offices. This lowers the fixed costs but also costs for tasks like printing since reports don’t need to be distributed in 17 copies but can be sent digitally.
Continue reading: How to structure your UCaaS budget
5. A superb overview of the statistics and fewer missed calls
With UCaaS, you'll get a valuable bird's-eye view of your company's communication. You'll always have a superb overview of your queue – and it's all in real-time, too. That means you can make a quick decision based on data regarding competence development, staff planning, scheduling, and more.
It's easy to collect statistics on all your company's communications. With these statistics, you can generate reports, integrate them with Power BI to get more detailed information, and monitor service level, average wait time, and missed calls from your dashboard. Also, look at how your employees use communication tools and make sure to get the most out of the tools you use.
6. Enables remote work and better internal communication
Flexible working hours and colleagues working remotely are all the more common. Having the company's communication in a cloud-based UCaaS-solution allows everyone to work anywhere, anytime, on any device.
To provide proper remote work conditions, you need valuable tools that make collaboration natural between your employees. With UCaaS, everyone uses the same platform and tools. Gone are issues with several video call solutions or document management systems, and with smart profiles, you can always see what employees are active, out on lunch, or at home sick.
7. Reduced security risks
A digital workplace with an effective digital strategy also lowers security risks. When you can better track and measure, you can also see questionable behaviour, thereby detecting security threats before they become serious.
Another advantage of digital workplaces is that less material is printed on paper. What many people don't think about is that it can otherwise end up in the wrong hands through something as simple as the company's garbage.
8. Save time with self-management
Administrators can, in the same interface, handle call flows, statistics, add or remove users, and much more. You can manage most tasks by yourself and not rely on support from the vendor as much. All users can also manage their personal availability and set their current state, for instance, if they're away for lunch or gone home for the day.
Finding the right UCaaS vendor
You will probably have no issues finding a vendor, as there are many solutions on the market. But this means you should be picky and find the most suitable UCaaS solution. Below are some pro tips to keep in mind when choosing between different vendors:
Look for this when choosing a UCaaS vendor:
- List what functionalities you need and what demands you have, for instance, for video conferencing and collaboration tools, and what you might need in the future. Make sure the vendor you pick can deliver that.
- If remote working is essential, ensure the solution offers robust mobile functionality and that your employees will get the same experience regardless of where they're working and what device they're using.
- Look for a UCaaS provider dedicated to protecting your system and that invests in a high level of encryption for communication data.
- Scalability is crucial in a good UCaaS solution. Look for a provider where you can add or remove tools as you go.
Conclusion: Benefits of Unified Communications
Unified Communications as a Service is the way forward for businesses looking for an ideal way of communicating. UCaaS solutions today are robust, cloud-based, easier to install, and cheaper than older UC solutions. You will see instant improvements in how your employees can reach out to each other and how customers can interact with you. With detailed insights into how the customer support team is doing, you'll also have excellent underlining support for improving customer service.
UCaaS offers tremendous opportunities for industries such as banking and finance, retail, hospitality, and healthcare. Both e-commerce businesses and physical retail stores also see vast advantages of switching to UCaaS.