What is UCaaS? Meaning and Definition

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What is UCaas

The way businesses operate has experienced a dramatic shift over the past several months due to COVID-19. Many organizations embraced a work-from-home model and even as we are seemingly on the other side of the pandemic, remote and hybrid workforces are a concept that is here to stay. 

At the core of this modern-day business model’s success is a solid unified communications solution. Because there are multiple components of a unified communications solution, many businesses opt for an as-a-service model, or unified communications as a service (UCaaS). 

Knowing that 52% of mid-sized enterprises currently use a UCaaS solution, while 56% are considering a move to UCaaS, it is not a matter of “if”, rather “when” your business should adopt a UCaaS solution to remain competitive – and the answer is sooner rather than later. 

So, what is the meaning of UCaas? Let’s take a deeper dive. 

What is UCaaS’ Meaning?

When looking to define UCaaS, let’s take a look at the following Gartner definition:

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a cloud-delivered unified communications model that supports six communications functions:

  • Enterprise telephony
  • Meetings (audio/video/web conferencing)
  • Unified messaging
  • Instant messaging and presence (personal & team)
  • Mobility
  • Communications-enabled business processes

The components of UCaaS can be broken down even further:

  • Unified Communications (UC) integrates numerous business communication tools such as phone, chat, and video to enhance productivity and provide multiple ways to interact in real-time.
  • As a Service (aaS) is the delivery model for cloud-based service and software. In the case of UCaaS, it is specific to communication tools and APIs.

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What is UCaaS: Telephony

Voice continues to be one of the core components of a unified enterprise communications strategy. As many organizations continue to operate remotely, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) has seen significant adoption. Not only does this technology provide a more modern and seamless user experience with more communication options, but also prevents companies from having to invest in specialized equipment for phone lines compared to a traditional phone system. 

There are numerous benefits of VoIP, including a lower cost per call, enhanced mobility, recording features, intelligent call routing, simple installation, no reliance on data centers, and its ability to integrate with other business systems.

What is UCaaS?

What is UCaaS: Meetings

Though voice will always play a vital role in most UCaaS solutions, other communication tools should be considered, too.

Because so many meetings are being conducted virtually nowadays, organizations must include video conferencing and meeting solutions  (including audio and web conferencing) as part of their UCaaS strategy. In addition to hosting client meetings and providing customer support, these solutions also facilitate peer-to-peer communication and collaboration. 

And, when using a communications solution such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams that is cloud-based, team members can easily host conversations, share files, launch presentations, and more from any device and any location, making it a must-have tool in today’s disparate workplace. 

What is UCaaS: Messaging 

Another UCaaS feature that is increasingly popular in today’s corporate environment is messaging. For many organizations, this is the first UCaaS workload that is adopted. This can be anything from chat and instant messaging to SMS and MMS texts. 

Messaging that is hosted on a collaboration application allows for real-time communication amongst coworkers, and in many cases, is a more efficient communication channel than traditional email. Not only can lag time between emails be avoided, but chat and instant messaging can also significantly reduce the number of emails sent and received. 

With SMS and MMS messaging capabilities, businesses can provide quick, personable, and cost-effective communications to employees and customers alike. And, considering 85% of smartphone users prefer mobile messages to emails or calls, it is an offering that should be included in a UCaaS solution. 

What is UCaaS: Presence  

As remote working demands enhanced collaboration and communication, it is helpful to know at any given moment which employees are “online” as well as those who are unavailable. This can be achieved with a UCaaS solution. 

Those insights can even be taken a step further by showing information about what a person is doing. For instance, you can see if a specific individual is in a meeting or call or whether they’re at lunch or on vacation. This is important to know because even if an employee shows “unavailable”, they may still be responsive to a message. This information is also available across multiple applications such as Outlook, Office applications, mobile, and more. 

Presence features also ensure workers can maintain work/life balance, as an employee’s status can represent to the rest of their team when they have finished working for the day. 

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What is UCaaS: Mobility 

Today’s employees desire a robust and connected communications platform that allows them to do their jobs from any location. Even if your workforce isn’t fully remote, there should still be options for mobility. 

Fortunately, with a solid UCaaS solution, your employees can easily access the tools and applications they require to do their job from any internet-connected company device, or even from their tablets and smartphones. 

Need Help With Your UCaaS Solution?

In summary, a UCaaS solution equips small businesses to enterprise organizations with a single platform for vital business communications and processes and plays a major role in an organization’s communication, collaboration, and productivity. 

The team at Buchanan has knowledge and expertise in the unified communications space and is here to help create a customized UCaaS strategy for your business. Don’t ask “what is a UCaaS platform?” Instead, reach out and let us know how we can accelerate your adoption of a proven UCaaS solution

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