Scott HanwellApril 27, 2022

What Is Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)?

Understanding communications from the cloud, UCaaS, is simpler than it seems — in fact, you’re likely already using it today. When you chat with an agent, video call your colleagues, or FaceTime your friends — all of that is cloud communication. Even opening an app to create a simple video message is UCaaS or Unified Communications as a Service.

What Is Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)?

Cloud Office Solutions

Businesses use UCaaS to expand their communications options — moving beyond simple voice into chat/messaging as well as video meetings. Additionally, it can simplify your communications. For example, an employee can have one number for voice, texting, and fax, and that number carries across all their devices, whether they are on a desk phone, mobile, or laptop. But it’s not just about employees — you can also use UCaaS to benefit your customers. For customers, UCaaS can mean improved agent reachability, additional support for remote agents and workers, and having an all-in-one solution creating a holistic customer experience that makes them feel valued.

Features, Components, and Capabilities: What is Virtual Office Software?

For some businesses, one-size-fits-all is best when it comes to cloud unified communications. For others, not so much. Let’s dive into how using cloud-based office communications can help businesses become more efficient through capabilities that are already in-place or through ones that can be easily implemented.

Meetings & Video Conferencing

With a UCaaS solution, meetings and video conferencing happen quickly and efficiently. And instead of having inconclusive outcomes, you can assign and track tasks, share documents, and keep the team rolling forward outside the meeting with ongoing messaging. No more wasting time! Meetings become problem-solving sessions.

Avaya Spaces, for example, supports meetings from anywhere in the world. Easy-to-use conferencing and messaging let employees work across time zones and locations to maximize productivity. For large meetings, this “app for collaboration” can handle over 1,000 participants while providing top-of-the-line security features.

Avaya Spaces® is video conferencing and more for a work-anywhere world.

Messaging

Sometimes, all you need is to send a quick message to someone to ask a question or for feedback, to clarify a decision, or to stay up to date with what teammates are working on. Avaya builds messaging into its existing solutions for businesses that need to take the next step to stay connected. And the best part? It’s all in the cloud, so it’s easy to build on the systems and processes that already work within your company.

Cloud Phone Systems

You may have heard of UCaaS as a cloud phone system — but UCaaS means so much more. It’s not just a traditional PBX — it’s an integrated package that includes all the voice features you’ve come to rely on, packaged with network access and very attractive long distance or 1-800 services. That means one bill for all your needs. Plus, you get the benefits of a radically simplified administrative interface, no-touch software and security updates, regular new features, and the ability to scale across the country or around the globe if and when you need to — all without the need to buy extra capacity. You can grow exactly as you need to. And if you want to add communications to the other applications you use every day, it’s a snap. With Avaya Cloud Office, for example, you can add unified communications to over 180 third-party business applications like Office 365, Salesforce, or Google.

Avaya Cloud Office® is a cloud phone system that works where and how you do.

Benefits of UCaaS

By now, you can see the advantages of a UCaaS solution for your business. You know how it seamlessly integrates with your other apps; you understand that it provides an all-in-one solution for your business, and you realize that it can take communications with your employees and customers to the next level. Like the possibilities, the benefits of UCaaS are nearly endless.  Let’s look at some other benefits in a bit more detail.

Supports Remote Working

Remote work isn’t going anywhere anytime soon — and why would it? Companies have to constantly consider their overhead and having employees work from home decreases that overhead. Over 80% of corporations state that they plan to let their employees work remotely even post-pandemic (Gartner).

UCaaS is the backbone of any employee-centric communications system. With UCaaS, employees can enjoy a unified workplace which allows them to communicate effectively and efficiently. There’s no need to come into the office when the office is right at your fingertips.

One Solution, One User Interface

With UCaaS, you get a single, simple solution (rather than having disparate applications from multiple vendors and systems) which captures all of the aforementioned modalities. These modalities work together and integrate so UCaaS is intuitive to use. And at Avaya, we’re always adding new capabilities and value — you’ll get regular new feature updates that will continue to keep you one step ahead of the competition.

Cost-Effective

We understand that, when it comes to communications, there is no such thing as “one-size-fits-all”. That’s why Avaya OneCloud™ has a variety of options for all your business needs, with the ability to scale to exactly meet your requirements. Our UCaaS pricing model is based on tiered services and number of users to help provide a cost-effective solution.

Removing Overhead From IT

By allowing us to provide your solution, you no longer need resources with detailed knowledge of communications to support your business. Updates, including security features and any patching that has to happen, come automatically. Your scarce IT resources can pivot to the high priority tasks that will help your business grow and become even more successful.

How to Choose a UCaaS Vendor

Choosing your UCaaS vendor may be the most important decision you make. We obviously have our own biases, but let us make a few suggestions that might make sense to you:

  • Implementation is key. Look for a vendor that can smooth your path to the cloud with a world-class services organization.
  • The world is changing and so will your business. Find a vendor that can continue to grow and adapt your employee and customer contact solutions to meet your future needs.
  • Reliability matters, and 5 9s availability is the standard. Don’t accept anything less.
  • Moving to the cloud should allow you to build out your capabilities, not diminish them. Make sure going to the cloud doesn’t mean giving up on the features you use today.
  • Make sure the solution is intuitive. Ask for a demo. Is it easy to access the features you need? Will everyone, regardless of work style, want to use it? Simple = success.

How Avaya Can Help

The unprecedented shift in the way we all do business has created more cloud-friendly opportunities than ever before. In today’s environment, your people need a UCaaS communications solution to stay productive and engaged.

As a leader in unified communications and collaboration (Aragon Research), Avaya can help. Whether it’s making sure that productive work happens in real-time across locations, improving reachability and making better decisions, or delighting your customers, Avaya OneCloud™ UCaaS can make your great business perform even better.

Explore Avaya OneCloud™ UCaaS.

Barista and businesswoman using technology in cafe

Scott Hanwell

A 25-year veteran of the communications industry, Scott has held positions in finance, pricing, competitive analysis, joint venture management and product marketing across the midmarket and enterprise. He is currently responsible for marketing Avaya's enterprise core Team Engagement solutions.

Read Articles by Scott Hanwell
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