A beginner's guide to UCaaS

In an era of digital transformation, every second saved gives you an edge over your competitors. With people being the biggest drivers of this transformation, companies are constantly looking for the latest technology that will best support their workforce. The search is typically for scalable technology that aids in seamless collaboration and is accessible at a reasonable cost. This has cemented the emergence of unified communications as a service (UCaaS).

What is UCaaS?

To put it simply, UCaaS is the convergence of various communication channels in one cloud-based interface. This makes the process of enterprise communication smooth and efficient. According to Gartner, UCaaS includes enterprise telephony, meetings (audio, video, and web conferencing), unified messaging, instant messaging and presence (personal and team), mobility, and communications-enabled business processes.

Having all these features in one interface saves time, as users don't have to switch between multiple applications. Lately, this phenomenon of context switching has been linked to negative effects such as fatigue and reduced productivity. The Workgeist 2021 report found that 45% of the participants felt less productive when context switching. It was also found that 43% believed switching between tasks caused fatigue. These are important considerations for companies choosing technology for their employees.

Considering the events that have transpired over the last few years, another important function of UCaaS is that it enables mobility. This effectively makes remote work easier. The findings of a recent study highlight the importance of this benefit. It was found that if given the opportunity to work from home, 87% of participants would take it. This is an indication of the shift in remote work preferences. UCaaS's ability to use a device with an active network connection from anywhere in the world ensures that geography is no longer a barrier.

The emergence of UCaaS

There was a time when all internal communication in companies was carried out through a private branch exchange(PBX). A company's PBX is essentially its internal analog telephone network used for internal communication and external communication using a limited number of external lines. This was before the emergence of VoIP.

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a system that transmits voice signals over the internet rather than physical lines. The emergence of this technology paved the way for UCaaS to be used for cloud-based, real-time communication.

This evolution of this technology has also enabled UCaaS providers to integrate several additional features into the base framework, thus adding value to customers.

How can UCaaS add value to your company?

The cloud-enabled nature of UCaaS means that all you need is a device and an active network connection for use. This helps your company save on capital expenditure and time by eliminating the need for expensive hardware and the resources required to maintain this hardware. UCaaS providers also deliver a host of additional benefits, such as administrative support and premium security, to ease the pressure on your company's IT department.

UCaaS can be used to facilitate both internal and external communication, as well as make project management more efficient. UCaaS relies on data centers to transmit communication between individuals using VoIP technology. Depending on the provider, it also offers an array of supporting features for your company's specific needs.

For companies that engage in inbound and outbound contact center functions, features such as call recording and integration with the existing cloud PBX are beneficial. This integration makes it easier for companies to adapt to new technology. Plus, real-time status updates, desktop sharing, and mobile applications all lead to more efficient collaboration.

Several UCaaS providers also allow you to integrate the service with their project management software or third-party software. With communication APIs offered by these providers, you can also integrate different applications for acustomized experience.

Finding the right UCaaS provider

There is a growing demand for a provider that offers the most convenient features, saves the most time, and is available at a reasonable cost to the company. UCaaS providers must push boundaries while remaining cost-efficient. Zoho Cliq offers all the benefits of a cloud-based, unified communication service with several additional benefits owing to Zoho's existing tech ecosystem. Read more about this here.


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