Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a collection of voice over IP (VOIP) communication with integration of video, chat, SMS/Text, call recording and more.  The As A Service component is similar to other cloud options where organizations can purchase licenses per user.  This is considered a type of Cloud PBX where all of the equipment is virtual instances allowing for many remote advantages such as disaster recovery and OPEX accounting.   

What does UCaaS do?

  • Voice: At its root, UCaaS is a phone service via VOIP which provides the user to perform advanced call forwarding, recording, video, text and more from anywhere in the world. Unlike a traditional PBX where the aforementioned services are just on premise.  
  • Messaging: Both SMS Texting and internal team instant messaging that allows for individual and group-based real-time chat.
  • Collaboration – Video collaboration with a Teams integration is a nice option to keep remote workers plugged in.  Teams can be the front-end interface, but the UC connections serve as the dialer on the back end seemless to the user.

See How Macronet Services helped LRS Healthcare on their UCaaS and A/V deployment below

UCaaS vs. PBX?

UCaaS Advantages: 

  1. Cost – It’s less expensive to buy a license compared to owning and building a complete voice network.
  2. Redundancy – Cloud based UCaaS affords enterprises the ability to have multiple cloud nodes for their voice.  Unlike PBX TDM environments where you have to purchase expense space and telco circuits to route calls and manage it.
  3. Remote Work – Soft phone client options allow a user to work in a coffee shop or an office with UCaaS.  PBX environments can only forward calls to your location remotely with no ability to collaborate or dial outbound from your home.  

What can you add to UCaaS?

Most organizations who use VOIP with Unified Communications generally need some sort of Call Center.  UCaaS enables you to move to the same concept called a Contact Center and yes, it’s as a Service.  Similar to the legacy PBX, Contact Centers are phased out providing a cloud based contact center where agents can literally work from anywhere in the world vs. a centralized locations.  

Additional options to UC environments many companies opt to add is Audio/Visual( A/V) to their conference rooms or personal PCs.  A/V integrations assist with Teams, Zoom and more serving on the back-end dialing platform with the commercial front-end from those software organizations.  Building a Zoom Room or Teams Room can really add a full feature collaboration environment for your business.  

How to Install UCaaS

The first step installing a UCaaS VOIP environment is to select the best option for your business.  Follow your use case needs, not the vendors and you will have an excellent experience for your customers and employees.

  1. Bandwidth:  You must calculate your calls per second to be certain there is proper capacity.  We recommend dedicated internet access vs. a broadband connection.
  1. Porting:  Moving numbers from your PBX or other VOIP providers must be planned accordingly for your new UCaaS provider.
  1. Training:  This is minimal however if you organization is accustomed to the current Phone system, a quick tutorial on this cloud enabled PBX will help prevent numerous help desk tickets.  
  1. Contract:  Negotiate favorable terms as we see so many customers sign up for services not required.  Reach out to one our Solution Architects to assist you with a list of asks in your agreement.  
  1. Desk Phone Vs. Soft Phone:  As your organization evolves, evaluate if you truly need a desk phone.  UCaaS providers have a Softphone for your PC or Mobile device.  

In summary, there are many options to select for a UCaaS phone system and we’d suggest a quick discussion with one of our architects to help you on your way.  Feel free to ping us and we can even show you a quick demo of several options!  Happy calling.