Have you gotten used to the idea of running your business from the comfort of your home? Well, you’re not alone as many business owners and executives prefer to have their employees work from home because of the increased productivity and reduced costs. According to the globalworkplaceanalytics.com, work from home initiatives will save U.S. employers over $30 billion a day. And as for the employees, many prefer working from home and want to keep doing it even when the COVID-19 pandemic ends. To add to these compelling statistics, the emergence of unified-communication-as-a-service, or UCaaS for short, is another reason to move to this working style permanently.
So, what is this UCaaS, and why does it play such an important role in the future of our work life and culture? Let’s find out.
What is UCaaS?
As defined by Gartner, UCaaS is a cloud-delivered model for communication that supports six functions, namely:
- Enterprise telephone
- Audio and video web conferencing
- Unified messaging
- Instant messaging
- Communications-enabled business process
This means that you have a service that provides all the communication infrastructure you need to connect your employees and customers.
And the best part is you don’t have to worry about investing in infrastructure and shelling out more money for its maintenance, such as upgrades, patching, troubleshooting, or any of the other hassles that come with running your own setup.
The UCaaS infrastructure is owned, operated, maintained, and provided by the service provider. You get to access this robust infrastructure-as-a-service for a fee.
Broad features of UCaaS
Though the exact features depend on the service provider and the plan you choose, here is a broad list of features to show what you can expect from a UCaaS provider:
- High-quality voice calls
- Intelligent call routing
- Sentiment analysis
- Call recording option
- Video conferencing
- Real-time text conversations
- SMS and MMS texts
- Detailed analytics
So, now comes the big question …
Should you switch to UCaaS?
The answer is an overwhelming yes if you already have employees working remotely or if you plan to leverage this working model in the future. Even if you continue with an office setup, UCaaS can give you the much-needed flexibility to streamline all your communications and provide an omnichannel experience to your employees and customers.
Some other reasons to adopt UCaaS are:
Remote working and collaboration
One of the biggest advantages of UCaaS is its ability to connect people across geographical distances. This can be a huge advantage if you have employees located in different regions of a country or the world, and they have to collaborate often.
Since communication is available instantly, an organization can reap the benefits of improved productivity of employees and can make the most of the synergy that comes from collaboration.
Another important advantage of UCaaS is the flexibility an organization can offer to its employees and customers. People can continue to communicate and collaborate regardless of their physical location. This gives employees a greater work/life balance and gives organizations a better opportunity to attract the best talent.
UCaaS gives organizations the option to integrate their preferred communication platforms and tools with the existing platforms. In other words, if you choose to add a video conferencing option to a messaging tool to help employees switch to a video call to better explain something, that’s possible.
This way, you get to customize communication to meet the personal needs of your organization.
The available APIs and custom communication stack make it easy to build a custom unified communication solution quickly.
No upfront investment
UCaaS acts as a great leveler in the world of business because it costs literally nothing to set it up. Of course, there is an annual or monthly charge, most often based on your usage, but besides that, there are no setup costs.
As a result, businesses of all sizes can leverage the power of communication to further their business interest and revenue.
Further, value-added resellers are more than happy to throw in a few extra features or tools into your package, thereby extending the value of every dollar spent.
With UCaaS, you can get detailed analytics across all communication channels. This can be invaluable to gauge your contact center operations’ performance, implement new products or services, make strategic decisions, understand the pulse of your customer, and more.
With UCaaS, the analytics can span across all the different communication channels, so it tends to be more comprehensive and gives a precise idea of the state of affairs on communication within your organization.
Robust disaster management preparedness
Since UCaaS is a complete cloud service, it leverages the power of the cloud to offer business continuity, and in the process, prepares the organization for a more robust disaster management setup and practice.
It offers this preparedness by providing multiple communication channels, so nothing is impacted even if one channel goes down due to emergencies and natural disasters. All that the business has to do is switch temporarily until the other channels are up and running as well.
Prepares for next-gen operations
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, many companies had started moving to a work-from-home setup. But, the pandemic accelerated this pace of transition, and even companies that had hitherto preferred an office space had to gear up for this new workplace.
Now that most companies have adopted this remote working culture, there is no going back. Even if offices do open soon, a good part of the work is expected to continue to be done remotely.
A major reason for this swift transition was the availability of technology and UCaaS, in particular. In this sense, UCaaS played an important role not only in keeping the wheels moving during the pandemic but has also prepared companies for the next-gen operations.
This is specifically true for companies that were unwilling or struggling to move beyond their on-premises infrastructure. UCaaS acts as a bridge between the on-premises infrastructure and cloud to give such organizations a hybrid approach to entering the cloud on their own terms.
Due to these reasons, UCaaS is undoubtedly an integral part of our future, especially given the transformational shift happening in favor of a work-from-anywhere culture. Have you tried UCaaS? Or do you plan to shortly?
Please share your experiences with our readers in the comments section.
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1 thought on “UCaaS: What it is and how it is taking communication to new heights”
Great post. Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is a category of “as a service” or “cloud” delivery mechanisms for enterprise communications. Similar to platform as a service (PaaS, where data center capacity is made available to an enterprise on a consumption model from a service provider), with UCaaS, unified communications services can be made available from the cloud to businesses from SMB to enterprise.