UCaaS Is The Future, Here’s Why You Need To Embrace Them


Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella recently said, "We've seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months. From remote teamwork and learning to sales and customer service, to critical cloud infrastructure and security--we are working alongside customers every day to help them adapt and stay open for business in a world of remote everything."

Needless to say, COVID-19 has given a major push to the increasing need for and focus on digitisation of business operations as much as possible. Communication and collaboration are an obvious first choice and UCaaS solutions are anyone's best bet for the same.

So, what are UCaaS solutions?

Business communications have evolved a lot, steadily adapting to emerging external environments, organisational needs and technological capabilities. The journey began with desk phones in the 20th century and has grown to the wide variety of means that we have today--voice calls, instant messaging, text messages, dedicated productivity software platforms like Slack, email etc.

However, all of these are super fragmented channels. To top it all off, each of these channels may have multiple accounts, leading to further fragmentation and redundancy. This where UCaaS steps in--it represents the very pinnacle of this journey.

UCaaS stands for United Communications as a Service.

The basic idea behind the concept is that of integrating all these diverse modes and means of communication and collaboration into a single cloud-based platform, driving tremendous efficiencies for the organisation and its employees.

It takes calls, chats, instant texting, video chats and unites them all into one service. This means that instead of businesses having to purchase all these different services from separate providers, they now have the option of leveraging a single service platform for team communication, fulfilling all their organisational needs.

One very consequential feature of such fragmentation of mediums is the fact that it essentially makes it impossible for an organisation to coherently analyse, collect and maintain control over all the data it generates on a single platform.

A cloud-based, collaborative communication tool like UCaaS offers the perfect setup to integrate these disparate communication mediums and make sense of all the data that they generate as well. UCaaS is a take on the 'as a service' model of cloud computing used rather widely these days, just like SaaS or 'Software as a Service', for example.

Types of UCaaS solutions:

1. Single-Tenancy: In this architecture for UCaaS implementation, the premise-based applications of an enterprise are integrated with virtual platforms resulting in seamless integration.

This leads to the single tenancy (also known as multi-instance) being the safer and more secure of the two types of UCaaS solutions. This is because, in such an implementation, all the data is hosted on servers placed locally with the organisation, instead of it being hosted in conjunction with that of multiple other users as is the case in multi-tenancy.

Moreover, the customer data is not affected at all when a different customer's software instance goes down since there is no interlinkage. On the other hand, single-tenancy is generally more expensive, because extra costs like those of upgrades are directly on the customer and not shared in any manner across a number of clients.

2. Multi-Tenancy: This architecture of UCaaS solutions, as opposed to single tenancy, hosts the customer data on a shared cloud platform, that of the UCaaS provider.

What this means is that it is cheaper, provides faster updates and is more reliable. But, it is also often less customisable as per the needs of the customer.

3. Hybrid Approach: Quite often these days, between the two ends of single-tenancy and multi-tenancy, there exists a hybrid approach as well. When a company has sensitive data which needs to be hosted on its own premises but it also wants the reliability and cost options of a multi-tenancy setup, the hybrid approach comes into play. Its most common customers are those making a transition away from their existing legacy communication platform.

UCaaS solutions and business continuity in times of COVID19-

There are five very distinct features of operating almost any business in the midst of a global pandemic:

1. Inability to work together in an office space - This has essentially forced businesses to digitise and go the cloud way. The best running joke these days is that it's COVID-19 and not a company's CTO who has led the long-overdue shift to digital for businesses across the globe.

2. The huge adoption of remote work for businesses of all size and scope - Be it Teams, Slack, Flock, etc.--remote work is in, and this is a shift which is here to stay. It's become impossible to ensure business continuity without taking to remote work wholeheartedly because the pandemic has left us with essentially zero alternatives.

3. Enhanced need for data security and reliability - With team members spread across all corners of the globe, even the most sensitive internal data of firms and organisations are now being shared and worked on remotely. Protecting and securing it is a top priority by default

4. Employees on the move - Working in a consumer-facing business, especially for the thousands of businesses which need their employees to be on the move, means good, timely and well-structured communication assumes paramount importance. In such a scenario, a VoIP phone system, one that works over an Internet connection works the best! It doesn't have the restrictions of a traditional phone system and it allows freedom of customisation to fit a business' or customer's needs.

Hosted phone system ensures that calls and messages are never missed, as calls can be diverted to any device and answered anywhere in the world, with customers only seeing the number they entered.

5. Jittery Consumers - These are uncertain times, as much for consumers as it is for businesses. The best way possible to retain customers' trust and wallet share are to stay in touch with them, be responsive, get back to them as soon as possible whenever they've got a query or some feedback and just be available for them.

The best means of doing this worldwide is via a free phone number--a great way to break down barriers between businesses and customers. With no cost involved for customers to make enquiries, you'll be more likely to get customers picking up their phone, saving business' precious time and money.

How to leverage UCaaS solutions to not just ensure business continuity, but business growth as well-

There are two aspects to how businesses are adapting to the current set of uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. One is business continuity, and the other is business sustainability.

The current economic scenario hasn't just made it more difficult to run and coordinate a business, but it has also made it more important than ever for businesses to adapt for greater efficiencies, embracing a lower-cost and leaner model in the process.

A UCaaS solution, cloud-based phone system and collaborative communication tool helps you achieve exactly all of this and much more!

Let's take a look at its four key benefits-

1. Reducing costs of operation - In this mad scramble to digitise, many businesses are making a mistake in assuming that they need to hire and set up an entire team to run and manage their data centres, data processing, data storage and safety aspects, etc.

These are expensive propositions, be it equipment or technicians. However, when you make the shift to cloud computing, you pay only for the services that you have availed with no extra cost. You can choose a package that suits your budget and pay for only what you need.

2. Enhanced flexibility - The biggest benefit of UCaaS solutions is the sheer flexibility and mobility it provides. Given the fact that it's essentially a cloud-hosted platform, this service allows your employees to work from anywhere they want while ensuring business continuity.

Not just that, it allows for flexibility, also in the sense that you can add or remove employees, scale up your operations, introduce new team members within the existing setup and so much more, all at the drop of a hat and in real-time!

3. No need for separate backup plans - The traditional way of computing forces users to maintain exhaustive backups and syncing plans, especially for data storage. Plus, there is a lot of vulnerability since one untoward event can lead to permanent data loss.

UCaaS solutions help mitigate some of these aspects, by virtue of being cloud-based platforms and hence, having a data backup system ready for you as long as there's a stable internet connection! Plus, it kills off risks of data theft, etc. when your premises are breached, for example, adding on to the security and reliability aspect overall.

4. Dramatically improved collaboration - An underrated aspect of UCaaS solutions is that apart from being a cloud-based communications platform, they function as efficient spaces for multi-user collaboration as well.

Your employees can seamlessly share data and collaborate to work on projects from different locations. Field workers can also very easily share data and update in real-time with those in the office. On top of it, cloud collaborative tools eliminate redundancy to a large extent as well.

Conclusion -

As a cloud-based technology platform service, UCaaS solutions offer unbeatable scalability and flexibility for companies and organisations which have a need to grow quickly and embrace dynamic innovation.

For traditional businesses with legacy systems, the best way of making this shift would be to do it gradually with a lot of planning, so as to avoid crucial data losses and operational inefficiencies during the shift.

As global digital transformation continues apace and emergent solutions like AI, IoT, and machine learning become the new normal with every passing day of our lives, UCaaS solutions allow for simplicity, innovation, flexibility, operational efficiencies and scalability on the cloud. Adopt it right away to give your business a boost in performance!

Pilgrim Pete - 401 Lake St, Sitka, AK 99835
All rights reserved 2020
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