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Unified Communications as a Service FAQ.

Discover the answers to commonly asked questions about unified communications, connectivity, and UCaaS solutions. This Unified Communications FAQ will provide you with useful tips and information about unified comms and explain how a UCaaS solution could benefit your business.

What exactly is Unified Communications?

Unified Communications (often simply referred to as unified comms) is a connected system of software, hardware and services that are combined to enable effective business communications. 

Unified comms integrates multiple types and channels of communication such as voice calling, instant messaging, video conferencing, content sharing. It often also includes the related mobile devices and collaboration platforms utilised for communication. It can also be described as the software, services, equipment and devices that unify business communications. In a nutshell, unified comms is a central and connected system of communication channels and tools.   

What does UCaaS mean?

UCaaS stands for Unified Communications as a Service. It is a subscription-based offering that combines all of a business’s communication channels and applications into a simple “as-a-service” solution. This means instead of traditional procurement and ownership, unified communications solutions can be paid for on a monthly basis. It aims to provide a seamless communication experience, hosted by a single provider.  

With a simple subscription model, UCaaS partners integrate and maintain the software, host the hardware, and provide technical support to monitor the systems. The flexible and cloud-based nature of UCaaS makes it an effective choice for businesses of all sizes. The as-a-service model creates a more cost-effective and accessible way for all businesses to harness modern and scalable enterprise communications.  

What do Unified Communications and UCaaS include?

Unified Communications describes a range of integrated communications products, services and channels. There are varying solution packages available to meet different business needs, but often UCaaS includes the following key components: 

  • Mobility and mobile devices 
  • Video calls and conferencing 
  • Phone systems, voice and calling 
  • Email, calendars and availability 
  • Chat and instant messaging 
  • Connectivity and cloud 
  • Real time collaboration 

According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for UCaaS, Microsoft and Zoom offer the leading solutions when it comes to global Unified Communications services. Microsoft 365 with Teams can be turned into a full Unified Communications and Collaboration platform by integrating an enterprise phone or calling system such as Direct Routing or Operator Connect. 

What are the benefits of UCaaS?

  • Cost-effective way for businesses of all sizes to access enterprise-grade communications. 
  • Pay for what you use in simple monthly packages. 
  • Enables businesses to support mobile workforces, providing the ability to communicate effectively and seamlessly from anywhere. 
  • The cloud-based scalability of modern unified comms makes it easy to adapt your communication capabilities based on your business’s needs. 
  • Simplified procurement as all network and communications needs are managed by a single provider. 
  • Helps you foster collaboration, streamline communication, and increase organisation agility. 
  • More consistent experiences across different communication channels.

Can smaller businesses take advantage of UCaaS?

Mobility is becoming increasingly important for smaller businesses. The as-a-service model means enterprise communications solutions are accessible to smaller businesses. UCaaS is a cost-effective approach for businesses who may not have the time, budget, or resources to manage and support growing communication channels.  

With one single provider to manage all network and communication needs, UCaaS is an attractive solution for smaller businesses seeking to modernise and optimise communication experiences without the inconvenience of juggling multiple providers.  

How essential is Unified Communications for the hybrid workforce?

In a working world where employees are more geographically diverse than ever, effective communication and digital connectivity across the business is essential. Hybrid working and the need for enhanced mobility, agility and collaboration have been key in driving the rising demand for UCaaS. 

UCaaS enables seamless and flexible communications capabilities necessary for maintaining performance and productivity while managing a hybrid workforce. Having an effective unified communications solution provides greater security and enables real-time collaboration while reducing costs.  

Is Microsoft Teams a UCaaS platform?

With the range of phone system and telephony options for Microsoft Teams, the platform now fulfils all the elements that you would expect from a full UCaaS solution. UCaaS relies heavily on the cloud to deliver data connectivity. Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based collaboration application with group conferencing, voice calling, file sharing, instant messaging and more.  

By integrating trust telephony solutions such as Operator Connect or Direct Routing, Teams can fulfil all unified comms capabilities. Click here to find out more. 

Why is UCaaS so popular?

It’s important to acknowledge the advantages of as-a-service cloud solutions over traditional unified comms procurement in order to understand the popularity of UCaaS. Historically, only larger businesses with big budgets could build a truly unified communications and collaboration environment due to costs, processes, resources and time required.  

UCaaS has emerged to remove the time and money associated with legacy infrastructure. As-as-service cloud models not only help businesses stay connected across locations, but they also provide scalability to evolve and adapt at a cost and pace that suits them. UCaaS takes the flexibility of the cloud and brings it into the communication stack.  

Where do I start if I want to implement a UCaaS solution?

When looking for the right unified comms provider for your business, it’s important to find out what differentiates each provider from the competition. For example, a partner that not only offers UCaaS, but can also provide consulting, technical support, and even other connected areas such as IT services and solutions. 

Dealing with multiple providers for your networks, voice solutions, lines and IT services can be expensive and complex. The 848 Group can be your single partner for all your network, voice and IT needs. 848 has a team of cloud collaboration and unified comms specialists with the expertise to plan, build and run a integrated and optimised environment for all of your connectivity and collaboration needs. 

We’re a Microsoft Gold Partner and BT Wholesale Partner offering cloud-connected communications and collaboration solutions.