UCaaS: What is it and should you get it?

The term UCaaS stands for Unified Communications-as-a-Service. It essentially means you’re choosing Unified Communications as a platform for all your business communications. When deciding if you should go with a UCaaS, you also need to consider if/how you want to work the cloud, and if so, which type of platform will work best for your business. You can piece together a system by paying for various services from different companies which provide things like internet service and voice communication, or you can get an all-in-one UCaaS platform for one price.

Individual Systems

Unified Communications (UC): This can encompass all forms of communications that are exchanged via a network to include other forms of communications, such as instant messaging, video conferencing, extension mobility, desktop sharing, voicemail, email, SMS, and fax.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP): A group of technologies that deliver voice communications and multimedia information over Internet Protocol(IP) networks, such as the Internet, rather than traditional phone lines (PSTN).

Combined System

Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS): This takes all that’s offered through a Unified Communications system and combines various collaboration and business communication applications into one platform that runs in the cloud. It also provides all the features offered from a VoIP service. There are many types and sizes of UCaaS platforms to choose from, and these vary with regards to security protocol and types of cloud systems. Before you decide on a specific UCaaS platform, there are a few things you should consider.

1. UCaaS Provider
With many different VoIP companies providing UCaaS, you need to find the best match for your business. Some offer the most complete package, others focus on the newest technologies available on the market, and a few seem to have the most potential for future growth.

2. Delivery Method
There are a few different ways a UCaaS system can be delivered. The first way is called multi-tenant, and it allows all business users to share the same software. Each user can customize certain things, but the actual code can’t be altered. This system is also easier to use on smartphones and tablets.

The second way is called virtualized and it provides more individual control. Each user gets his/her own software instance they can customize as desired. This type seems well suited to enterprise organizations with more than 1,000 employees who desire an increased ability for customization. Both options work to provide a cloud-hosted infrastructure that is designed to reduce overall costs of hosting the platform on your own.