Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) for SMBs: Benefits and BeyondView the guide
Communication means everything in modern business, but how companies currently access essential messaging services poses a problem. Many communication apps exist on the market, however, integrating them seamlessly with your business is the real challenge.
It’s not uncommon for a company to rely on several communication platforms, whether it’s VoIP, SMS, a project management app, or others. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offers businesses a more streamlined approach to business communications and collaboration.
UCaaS isn’t a new technology. It’s prevalent in the business world and is known for improving communications through enhanced flexibility and integration possibilities where individual messaging apps can’t compete.
But why is unified communications technology so valuable today? And why is now the right time for companies to integrate a solution?
What Is UCaaS?
The goal of UCaaS is to offer a seamless user experience that unifies communications through a single user interface. Service providers host and deliver UCaaS so it’s easy to deploy across a variety of devices. Companies can then support several forms of communication at once, including:
- Text messaging
- Instant messaging
- And many others
UCaaS follows the standard “as a service” model. Since it runs entirely in the cloud. It’s great for companies that want more control over scaling the platform as they expand.
What Are the Main Benefits of UCaaS?
Small and medium businesses are finding the UCaaS model incredibly attractive, as it provides them with enterprise-grade communications technology that empowers their operations. These companies can now provide high-quality user experiences that were previously exclusive to larger organizations.
Reduced Capital Expenditure
Businesses that rely on many communication platforms know all too well how expensive managing all these subscriptions can be — let alone creating cohesive contacts between various team members, departments and stakeholders.
Developing your own unified communications platform is even more costly. The average price of app development can surpass tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on how complex you need it to be.
And trying to integrate that platform with multiple third-party applications requires an experienced IT team that your company may not have access to internally.
A UCaaS platform significantly reduces your upfront costs by alleviating the need for in-house development, IT teams and a plethora of subscriptions to various as a service providers.
When your company relies on its own in-house infrastructure, scaling can become a serious headache. For instance, you must:
- Ensure the network is extensive enough to support additional users.
- Purchase the equipment for your employees to use.
- Tie it all together for streamlined integration.
As your company grows, making sure your employees have the right tools they need to access proprietary information and other workflows within the company is a significant hurdle.
A UCaaS system solves this bottleneck in a variety of ways, including:
- Making adding new users an easy and efficient process.
- Provisioning and deploying equipment takes just seconds.
- Expediting the onboarding process to take virtually no time at all.
- Allowing you to add new features quickly to your existing deployment.
Taking advantage of the benefits of UCaaS guarantees that your platform stays up-to-date with the latest features your business needs to remain competitive. And in the fast-paced world of communications, this is essential.
Security should be a top priority for all businesses today, especially considering how companies lost 4.1 billion records to data breaches in the first half of 2019 alone. Regardless of what industry you work in, keeping sensitive information about your business and its customers safe should be a priority.
Whether you manage your own local IT department or rely on multiple cloud vendors, it’s difficult for either of these solutions to compete with a single unified communications platform. Most UCaaS services come standard with high-level encryption that makes it increasingly challenging for cybercriminals to access restricted information. It also reduces your IT burden by eliminating the need to staff a large cybersecurity team.
Inteliquent’s platform leverages secure trunking, Transport Layer Security (TLS), and Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (sRTP) to ensure your communications stay private.
Predictable Pricing Structure
Pricing is an obstacle where many small and medium businesses struggle. Gaining access to the tools they need to be competitive is often costly and unfeasible for most.
One primary benefit of a UCaaS platform is the flexible pricing structure. Beyond initial setup fees, monthly or annual pricing is more predictable. You only pay for the features you need and can add or remove options post-deployment.
This added predictability makes it easy to budget for the tools you need to keep your business running.
Improve Operational Productivity and Efficiency
Even smaller companies often have a sizable number of employees and departments who need to communicate with each other. When these communications are taking place across several apps — they become fragmented and decrease your operational efficiency. Employees may spend more time trying to gain clarity than actually working on tasks.
A UCaaS platform keeps all these essential communications in one convenient location. With one app, your employees will know where to communicate, how to reach specific members of your team, and who’s available — resulting in a productivity boost.
Integrate Remote Workers
The remote work trend is here to stay, as a clear majority of employees desire remote positions. Some of the largest companies like Google have already embraced this trend too. Finding ways to integrate your remote workers is essential.
A unified communications platform is one of the easiest ways to bring remote employees up to speed on essential communications, organizational policies and other useful information that can expedite the onboarding process.
Employees can see whether remote workers are available to chat, schedule meetings with them to discuss vital tasks, and streamline the overall communication process.
Another advantage is the ability to integrate the UCaaS platform into an existing smartphone. This benefit reduces the cost of deploying new technologies, as your business is not required to make a substantial hardware investment since most people already have a compatible smartphone.
Access Company Contacts from Anywhere
Your company’s call directory is a valuable asset that may contain a culmination of years of sales and marketing efforts. They play a large role in enabling your success, so your employees must have access to these crucial contacts whenever they need them.
UCaaS services integrate your entire call directory, which can smooth out everything from customer service to sales. Employees will be able to find the numbers they need whenever they need them, increasing productivity and efficiency in the process.
Improve Project Clarity
Large projects usually have many employees working on them at any given time. It’s important to keep them all updated on what’s going on with the project. If two workers have similar tasks, you don’t want their contributions to contradict each other.
UCaaS platforms result in improved clarity through a variety of communication tools, including quick access to voice and video chat, screen sharing and file transfer that ensures synchronized project completion.
Access to Reliable Support
When you rely on multiple communication platforms or an in-house solution, getting the support you need is a challenge. It usually involves communicating with numerous tech support departments or losing time when your internal IT team tries to solve the problem themselves.
A UCaaS service offloads that burden of support to your dedicated provider. A single team familiar with the entire platform handles all requests. These specialized tech support agents:
- Understand how each feature works
- Know all about common problems
- Can advise you on integrating specific third-party platforms via API
- Support you with other institutional skills
Eliminating the need to handle support on your own saves your organization time and money. It also lets employees focus on other aspects of the business.
The Growth of Unified Communications Will Only Continue in 2020
Today, 81% of companies say that having access to innovative functions is the main reason they’re transitioning to the cloud and adopting unified communications. And it’s the user experience that’s empowering this push for digital transformation.
Whether you’re looking to adopt UCaaS for customers or employees, creating a seamless user experience is now the goal for all organizations.
Today, the majority of organizations say they are adopting UCaaS because of a single requirement: availability. Beyond that, they also wish to see better integration between SaaS applications and their own business tools, reduced costs and improved security.
Innovative companies understand the need to stay at the forefront of the industry, and UCaaS platforms provide an easier way to accomplish that. UCaaS technology future-proofs a business by giving it access to premium features on a pay-as-you-go model.
You can easily add or remove features as needed, building a customized platform geared toward your own unique challenges. Communication systems essentially become a vehicle for your company’s brand awareness.
Communication technology isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and that’s why Inteliquent’s UCaaS is the optimal solution for empowering businesses in the digital age.
Are you looking to implement a robust, feature-rich unified communications as a service solution? Contact the Inteliquent team today to get started.