What is UC, or unified communications? It is a modern communication tool that aggregates and streamlines corporate communication methods. Most likely you use corporate email, calendars, video conferencing tools, chat applications to communicate in addition to phone calls. Unified Communications (UC) effectively connects platforms such as Exchange, SharePoint, Active Directory, etc. So you don't need to operate multiple communication channels in parallel - just one is enough. One that connects all the others (hence unified communication services).
Have you scheduled a meeting in your calendar? Thanks to unified communications, your colleagues and customers will know automatically. Your status in chat clients will be automatically updated, you won't be disturbed by incoming message notifications, and the smart VoIP PBX can even automatically mute incoming ringtones on your IP phone or forward calls to your voicemail or to your colleague. With unified communications, you can share desktops with colleagues or customers, exchange files, share a drawing screen, and even join a conference from the public telephone network. With all these benefits, you communicate efficiently and save time. Not only your own time, but also the time of your customers and suppliers. One of the most hated things in business is waiting. Downtime and waiting will be reduced to an acceptable minimum with unified communications services.
What is UCaaS?
Cloud computing can be divided into three basic types:
SaaS (Software as a Service) - Software as a Service, where a variety of applications are offered through the cloud. Users do not buy them, they always have access to the latest version via a web interface.
PaaS (Platform as a Service) - Platform as a Service, where developers in particular can develop and manage their own applications without having to maintain the underlying infrastructure themselves.
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) - Infrastructure as a Service, in which the cloud service provider provides access to manage the network, servers and virtualize storage, while the customer takes care of the operating system, data, applications, etc.
→ Tip: Read about the basic types of cloud computing.
UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) can basically be considered as another kind of cloud computing where unified communications services are made available by the cloud provider.
What features does UCaaS offer?
From an end-user perspective, UCaaS is not much different from regular UC. It will provide you with essentially identical functionality:
voice and telephony services, including mobility
meetings - audio/video conferencing and web conferencing
e-mail with voicemail and unified messaging
integrated contact centres
So why choose UCaaS? It simply pays off economically: you can easily switch from a capital cost model (CapEx) to a more cost-effective operating cost model (OpEx). Moreover, it is much more flexible: you can change (increase or decrease) the number of sub-licenses according to your immediate needs.
The increasing demands on internal and external unified communications mean more than just the need for capital investment. Although communications are critical to business success and employee productivity, maintaining the infrastructure requires a high level of expertise that is constantly growing. This also means a higher investment in internal IT staff. In the case of UCaaS, however, you can simply transfer all requirements to a cloud service provider.
An overview of the advantages of UCaaS over UC
What are the biggest advantages of unified communications provided as cloud services?
How to migrate to UCaaS?
Just as conservative enterprises are moving en masse to the cloud in the SaaS and IaaS areas (over 70 % of companies in the Czech Republic), a similar trend applies to UCaaS. What should you pay attention to when migrating?
Think about a hybrid strategy - for starters, you can leave some existing communication services on an on-premise solution. An all-or-nothing approach is not the best way to go. You can only work your way up to a full cloud migration gradually.
Map your environment - it's not enough to just include the requirements for existing capacity on internal staff and customers, allow for future developments. Ideally, use benchmarks to see if you have sufficient network infrastructure robustness.
Think conceptually - think about your current communications strategy and how you can theoretically get the most out of it. UCaaS can practically enable you to do this, for example by automating.
Monitor performance and quality - proactive performance management is increasingly important. Make sure you have a strategy in place to keep up with the challenges in your environment.
If you don't know what solution would be best for you or how to move to unified communications, contact us. We're ready to offer you unified communications features and team collaboration tools - all in one, accessible to anyone, anywhere.