UCaaS products are the range of offerings your firm may access once you opt for a particular vendor. These may include contact center capabilities, customer management integrations, and more. Essentially, they are the on-premises UC tools or platforms firms can use to streamline their communication channels. To narrow your search for a reliable vendor, consider checking out our list of the best Ucaas providers reviewed by the experts.
But first, what is UCaaS? And how does it work? Let’s answer these questions so you can better understand UCaaS products.
What is UCaaS?
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is often claimed to be a preferred communication solution for businesses worldwide. Essentially, UCaaS melds internet-based telephony with other messaging options to create a streamlined platform. As a result, your staff can collaborate from anywhere in the world. Typically, UCaaS platforms work across desk phones or hard phones, smartphones, and computers. That way, users get to interact across multiple channels. UC’s components include:
- Telephony- voice service that includes call forwarding, recording, and routing.
- Instant messaging for individual and real-time group chats.
- File sharing to save time and avert data loss.
- Collaboration tools allow teams to work jointly by scheduling or managing projects.
- Video conferencing for one-on-one sessions or group meetings.
In particular, a UC platform facilitates the management of these components using an application. UCaaS vendors help organizations meet these technical needs by providing a whole host of services, generally accessible via the cloud-hosted online in a dedicated data center. As a result, you don’t need to set up VoIP hardware to meet your communication needs or serve customers.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) ensures the proper functioning of UCaaS voice. It does so by converting sound and transmitting it in the form of a data packet to an internet-based provider before relaying it to a recipient.
The main upside of UCaaS is that vendors handle all the technical nitty-gritty while the client enjoys its benefits. Here’s an overview of the general requirements for accessing UCaaS products and the support you can expect from a vendor.
Depending on your organization’s needs, UCaaS platforms are scalable to cater to in-house and remote users. Mostly, users need a cloud license (which the vendor provides) to access the products. The license may allocate monthly blocks of minutes that users can use for local or long-distance communication.
Companies may also opt to acquire licenses for their users annually. Still, depending on the size of your business, you may consider flexible plans that allow your organization to scale depending on your needs.
Generally, the UCaaS provider sets up on-site hardware or software endpoints. In short, they handle the back-end configuration. Such architecture supports phone lines and other communication mediums. For instance, if you need hard phones, a vendor may provide supporting software for selected conference phones in their product offering.
Still, some firms offer software apps to streamline collaboration. Such UC applications are compatible with Windows or other operating systems. And since most users would need to use smartphones or tablets, most UC apps tend to run well on Apple iOS or Android.
For any system to run as reliably as initially intended and to tackle challenges or bottlenecks, you need technical support. For instance, vendors who offer UCaaS products usually update their apps and equipment to ensure organizations enjoy improved functionality. Such cloud-based updates avert disruptions that may otherwise occur if you have to keep updating your physical equipment.
In short, system maintenance is the service provider’s responsibility. By supporting their platforms, vendors help streamline UCaaS by minimizing downtime and addressing operational hitches that may arise in the system during normal operation. Typically, UC products include various technical support options depending on the plan an organization settles for. These may include:
- 24/7 year-round call support
- Web-based support
- User community portal
- Software updates or security patches
Having fewer issues for your firm’s IT staff to worry about means they can focus on other meaningful tasks or projects. In so doing, your firm can channel its resources toward growth. Also, you don’t have to hire technical staff to keep your communication system in working order, even if you only have a small IT team. Your UCaaS provider does most of the heavy lifting on your behalf.
Before deciding to hire a particular UCaaS vendor, it’s advisable to evaluate the hardware options they provide. That and their technical support are vital considerations that should shape your choice. The range of products a firm can access varies by provider. But, the general idea is to reduce your costs and improve connectivity with the help of various technologies and tools. If you need a dependable UCaaS provider, consider going through the hyperlinked list at the beginning of this post.