Unified Communications as a Service: How UCaaS is Driving the Modern Workforce
The global COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally altered the way many of us around the world work, learn, and communicate with each other.
Pre-pandemic, working from home was considered by many to be a perk, not the norm. Then widespread stay-at-home orders forced offices, schools, restaurants, malls, and gathering places to close their doors, accelerating the adoption of remote work virtually overnight.
Organizations with unified communications as a service, or UCaaS technology, were able to transition to a work-from-home model much more seamlessly than those dependent on on-premise and multi-platform solutions.
As organizations invest in digital transformation initiatives to support a distributed workforce, UCaaS will become even more widespread and essential to keeping employees connected.
What is UCaaS?
UCaaS can be broken down into two elements: “unified communications” and “as-a-service.”
Unified communications refers to a single platform that delivers a variety of communications services. These services can vary depending on the organization, but typically they should include:
- Video, audio, and web conferencing
- Voice communications/enterprise telephony
- Instant messaging/chat
As-a-service means delivered via the cloud, as opposed to an on-premise solution. Cloud-based communications offer greater flexibility, enabling users to adapt on the fly to an ever-changing business environment.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the global UCaaS market is expected to expand at a double-digit compound annual growth rate until 2025. Unified communications is a strategic investment for businesses looking to improve their communications in an increasingly remote work environment.
Is UCaaS right for your business?
If your organization juggles several different communications providers, you’re not alone. According to a Zoom-Forbes Insight report, 61% of executives in 2019 said their companies are operating three or more video communications platforms.
But using video conferencing for internal department meetings, VoIP service for sales calls, and a separate webinar platform for large-scale employee training sessions creates a fragmented user experience. This increased friction between customer and employee communications places a greater burden on IT teams to provide support for different solutions.
Many modern workplaces are shifting to the UCaaS model as a way to address these challenges. Unifying communication solutions reduces complexity, stimulates collaboration, and allows for more streamlined workflows across the enterprise.
Benefits of a UCaaS platform
Some of the most significant benefits of UCaaS include:
Ease of use: UCaaS simplifies communications for traditional as well as tech-savvy users. It offers a one-stop-shop experience for all communications needs, without the need to open up multiple applications.
Here’s an example of how UC streamlines communications by allowing users to go seamlessly from a phone call to a video call with screen sharing:
Ability to adapt: As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, business needs can change overnight. Cloud communication services enable organizations to maintain business continuity if a crisis occurs, giving them quick access to company files, flexible deployment options, and full feature functionality from a remote environment.
Enhanced collaboration: With features like video calling, chat, and screen sharing on one platform, colleagues can easily collaborate in ways that are visual and engaging. Plus, integration with other cloud-based apps makes it easy to create custom workflows that can improve efficiency and communication within your organization.
Cost savings: Cloud communication services are offered via a subscription-based model with predictable monthly charges. Because there’s no need to invest in and upgrade expensive hardware, it’s generally more cost-effective with minimal upfront investment.
How to choose a UCaaS provider
Ready to consolidate and streamline your communications solutions? Here are 10 questions you should ask when evaluating unified communications providers:
- Does the platform offer all the services and features that my organization needs?
- Is the platform secure? Will it protect our privacy and data?
- Is it reliable? Does it have a track record of providing high-quality, business-grade performance for voice, video, and chat?
- Does it offer an intuitive user experience with features that enable greater collaboration and more robust communication?
- Does the platform integrate seamlessly with essential applications for our business, like Salesforce, Quickbooks, or Microsoft Teams? Does it have solutions that improve workflows, communication, and efficiency?
- How flexible is the platform? Does it allow for options like BYOC (bring your own phone carrier), third-party SIP trunking, flexible APIs, etc.?
- Does the provider offer training and onboarding to help increase adoption?
- Will the provider continue to offer innovative solutions and cutting-edge features?
- Does the provider have expertise in serving customers in my industry — with a variety of use cases and successful implementation stories?
- Is the solution cost-effective? Will it save me money by eliminating the need for multiple contracts, hardware investments, and maintenance?
Choosing a UCaaS provider that offers the right fit for your organization’s current and future needs is key to simplifying communications, mobilizing your workforce, and ensuring business continuity and scalability.
Learn more about Zoom’s award-winning UCaaS platform, including Zoom Meetings and Zoom Phone, or schedule a one-on-one demo today to see how UCaaS can benefit your organization.