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UCaaS vs. VoIP: What’s the Difference?

In seeking out communication tools for your company, you’ve probably come across the terms Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and voice over internet protocol (VoIP). While VoIP has been the standard for many years, UCaaS is relatively new. So, what’s the difference? Let’s explore UCaaS vs. VoIP so that you can be informed in making the best buying decision for your organization.

Many Businesses Use VoIP

In most cases, businesses are using a VoIP service provider to handle their phone systems. VoIP provided an alternative to expensive on-premise PBX systems. It was actually first developed in the 1970s. it did not become a viable option for most businesses until the late 1990s.

A VoIP is simply a digital telephone service, which uses the internet to deliver communications versus telephone lines. By using the internet, this provided freedom for workers to not be literally tied to legacy phone systems.

VoIP works by using a special adaptor connection to your internet service provider. With VoIP, you have the option to make calls directly from a physical phone or through your computer. Typically, the solutions now are cloud-based.

The transition to VoIP from publicly switched telephone networks provided exceptional value to businesses, including:

  • Significant costs savings, especially around international calling
  • Simplicity of phone line management
  • Mobility—users can make calls on the go
  • Scalability ease

With VoIP, many features are included: voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding, auto-attendants, call holds, call logs, call monitoring, call recording, and conference call lines. This sounds like a wealth of functionality, so why improve upon it? As business has changed and opened up many different channels to communicate, VoIP needed to evolve.

The crux of UCaaS vs VoIP lies in advanced features for the modern workforce.

UCaaS Offers More Flexibility and Functionality

So, what exactly is UCaaS? It’s an interconnected system of communication and collaboration tools. All these applications live in the cloud. It’s more than just voice phone; it also offers video conferencing, chat, and file backup and sharing into one central platform.

By adopting UCaaS, users enjoy a more streamlined experience. You have a single user interface across all devices, providing the flexibility to communicate in multiple formats.

One of the biggest advantages of UCaaS vs VoIP is video. With a UCaaS platform, you have the opportunity to make video calls. In a world where more employees are becoming remote, this functionality is critical to delivering face-to-face communication. Plus, it can reduce travel expenses because you can hold meetings with customers via video.

Another great feature that only UCaaS can provide is screen sharing. Being able to share your screen boosts collaboration among users and also works as an excellent channel via to conduct product demos or deliver presentations.

The implementation figures of UCaaS are soaring due to its single platform experience. UCaaS has become an essential budget line item for IT because it’s an affordable way to improve productivity and deliver user satisfaction.

VoIP Is Part of UCaaS

UCaaS isn’t really an alternative to VoIP. Rather, it’s a way of expanding on the foundation of the product. UCaaS is basically an upgraded version of VoIP that provides more functionality. So, the question becomes, do you need these features, and will they bring value to your organization?

You’ll want to consider these things:

  • Reduced total cost of ownership across all your communication and cloud needs
  • Integration of video—is it necessary for your employees to have video conferencingand screen sharing?
  • Simplification—one platform for all your communication tools and one provider
  • Business continuity—UCaaS can help you with disaster management so that if an incident occurs, you’ll still be able to communicate
  • Improve productivity—workers use one platform, and within UCaaS, it’s possible to integrate other applications, like a customer relationship management (CMS) system or Office 365
  • Providing a better customer experience—with unified channels that provide a feed of customer contact, you’ll be able to serve them better
  • Offer a bring your own device (BYOD) culture without sacrificing security
  • Quick and easy to scale—as your business grows, you won’t have to worry about more hardware investments
  • Improved reliability: most UCaaS systems have a high uptime and can also reroute calls if there is an outage

When making the decision of VoIP vs UCaaS, you should assess your core needs when it comes to communication tools. As the world becomes more connected via an unprecedented array of channels, UCaaS delivers the features you need in order to interact with customers, partners, and staff successfully. Learn more about how UCaaS works and why it matters by exploring Intermedia Unite.

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia