UCaaS offers a variety of unified communication and collaboration applications that provide services through a cloud platform. UCaaS brings together all of a business’s communication tools, including VoIP, video conferencing, collaboration tools, file sharing, and instant messaging, into a single platform. By doing so, it creates a single space for all of your team’s communications. This makes it easier to find specific information, keep your unified communication tools up-to-date, protect your data, work remotely, and keep all of your employees on the same page.
Because it relies on cloud technology, UCaaS didn’t exist prior to 2014. Prior to the cloud, companies often relied on internal communications infrastructures such as PBX switches in order to provide employees with their own phone number extensions. With VoIP and virtual data centers, this has changed, and many companies are now looking to partner with service providers rather than create their own systems. That’s where UCaaS comes into play. It’s a more flexible solution that is also economical. You can change the services you need at any time without buying equipment or other expensive resources. This scalability is one of the most powerful aspects of any cloud-based application, including UCaaS.
Aside from simplifying communications, UCaaS provides many other great benefits to your business:
Unified Communication Increases team productivity
With everything in one central location, your team won’t have to spend time searching through emails, instant messages, file-sharing platforms, and other locations. All contacts, communications, and shared information is in one location, and users will only need to conduct one search to find what they need.
Unified Communication From Anywhere
Because it’s cloud-based UCaaS offers instant access from anywhere your team can get an internet connection or cell phone signal. Team members can log in and access the team’s collaborative space from home, while on a business trip, or from a client’s location. VoIP phone numbers travel with the employee, allowing clients to reach them even when they’re not at their desk.
UCaaS Lowers The Total Cost of Ownership
Instead of purchasing and operating multiple communications platforms, everything is consolidated. This means one licensing fee, one area to protect, and one place where something could potentially go wrong. That lowers your overall cost of ownership since you don’t have to make certain multiple systems are secured or worry about conflicts between systems. You don’t have to spend time or money on training employees to use multiple systems, either. There’s little if any, additional equipment needed.
Unified Communication Enhances Security
With multiple platforms, you have to secure each one. Every one of these platforms can leave you open to attack. Your instant messages could be intercepted if they’re not fully encrypted. Your emails could be hacked or sent phishing attacks. Everything has to have its own security, and every one of those security systems has to be set up correctly for your overall network. These systems also need to work together, which isn’t always the case. Conflicts between your security can create vulnerabilities. Securing one cloud location for your unified communications allows you to focus on that area, building enhanced security measures into it. When it comes time to update or patch applications, the updates are pushed to the cloud server, not to individual computers or other devices. This virtually eliminates the risk of someone using a device with older apps that are vulnerable. UCaaS platforms are often also compliant with PCI, HIPAA, and other security regulations.
UCaaS Allows For Transformative Collaboration
“Collaboration” to some employees means meeting up in the conference room or gathering around someone’s desk to bounce ideas off each other. UCaaS transforms collaboration into something much more. Now team members can share files, edit documents together, and chat from any location allowing collaboration to take place anywhere.
Unified Communication Platforms Provide Superior Reliability
Cloud platforms have a number of built-in redundancies to ensure that the services you need are available when you need them. This includes redundancies to keep your VoIP lines up and data backups that can be used to restore your written communications whenever needed. Most service providers have backup servers that can quickly and seamlessly come online when your primary server encounters a problem or must be taken offline for maintenance.
We Partner with Unified Communication Leaders in the UCaaS Field
We work with a number of partners in the Unified Communications field to ensure that all of our clients have the services they need at their fingertips. These partners include Microsoft Office 365, Jive, Lifesize, and BlueJeans.
Cloud communication tools can easily be integrated with Office 365 for simplified scheduling and a better meeting experience. For example, BlueJeans is partnered with Microsoft, allowing you to keep track of all of our scheduled video conferencing through your Outlook calendar. Through one-click Office 365 scheduling, employees can give one-click meeting access to users across all Outlook clients. Everything is kept on the same calendar without the need to manually enter information. This reduces the chance that someone will forget about their meeting or that their invite will get overlooked. Sharing files, contacts, and other information is also incredibly easy since all of your employees are using the same software. Office 365 collaboration allows for better user experience, simplified scheduling, and enhanced business performance.
We partner with Jive by LogMeIn as our cloud communication tools vendor. Jive is a VoIP provider helping organizations simplify how they manage their phone and conferencing setup as well as video conferencing. Jive provides VoIP phone number management and customization, allowing you to build and oversee your call flow quickly and easily. Their simple management tools allow you to customize your Hosted PBX without reading through pages of tutorials. Jive offers mobile, web, and desktop access.
We also partner with Lifesize and BlueJeans to offer video conferencing and meeting room solutions for a modern workplace. Lifesize offers 4k video resolution that seamlessly integrates into your existing system. It’s backed by a global network of data centers and employs independent third parties to regularly evaluate its security and privacy. BlueJeans focuses on modernizing the meeting, creating a simple HD video feed that can be set up and shared in a few seconds. Voice recognition and AI technology help make these meetings more productive and efficient.
In more traditional communication methods, scaling up involved purchasing additional phones and other hardware. This hardware was often costly, and when it was no longer needed, companies had to store it somewhere or sell it for a fraction of their investment. During busy seasons or new expansions, it was easy to over-estimate need and over-buy hardware. This often resulted in both unnecessary spending and in an “equipment graveyard” of unused hardware that does nothing but collect dust. With a cloud-based system, it’s much easier to scale up or down. Simply add additional VoIP phone numbers as needed and release them when they’re not. There’s no extra hardware necessary. You don’t even need to purchase company cell phones since VoIP numbers can be routed to existing cell phones or landlines. VoIP can also be answered through a computer or tablet.