Unified communications entered business terminology in the mid-1990s, and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) rose to prominence approximately two decades later. This category has since evolved significantly over the last few years, so let’s examine what UCaaS is today and where it’s headed.
What is UCaaS? (Unified Communications as a Service)
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) provides a cloud-based business communications system across multiple channels and devices. UCaaS combines phone service, video conferencing, team messaging, SMS, fax, and other communications tools on a single integrated cloud platform. It is designed to be accessed from any device – desktops, laptop/tablets, or mobile phones.
Benefits of UCaaS
Unifying communications in the cloud offers a wealth of benefits for workers and businesses in terms of productivity, ease of use, economic value, flexibility, and security.
UCaaS business and IT benefits
Because UCaaS is cloud-based, it enables businesses and IT departments to save money and achieve greater scalability, security, and reliability from business communications.
Other benefits of the cloud: you don’t have to procure space for hardware, worry about energy bills, or configure and manage your communications environment. In short, you incur no upfront expenses while enjoying greatly reduced operating costs. The keywords in UCaaS, after all, are “as a service,” which means you don’t have to hire additional IT support – and you can lease phones from the provider instead of purchasing. That means you can move upfront capital expenditures to a monthly operational expenditure. UCaaS billing also simplifies your accounting.
But perhaps the greatest value is that the cloud offers all of the latest and greatest technologies – updated and upgraded seamlessly and automatically – which means you don’t have to be at the mercy of lengthy, on-premises, scheduled upgrades.
When built to scale globally, UCaaS solutions can support your organization anywhere. To accommodate your current and future needs, the cloud makes it easy to add phone lines and features for new employees and offices – with admins able to handle configurations on a dashboard.
Security and reliability
Cloud communications needs to be secure. Look for UCaaS providers that incorporate network security technologies as well as data encryption, HIPAA-compliance, protected file protection, and more. Their business is to guarantee both the safety of your data as well as your peace of mind. Because cloud communications providers offer defined service-level agreements (SLAs), you can also expect the highest levels of availability and continuity.
UCaaS user benefits
Simply put, UCaaS is built for a mobile, global, and distributed workforce – enabling your employees to work the way they want, anytime and anywhere they want. With UCaaS, employees can use any device (e.g., phone, computer, laptop, tablet) for voice, video, texting, conferencing, file sharing, etc.
UCaaS also successfully deals with the issue of “app overload.” Consider this: A typical office employee uses between five to seven communications apps every day, generally consisting one phone line (more and more, the business world is shifting from landlines to VoIP), one email account, one SMS app, one team messaging service and an audio and video conferencing solution.
A recent enterprise communications study we conducted shows workers on average are toggling among these communications apps up to 10 times an hour, wasting up to 60 minutes a day. This creates a constant disruption of workflow, significantly impacting worker productivity. The “U” in UCaaS stands for “Unified,” which means all these apps can be accessed from one interface.
The Future of UCaaS
Communications trends and technologies continue to evolve. Think about it: Who owns a landline anymore? More and more, American workers are using mobile technology as a primary means to communicate; in fact, 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone of some kind, and 80 percent of workers perform “deskless” work every day.
With more mobility opportunities available to their employees, organizations will continue to embrace telecommuting, making it important for distributed teams such as sales to stay on the same page and stay connected anywhere, anytime and on any device. Small- and medium-sized businesses as well as large enterprises will find UCaaS solutions to be the most logical option for their global and distributed collaboration and communications needs.
RingCentral & UCaaS
When searching for any UCaaS provider, make sure it has a solid track record, is well-established, has the staff and resources to work with and deploy technology solutions quickly and without pain, and keeps your most valuable assets secure.
RingCentral has all those attributes in the UCaaS arena, as evidenced by its status as:
- A Gartner UCaaS Magic Quadrant Leader
- The No. 1 UCaaS provider in North America, according to IHS Markit
- The No. 1 cloud communications provider worldwide in both revenue and subscriber seats, according to Synergy Research Group
To get a closer look at RingCentral’s UCaaS solution contact the Cloud Computer Company for a personal demo or free trial today.