With hybrid working now a core aspect of many organizations, effective communication and collaboration have never been more important. However, ensuring communications remain seamless and reliable when a workforce is fragmented isn’t without its challenges. 

That’s why countless organizations are now leveraging Unified Communications as a Service offerings and reaping all the benefits that come with doing so. 

In this UCaaS overview, we are going to provide you with enough information to decide if Unified Communications As A Service is something that your organization should be considering.

Defining Unified Communications As A Service

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is an integrated cloud-based solution that enables all of an organization’s employees to communicate and collaborate via voice, video, email, and instant message seamlessly and regardless of where they are physically located. So even if one individual is at their desk and another is working from home or at a different site, the means of communication doesn’t change. Before we continue, it is worth addressing the UCaaS vs. CPaaS question that often comes up. Contrary to popular belief, UCaaS and CPaaS are not one and the same. 

In a nutshell, UCaaS is a complete solution, providing unified communications and collaboration out of the box in a single offering that can be used across an organization. CPaaS, which stands for Communications Platform as a Service, is more geared towards enabling developers to integrate specific communications functionality and features into their apps, without the organization needing to invest in additional infrastructure.

How Does Unified Communications Work?

With Unified Communications technology, all of an organization’s communications are hosted in the cloud by a UCaaS provider, and functionality is delivered to business users over the internet.

From the business user’s point of view, everything is seamless, with full communications functionality available via a single interface e.g. an application. So if the user wants to call their colleague, they would do so through the app. The same goes for video conferencing, instant messaging, and even file sharing.

All of this calling functionality is made possible thanks to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), which converts sound into data packets that can then be securely transmitted across a network (usually the public internet). Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and other communication tools use VoIP to enable users to chat with one another online.

With UCaaS, because the organization’s communications are delivered as a service via a cloud-based offering, the need to invest in and subsequently maintain on-site infrastructure is negated. This helps an organization better manage its costs and frees up its IT team(s) to focus on value-add tasks. These are just two unified communications benefits but the advantages don’t stop there. Let’s look at some more.

What Are The Benefits Of UCaaS?

The benefits of UCaaS for organizations are numerous but here are the main ones to consider:

  • Flexibility — Business users get full communication and collaboration functionality regardless of their location, including their home offices, or wherever they choose to work from.
  • Security — UcaaS providers use best-in-class security protocols to ensure an organization’s data and communications are kept safe at all times.
  • Consolidation — A single user interface for multiple communication and collaboration features.
  • Productivity — UCaaS increases the speed, effectiveness, and efficiency of business communications, boosting user productivity in the process.
  • Reduced Costs — With no infrastructure investment required and zero ongoing maintenance, UCaaS can help organizations realize significant cost savings — both capital and operational.
  • Device neutrality — UCaaS solutions are device neutral i.e. they do not require any special hardware to function, further simplifying the solution and reducing costs.
  • Enhanced business continuity/disaster recovery — With all of an organization’s UCaaS architecture hosted securely in off-site data centers, business continuity is better safeguarded and risk mitigated.

Best Practices for UC&C Productivity

Download our whitepaper and learn how UC&C can play an important role in improving how a business communicates and operates.

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UCaaS Best Practices

As with any significant IT project, moving to a UCaaS solution requires lots of planning to ensure success. Here are four UCaaS best practices to help ensure your project gets underway in the right direction: 

1. Engage business stakeholders early

So many IT projects witness low adoption and satisfaction rates after implementation simply because one of the main groups of business stakeholders — end-users — were not involved from the beginning. By not involving these individuals, organizations will not secure end-user buy-in and risk implementing a solution that represents what business leaders think end-users want, not what they actually want.

2. Perform a technology audit

It’s also important to understand exactly how each department is currently utilizing communication technologies. It is not uncommon for several business areas to be using different solutions to achieve what they need. Any UCaaS solution you implement needs to complement and support your business users’ workflows, not vice-versa.

3. Analyze and document the existing setup accurately

There is no reason why user extension numbers, for example, need to change during a UCaaS implementation. In fact, organizations should ensure they don’t in order to afford a more seamless migration experience for their end-users. But to achieve this, everything relating to the existing setup needs to be analyzed and then documented.

4. Work with the right UCaaS provider

By working with the right UCaaS provider from the start of a Unified Communications project, organizations can benefit from a more intuitive experience. Furthermore, any solution that is scoped and implemented will be fully fit for purpose.

You can discover more UCaaS best practices in our Unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) white paper.

Making The Most Of UCaaS By Choosing The Right Strategic Partner

As with every XaaS (as a Service) offering, the value and benefits you afford will depend largely on the provider you partner with. Here at Yorktel, our focus is on helping our partners work smarter, not harder. We understand that no two organizations are the same, which is why we take an individual approach that focuses on providing the right solution for your and your business users’ needs.

Interested in learning more about UCaaS and discovering how our solutions can benefit your organization? Contact us and talk to one of our specialist UCaaS professionals to find out more.