Unified Communications as a Service provides a broad range of communication and collaboration applications and services in the cloud. The three main capability areas UCaaS solutions cover are: voice/VoIP, audio and video conferencing, and instant messaging/chat. Many vendors also include team collaboration features, such as screen sharing or real-time document editing. Contact Center software may also be offered as a separate solution or add-on product.
Many vendors in the UCaaS space started out offering one type of communication tool, like Web Conferencing or VoIP software and then expanded their cloud services to include other types of communication tools. As a result, there is a certain degree of overlap between UCaaS and these two software categories. Certain vendors may be more well known for their web conferencing and voice solutions, even if they also offer fully featured UCaaS platforms.
As more and more organizations transition to remote working, businesses and their employees increasingly rely on UCaaS and Video Conferencing platforms to support their online collaboration needs.
Some UCaaS vendors also offer contact-center capabilities, including auto-attendant, interactive voice response, call routing, and customer relationship management integrations. Many vendors are also building APIs into their offerings. This helps customers embed cloud-based communication tools directly into their applications.
Recent trends in the UCaaS space are changing how businesses think about their communications. Before purchasing a UCaaS solution, really think about whether or not your organization will benefit most from a unified platform, or will thrive best in a situation where different teams or departments manage their own communications tools, and rely only on a VoIP or web conferencing platform.
Trends to look out for when deciding which UCaaS solution may be right for you: