Communication is a simple concept, right? You have a phone, you dial a number and boom, you’re talking to another person. Or at least that’s all you care to know about it. Sales people call you with many different options, speaking in acronyms that make your brain instantly tune out. What if you were to turn the tables and drive the conversation surrounding communication platforms for your business? Let’s discuss unified communications as a service (UCaaS) so that next time someone calls you to offer a service, you know exactly what they are talking about.
UCaaS stands for unified communications as a service. Simply put, multiple methods of communication are combined together and sold as one service through a third-party of your choosing. A simplified example of this is your current cell phone plan. If you have one of the major cell phone carriers it is likely you can send text messages, place phone calls, video chat, and leave voice mails all on one device. You don’t need to be wired to the wall, and you can use these features anywhere with a connection. Take that model and place it into a business of any size. You have dozens, hundreds or even thousands of employees who all utilize the same service plan enabling them to call, instant message, video chat, and even host webinars on the same platform. When utilizing UCaaS, employees aren’t confined to their desk to use these features, they can work at full capacity from anywhere with cellular coverage or a secure internet connection. There are a few variations of UCaaS that you may have heard such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or Cloud PBX. These are similar to UCaaS but have few subtle differences.
Great, why is UCaaS important?
Almost everyone in the united states owns a smart phone, 96% to be exact. Most employees are expected to carry this piece of hardware on them at all times, and with that comes a multitude of different applications for different forms of communication. With UCaaS you can use the same application for voice, instant messaging, emailing, texting, and even video conferencing or webinars. This mitigates the issue with wasting time figuring out which application you’re supposed to be using and updating. Organization becomes easier, and everything is integrated seamlessly. The best part is that it’s cloud based, so if you lose or damage your device, your data doesn’t get lost with it.
Other business communication methods involve in-house hardware and costly maintenance, whereas UCaaS outsources all of the installation and maintenance to the service provider. This boils down to cost reduction and less downtime for your business processes. A few of the more advanced features that come along with UCaaS are:
- Call center services – automated receptionists
- Call management – screening, visual voicemail, call logs
- File transfers
- Support and system updates
- iOS & Android applications
- Voicemail to email transcription
- Online fax
- Integration with other business platforms – Skype, Salesforce, and Outlook to name a few
How do I know if this is right for me?
Long story short, it probably is. It your goal is efficiency and cost savings, UCaaS is your solution.