Unified Communications Explained – Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

May 16, 2022

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Do you know how much your business is losing because of poor communications? According to a report published by Grammarly, ineffective communications could be costing your business $12,506 per employee, per year. What’s the solution? For many organizations, it’s unified communications.

Market research has shown that demand for unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is erupting and will continue to increase over the next few years – it’s expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1 percent until at least 2027.

But is UCaaS right for your business? What’s in it for your employees and customers?

With a reliable, easy-to-use UCaaS system, your business can tackle all the inefficiencies of poor communication and collaboration – missed deadlines, reputational erosion, and time wasted resolving miscommunications. You’ll have better productivity, smoother collaboration, and happier customers.

However, before you jump into a new technology, you need to know the impact it will have on your business. Here’s UCaaS explained, a look at everything you should know before getting started with unified communications.

What Is Unified Communications as a Service?

Unified communications as a service is a software as a service (SaaS) solution that delivers essential business telecom and team collaboration tools in one system. It’s essentially an all-in-one communications platform for businesses.

Because all your tools are integrated, your data is integrated too. You have a centralized dashboard and can quickly access data and analytics to get a clearer picture of how effective your business communications are.

How Does UCaaS Work?

UCaaS is cloud-based, which means the software lives in the cloud and is managed by the provider. Because your data is securely stored in off-site data centers, your business can continue operating even when employees can’t come into the office.

In fact, UCaaS is a critical tool for businesses that are moving to a remote or hybrid work model. With unified communications as a service, teams can stay connected and collaborate with ease from anywhere.

UCaaS is similar to VoIP technology in that your voice data transmits over the internet and you don’t need an on-premises phone system. However, UCaaS does far more than VoIP.

The Main Functions of UCaaS Explained

The biggest advantage of UCaaS is that all your communication tools are united under one umbrella. That means users can access different tools without switching platforms. They also won’t have to waste time searching for data.

As a result, there’s no more calling a client back because the files you need aren’t easily accessible. There are no more overlooked emails and lost messages, or wasted time sifting through voicemail messages for information better suited to a quick chat.

Instead, everything lives in one place, and all the data and files you need are at your fingertips.

Here are the main functions you can expect with a unified communications platform and what you should look for to ensure you’re getting a solution that can elevate your communications.

  • Business phone – Connect from anywhere with a cloud phone system. Look for tools like call analytics to track the performance of your sales and support teams, virtual voicemail, and call center functions, such as automated attendant and a real-time call statistics dashboard.
  • Video conferencing – Engage with employees and customers with high-quality audio/video. To help you get more out of your video conferencing, look for interactive tools like screen sharing and screen annotation.
  • Team chat – Save time with real-time chat messages instead of having to create an email or make a call every time you need to communicate. Your team chat should sync across desktop and mobile applications for anywhere conversations. Also, look for rich text editor functionality to ensure messages are properly formatted and crystal clear.
  • File management – Collaborate with confidence with secure file management. You’ll want your UCaaS to include real-time backup and restore so you never have to worry about losing the latest version of your shared files.

Is UCaaS Cost-Effective for Small Businesses?

Because you don’t have to take on the cost of ownership, UCaaS is a cost-effective solution for small businesses. You don’t need to pay for hardware, IT support, or IT maintenance – your cloud provider handles all of this for you.

How Will Switching to Unified Communications Impact Your Business?

With unified communications, your business will benefit from:

  • Easier scaling – You can grow your team and add users without having to invest in more tech resources.
  • Enhanced security – As long as you choose a UCaaS provider with high security standards, you can rest assured your data is safe, and you can more easily live up to your industry’s compliance standards.
  • Better customer experience – With reporting tools to track performance and a system that minimizes problems with miscommunications, wasted time, and errors, you can deliver a better experience to customers.
  • Greater flexibility – With a UCaaS system in place, your teams can work from the office, from home, or anywhere else. This frees up your business to let employees work from wherever and to enjoy the benefits of remote work.

Getting Started with Unified Communications Is Easy

UCaaS enables your business to improve communications and collaboration, boost flexibility, reduce costs, and improve the customer experience. The best part is, you can get started today. At Intermedia, we make your experience worry-free, from cloud migration to ongoing 24/7 support. Find out more about how easy it is to get started with UCaaS.

Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia

May 16, 2022

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