With the significance of communications in an organisation, businesses are gradually turning to communication solutions like cloud communications and unified communications. These innovations have started to gain momentum in the business communication industry, with its various benefits that allow businesses to become flexible in changing times.
Cloud communications system and unified communications, when used efficiently, can be one of the most effective investments that a company could make to improve not only organisational workflows but also client relationships, which consequently leads to higher sales and profit.
However, to efficiently utilise both communication platforms, it is important to get a good grasp of their differences in terms of how they improve your businesses.
To guide and provide you with a clearer understanding of the concepts of Communication Platform as a Service, or CPaaS, and Unified Communications, this article will explain how they are used in the workplace and why having both can make your business better.
What is Cloud Communications?
Cloud communications, or Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS), is a cloud-based phone system that delivers information over the internet instead of the traditional system where calls are transmitted through a Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN.
A PSTN is a telecommunication infrastructure used by analogue telephones.
Moreover, cloud-based communication systems allow developers to integrate various communication tools into an existing cloud-based application. Being an open foundational platform, the cloud communications system may be expanded to include cloud-based VoIP systems, SMS or instant messaging, video collaborations, and data security technology, among others.
These tools are added to the cloud communications system through an Application Programming Interface or API. An API is a software that connects two or more applications.
With this, company software developers no longer need to create another backend system or other infrastructures to add communication features.
Cloud communications service providers usually own and maintain their servers over the internet. Clients avail their services to host the storage and management of communication resources such as applications, and information that is sent to their servers. Companies access and utilise data through the cloud.
For example, a recorded voice call made over a specialised cloud communications device goes straight to the service providers’ servers where the data is stored. The company may easily access the file in the cloud.
The cloud-based communication systems are used by companies to improve their external communications. Industries with a strong dependency on customer service can take advantage of its low cost on local and international calls.
Moreover, cloud-based phone systems are used by businesses to create a system where all their needed communication tools are present to increase customer service management that may lead to sales or profit.
An example of a cloud-based phone system is VoIPtech Wave. Wave is a cloud phone system that offers tools such as audio conferencing, analytics and reporting, call waiting and recording, and inclusive minutes for local calls. Businesses could add this to their system to improve customer service and client relationships.
What are the benefits of cloud-based communication systems?
With the aim to improve external business communications and to keep abreast of the ever-changing needs and expectations of clients, businesses could make use of cloud-based communication systems.
Here are the various benefits of utilising cloud communications system in the workplace:
Since cloud-based phone system is internet-based, it’s much cheaper than traditional hardware like a public branch exchange or PBX, where all telephone wires are connected and thus involve costly infrastructure.
Plus, a cloud-based phone system requires minimal hardware because it can be used on various devices. Consequently, repairs and maintenance of this system do not cost as much as traditional phone systems.
With cloud communications system, companies can do away with the cost of expensive local and international phone calls. Calls made through cloud-based communication systems no longer need to pass through public telecommunication structures that require a higher cost of phone calls.
Service providers usually offer a competitive cloud-based communication system package that may include various software and hardware rental that are on a pay-as-you-go method. This means that companies only pay for the services and applications they need from the provider.
2. Productivity booster
With the growing popularity of work-from-home arrangements, cloud communications system enable call centre-driven companies to achieve business continuity despite factors that may impede employees from going to the office (for example, pandemics or natural calamities).
Through the use of this cloud-based phone system, employees could still work without having the need to travel to the office.
Additionally, companies no longer need to allot too much time and expenses for the transfer of equipment from one house to another. Using a cloud-based phone system, employees could continue providing excellent customer service to their clients just by using their desktops, mobile phones, or laptops.
With cloud-based communication systems, files and applications needed by the employees to do their tasks may all be accessed through the cloud, as long as they have a good internet connection.
Utilising cloud phone system, companies could still be able to meet and exceed the expectations of their clients regardless of the changes in the business landscape.
Unlike traditional telephone systems, cloud phone system enables companies to make or receive calls from a range of devices anytime and anywhere. Through a cloud-based phone system, companies are no longer limited by location barriers to continuing their business operations.
This is helpful for workers who are mostly on the field or work remotely.
For example, a lawyer may be able to continue receiving and making client calls using their mobile device enabled by cloud-based phone system, even if he or she is in court hearings and other client meetings outside the law firm.
This is a far cry from the traditional communication system wherein employees can only take and make calls on a telephone unit in the office.
Cloud-based communication systems are highly scalable. Companies could easily add communication tools that they deem necessary for more effective business communication.
On the hand, companies could also easily scale down on applications and resources that may not be needed anymore. Most service providers, they only charge for what the company uses.
On another note, companies embracing cloud communications system are well-equipped for global expansion. With this cloud communications platform, companies no longer have to waste money and efforts in building systems just to accommodate the growing number of users. New users can be added with just a few clicks and codes in the system.
What is UCaaS?
Unified Communications as a Service or UCaaS is a collection of various communication and collaboration tools that enterprises use to maintain an efficient flow of information within the organisation. This enables teams in the company to be well-connected regardless of location or other factors that may prevent physical or face-to-face communication.
UCaaS uses cloud connectivity to store and manage files without the need for expensive on-site infrastructures.
An example of UCaaS is VoIPTech’s Communicator. This system improves team collaboration by unifying tools such as phone, fax, email messaging, and voice and video conferencing in one accessible and reliable system. The Communicator may be used across various devices such as laptops, telephone handsets, mobile devices, and desktops.
How is UCaaS used?
UCaaS is used for various purposes, such as the following:
1. Efficient team collaboration
Through UCaaS, teams within the organisation could be able to brainstorm and share different ideas and insights in real-time. Through the use of video conferencing, multiple users or employees could attend a virtual meeting without having the need to go to the office. With a file-sharing feature, people could send out files or share their presentations to their team members conveniently.
2. Easier workplace management
For remote work arrangements, keeping the team intact may be challenging. With this system, the management can create virtual meeting rooms per department for a clearer and direct delegation of tasks.
Moreover, with UCaaS, superiors could easily track the progress of each employee and the whole team through consistent virtual communication. This allows for better control and management of the workforce regardless of work arrangements.
3. Better communication management
With a wide array of communication tools that people could choose from using a unified communications solution, workers could easily connect with their co-employees in real-time to acquire information needed for their daily tasks.
For example, a customer representative receives an inquiry that concerns Marketing. It would be easy for the employee to get a hold of a Marketing staff to get the necessary information to provide the customer with a helpful answer. Without UCaaS, there would be an increase in the customer waiting time, which consequently affects customer service rating.
How does CPaaS differ from Unified Communications?
CPaaS and unified communications are concepts that are usually mistakenly interchanged because of their various similarities. Although these communication systems may be similar in some aspects, they have their distinct differences, which we will discuss later on. For now, let’s explore how the two are similar.
CPaaS vs Unified Communications: Their similarities
Cloud-based communication systems
UCaaS and cloud-based communication systems are heavily reliant on a strong internet connection since all files, information, and applications are stored and managed over the internet and are accessible in the cloud.
Since information and data from UCaaS and Cloud Platform as a Service (CPaaS) are transmitted over the internet, there is no longer the need for costly hardware and infrastructures. This also allows companies to make calls with significantly lower rates than traditional phone systems. There are numerous service providers like VoIPTech Solutions that offer communications solutions at competitive rates.
Flexibility and accessibility
Unlike traditional communication systems, cloud-based communication systems and UCaaS are not hindered by telephone wires to make internal or external communications possible. Both frameworks allow for easier implementation of remote work arrangements without compromising performance and productivity. Users could access needed files, make and receive calls from various devices, and communicate with team members no matter where they are.
Since both frameworks use the cloud to store and manage company files and applications, you no longer have to worry about losing important documents because everything is backed up. Moreover, with a strong internet connection, you’re sure to have crystal clear voice and video call quality, which are essential in dealing with clients and mobilising team collaborations.
CPaaS vs Unified Communications: Their differences
CPaaS and unified communications still differ in various areas such as purpose, service delivery, and implementation. The table summarises their differences:
CPaaS are generally used to make client communications more efficient—that is, it’s more focused on external business communications.
On the other hand, UCaaS improves team collaboration and communication within the organisation—that is, it’s more focused on internal business communications.
With regard to service delivery, CPaaS is offered as a customisable communication system. This means that the company could integrate applications and resources that are necessary to meet or exceed market demands through API.
UCaaS is delivered with pre-installed communication tools that a company could use to improve the flow of collaboration and communication within the organisation.
Cloud Platform as a Service (CPaaS) and UCaaS greatly differ in terms of their implementation.
A cloud communication system may be compared to a blank canvas wherein companies would have to integrate their chosen applications needed to satisfy market demands. Integration of these applications through an API would need technical intervention from developers in the organisation.
UCaaS, on the contrary, has a plug-and-play implementation. There are no technical interventions needed because all communication resources are already embedded in the unified system.
What are the advantages of UCaaS?
UCaaS may be one of the best strategies the companies could take because of its various benefits such as the following:
1. Workforce convenience
With UCaaS like VoIPtech’s Communicator, collaboration, communication, and file-sharing within the workforce are more convenient.
Teams could also easily get a hold of one another to improve workflows in the organisation. For example, when an employee needs to immediately send a file over to another, they could conveniently send it using the communication platform.
Moreover, with UCaaS, it’s much easier to set virtual team meetings. Team members active in the platform can also be reminded of the scheduled meetings, so they don’t miss out on important discussions.
2. Unified remote teams
Team management may be difficult when members are working in various places. This is where UCaaS comes in.
With its powerful system, teams have a virtual workplace where they can easily communicate and collaborate. For example, teams with members outsourced from other countries could still be in contact with their co-members from another place through the use of UCaaS.
3. Improves team collaboration
With UCaaS’ features such as video conferencing and file-sharing, teams could share their ideas and insights easily, conveniently, and securely.
Collaborating with other departments within the workplace is easier as well. Should there be queries or concerns directed towards specific people within the company, communication can take place in just a few clicks.
4. Improves productivity
People become more productive when they know the things that are expected from them and when they have a full grasp of what they have to do. Using UCaaS, you can efficiently delegate and explain tasks in a way that’s organised and convenient.
As such, it promotes a good flow of communication within the team so they could discuss and help out one another to accomplish their goals.
How to get the best out of your cloud-based communication system and UCaaS
To get the most out of your cloud-based communication system and UCaaS experience, it is important to understand what communication tools your company and your market needs.
With this, the business could provide unparalleled service that serves as its competitive advantage. It is also vital to choose a reliable service provider that understands your company’s needs like VoIPTech Solutions. VoIPTech promises you the following benefits:
Cloud communications and UCaaS as essentials for business communications
Cloud communications is a borderless phone system that allows companies to integrate communication tools that may aid in the improvement of client relationships. UCaaS, on the other hand, is a ready-to-use communication platform that features practical applications and tools needed to improve team collaboration and communication.
In this article, we’ve thoroughly discussed what CPaaS and UCaaS systems are, how both are similar and different, and how both can be valuable to any type of business in today’s modern world.
To summarise, both solutions make business communications easier, more convenient, and far more cost-effective than traditional phone systems. Both also enable companies to manage a remote workforce while maintaining and improving productivity efficiently.
To get to know more about how you could improve your business through cloud communications and UCaaS, check out VoIPTech Solutions. For testing or demo requests, call us at 0203 745 0201 or email us at [email protected]