Telecom Glossary / UCaaS / VoIP
What is UCaaS?
UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) is a cloud-based software that provides enterprises with multiple means of communication capabilities such as calling, messaging, video conferencing, and more.
Surely you've heard of XaaS or other “as a service” softwares. All of these acronyms refer to managed system resources available from the cloud. The best known is software as a service (SaaS) but just about any system resource can be delivered over an IP network (e.g., the Internet) by a provider from a data center (i.e., the cloud).
This blog is meant to serve as a “UCaaS 101” guide for those interested in learning more about the software. If you’re a bit more advanced, you can skip ahead to these resources:
Or for the really advanced...
Functions of UCaaS
A typical UCaaS solution integrates all of the following functions into one interface and delivers it to your users’ desktop and mobile devices:
Instant messaging and presence system
Call recording & call analytics
Click to dial
Benefits of UCaaS
The prototypical sales pitch for UCaaS relates to the expected productivity gains your team will achieve by utilizing a full integrated communication system. When your users are able to use the same application for telephony, video conferencing, instant messaging, and more, there should be time savings achieved in onboarding as well as their day-to-day operations due to the ease-of-use and navigation.
Additionally, due to the benefits discussed below, your IT team should be able to reap productivity gains as well by utilizing UCaaS.
This benefit is subjective and hard to measure, but you will inevitably hear about this benefit if you are considering procuring UCaaS.
Adding new users or “seats” to your UCaaS solution is a relatively easy task compared to legacy communication networks which include multiple interfaces, vendors, and devices (desk phone, computer, headset, etc!). As long as you’re working with the right UCaaS provider, this should be as simple as a click of a few buttons within your UCaaS administrative interface.
Transmitting sound via VoIP is a heavy burden on any network infrastructure - so what about the network implications? As with other XaaS models, the UCaaS provider operates, maintains, and delivers the network backbone of your solution. This means that you aren’t required to build out additional data center space or peering relationships when expanding your UCaaS solution (you might need to up your bandwidth, however).
Instead of running a single server like what has been most commonly deployed by enterprises, UCaaS providers deploy much more robust network infrastructure to back your communications. This typically includes geo-redundant call processing, multiple trunking providers to connect to the PSTN and robust IP networks that leverage strategic peering relationships with the major ISPs.
This provides customers with predictable, consistent routing to the UCaaS infrastructure over the public internet.
Who’s Who in UCaaS?
According to G2, there’s over 100 UCaaS providers to choose from.
So before we leave you, here’s a quick rundown of the top UCaaS provider names you should be aware of. To avoid any vendor prejudice, we pulled these “top” names from G2 and Gartner.
Looking to get started with UCaaS?
If your enterprise is looking to transition to UCaaS, or perhaps you currently use UCaaS and are interested in switching vendors due to cost or service issues, Lightyear can help!
Using our free software, you can configure your UCaaS solution online, then we procure quotes from multiple providers to ensure that you get the best rate (and we use automation and historical pricing data to keep the providers honest, to boot). Get started with our 2-minute questionnaire here!
Want to learn more about how Lightyear can help you?
Let us show you the product and discuss specifics on how it might be helpful.