The play of life and work over the last few years has changed dramatically. Everyone is joining the work-from-home movement, given the uncertainty surrounding workforce mobility. Unified communications solutions are a big part of this drive, powering the revolution with innovative offerings every passing day. UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) is born from this growing impetus for innovation and demand from unified communications for small businesses and big.
A recent study pegs the UCaaS market to clock 13.4% cumulative average growth rate riding high on AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning). With the buzz of UCaaS growing stronger in the pandemic-ushered cloud-based platform technology acceleration, there’s no denying that unified communications solution providers have hailed a change.
What is UCaaS, really?
Most are already familiar with UCaaS. However, for the uninitiated UCaaS is unified communications delivered over the as a service. The model hinges on a pay-as-you-go plan to make unified communications as a service accessible to every business without a large payout or infrastructure costs.
As per IT consulting major Gartner, the UCaaS model supports six key functions of unified communications:
- Business telephony
- Virtual meetings including audio, video, and web conferencing
- Unified Messaging
- Instant messaging and the presence (personal and team)
- Business processes enabled by communications
Since the solution is offered as a service, the complete infrastructure is owned, operated, and maintained by the service provider. and delivered by the provider.
The model breaks away from the traditional style of availing different services from various service providers and assembling it at the premises to use the unified communications solution. Or onboarding a UC solution provider to set it up at the organization’s premises. With UCaaS you are seamlessly able to combine the capabilities of all the vendors in the value chain to get a unified communication solution almost immediately.
The unified communication solutions as UCaaS integrate multiple communications and collaboration apps through a single cloud-delivered service. The independence to access all the services over one source platform by various users in multiple ways improves organization and efficiency.
Most of the unified communications solution providers license on a monthly basis or on a recurring model with subscription charges. Though, the features offered can vary greatly.
Why do you need UCaaS for the remote and hybrid workforce?
In today’s time, most of us are working from home or in a hybrid model. Although unified communications have been there for some time, it’s only now that it is making its presence felt. The unified communication solution development leading to UCaas has brought productivity tools innovation to the fore. For workplaces, it is now a must-have. UCaaS effectively bridges the remote and office worker gap.
The biggest advantage of UCaaS is portability. As the workforce grows more widespread, unified communications solutions remain the only way to bring them together. When all the team members use the same services, notwithstanding the location, it breaks silos. Different groups, employees, and customers are able to communicate and collaborate seamlessly. Remote and diverse employees bring in fresh perspectives and experience to the work environment.
Due to the single unified communication solution provider, the entire team uses the same software and technology. Even when workers are operating in and out of the office, it’s less risky as everyone is on the same platform.
A challenge many face while transitioning to working from home is adhering to routines and maintaining flexibility. Adding multiple different tools from different providers only add to the confusion, hampering productivity.
To overcome this, the UC solution providers develop a central hub for communication and collaboration. Customized UCaaS solutions make the communication and collaboration processes simpler. A single hub for all tools from calls to messaging and file sharing to video conferencing keeps everyone connected. Employees overcome the constraints and inefficiencies imposed by fragmented systems of interconnection. The capability of switching from one medium to another while at work is important for employees. Navigating conversations and collaborating with different unified communications solutions imparts cohesiveness and productivity.
When you are using a cloud-based system, your collaboration and communication tools reside online. This means you can use any tool from anywhere and in case of any issue, your unified communication solution provider can troubleshoot immediately.
All these aspects, mean your employees can work from anywhere across the globe with just an internet connection. Added flexibility comes from the ability to use different devices– laptops, desktops, and even mobile phones. An empowered workforce also performs better.
As the business grows, the need for communication and collaboration also alters. Remote, hybrid, and on-premise teams may be working in the same organization. Rather than being restricted by limitations in technology to grow, unified communication solution development providers ensure that your operations can be scaled as per the needs of the business.
With VoIP as the primary technology behind UCaaS, all the benefits including the most important—affordability, come with it. Pouring money into distinct channels like voice, video, and chat is not required when they are used collectively by most users.
Moreover, with spending on a single platform, all the mediums can be accessed. UCaaS also provides the benefit of having just one main cost, either monthly or as a license. Those who need unified communication for small businesses can also look at UCaaS due to its affordability. On a month-by-month basis, budgeting can be carried out with foresight and predictability.
In today’s time, the cost of failure in communication is huge. Any lacunae in your connectivity can lead to severe consequences. With UCaaS from a reliable and top unified communications services provider, you can get peace of mind. The responsibility for seamless and sustained connectivity lies with him. This ensures business continuity. In addition, the security features inspire confidence from customers and employees alike.
Robust connectivity also means 100% uptime for global businesses and the assurance of end-to-end encrypted data and user authorization.
Also Read: Latest UCaaS Trends
What should your ideal UCaaS provider have?
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Mostly the needs of the business should dictate which Unified Communication Solution Provider should you choose. However, the lack of deep knowledge about technical aspects may cause you some jitter. To avoid issues later, do your research to find a top unified communications services provider.
The first and foremost on your list should be getting a stable UCaaS offering. You need 100% uptime and a reliable solution that can keep up with the growing needs of your business.
Many UC solution providers offer only a handful of features. Even though you may not subscribe to an expensive plan, you should ensure that your chosen unified communication solution can be upgraded in the future. Tools like dynamic IVR, call forwarding, call recording, video and audio conferencing, call whispering, and call barging to come to a handful if you also support customers.
A responsive customer is essential for quick remediation and guidance if you need one. Clearly laid out FAQs, guides and other documents are useful but a knowledgeable customer support agent goes beyond that.
Say yes, only when the vendor gets it right
Finding the right unified communication solution that can support your business adequately is difficult but not impossible. You can add more to the list of features and essential terms that may be needed as per your business. However, don’t compromise if you are not fully convinced about what’s on the platter. There are several top unified communication solution providers who have earned trust for their high-quality, scalable, portable, and advanced UCaaS solutions.