Ever since cloud-based unified communications solutions have started popping up in recent decades, experts have been predicting the obsoletion of traditional phone systems. In the last few years, some have predicted it to be as early as 2024, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we might see the end of traditional systems much sooner.
Even so, some people are still fond of traditional phone systems and don’t see the value in making the switch at all. An “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude, if you will. Unfortunately, the people that view UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) this way are seriously missing out.
This article provides you with some insights into the misconceptions some people have about cloud-based communications solutions, debunks those misconceptions, and explains in detail why you need to switch to UCaaS in 2020.
Debunking Misconceptions about UCaaS
Even with so many useful features and an immensely improved user experience, some people are still apprehensive about transitioning to a cloud-based communications system. They still choose traditional phone systems (or legacy systems)—and often to their detriment.
Here are some misconceptions about UCaaS that our customers (who have since then transitioned to UCaaS) have had in the past.
Myth #1: UCaaS is unreliable in a power outage
One advantage that traditional on-premises telephones have over VoIP phones is that they can function even in the case of a power outage. This is because the copper wires they’re connected to transmit power from the central telephone office.
These central telephone offices usually have a large bank of batteries and a backup generator. This means that using traditional telephones, you don’t have to worry about losing communications in a power outage.
One thing that makes some people apprehensive about unified communications is that it’s entirely cloud-based (i.e. dependent on the internet to function). They assume that, without electricity, your internet connection goes down, and along with it, your unified communications system.
But if this is what worries you, you have to consider that UCaaS isn’t just VoIP phones. Yes, UCaaS can use VoIP phones (which, without backup power, do become useless in a power outage). But what makes UCaaS handy is that it also has a range of communication platforms to choose from—giving you a reliable way for you to access them.
In a power outage, only VoIP phones become useless. Through the unified communications interface (accessible through a web portal on your chosen device), you can opt to forward calls to your smartphone or whichever device you want. From there, you can continue business as usual.
The flexibility and mobility that UCaaS solutions provide give you the freedom to communicate without being tethered to a specific place. Through UCaaS, you can work anytime, anywhere.
Myth #2: UCaaS is expensive
This just might be the most common misconception that we hear from customers. Since legacy systems are older, they must be cheaper, right? That statement couldn’t be more incorrect.
Remember that traditional on-premises equipment has to be purchased, installed, and maintained throughout its lifetime. Apart from the upfront cost that you have to shoulder, the hardware has to be installed and maintained by a technician.
All of these services are essential when using a legacy system. And sure, most hardware needs continuous maintenance anyway to ensure quality and durability—it’s the way things work. But UCaaS completely eliminates the need for hardware.
Because UCaaS is entirely cloud-based, all you have to do as a user is download and log into the client. Your provider takes care of all the capital expenses of hardware. This means that you can potentially save thousands of pounds in upfront costs that you would have to shoulder using a legacy system.
Myth #3: UCaaS just complicates things
One of the best things about technological innovation is that not only does it improve a product’s functionality, but it also enhances user experience (or UX).
UX is one of the key design considerations before a product is released, so if a new product comes out, not only can you count on it having more and better features, but you can also count on it being easier to use.
This also applies to our dilemma with UCaaS. Not only does it have more features which allow for greater flexibility, but it significantly improves UX compared to traditional on-premises phone systems. Whereas you would traditionally need to purchase equipment, install it, and have a contractor or staff for continuous maintenance—your UCaaS vendor simplifies your experience by taking care of everything for you.
Zero hardware is required, and all maintenance is done by your UCaaS provider through the cloud. All you have to do is download the client and log in.
You see, even though all the jargon and new tech seems intimidating and complicated, UCaaS is proven to simplify and streamline your day-to-day business communications.
10 Reasons You Need UCaaS in 2020
Unlike traditional telephone systems which connect you to a specific place to make any calls, you can use UCaaS on any device of your choosing.
This means that you can make calls, message colleagues, manage your files, and best of all, whether you’re at the office, in the bus, or sitting comfortably at home, UCaaS lets you take your work with you wherever you go.
Since everything is managed through the cloud, it’s easier for UCaaS providers to secure your connections and protect your data.
VoIPTech’s UCaaS solutions equip users with features such as secure voice, data encryption, strong password policies, full-time security and fraud-prevention measures to guarantee your information’s security.
Because UCaaS uses cloud computing technology, you lower the costs that come with hardware instalment and maintenance. All that hassle is taken care of by your provider. This means you only have to pay for the monthly fees and whatever upgrades or add-ons you might need.
Now that you can manage all of your communications through a single interface accessible through any device of your choice, you can save time by using your mobile app to access calls, messages, and work assignments in an instant.
5. Better Customer Service
Another bonus to using UCaaS is that unified communications providers typically give a lot of focus into their customer service systems. Customer support is highly responsive, guaranteeing a response within 24 hours, providing you with short waiting queues. UCaaS allows for minimal downtime if any, so you can worry less about troubleshooting and focus more on work.
6. Efficient Collaboration
Contrary to the functionality of legacy systems (which are limited to voice and messaging), UCaaS allows users to efficiently collaborate through the user interface.
One of the great examples of unified communications that allow for efficient collaboration is Communicator (our personal recommendation). Communicator not only enables users to call and message each other, but they can also store files and integrate various productivity apps all-in-one.
7. Better Call Handling
Since all communication media and devices are interconnected through one consistent user interface, call handling is much simpler.
The instant that a call finishes, the operator can switch tabs on the same interface to resolve issues in the call such as arrange an engineer call-out or process payment—all using one application.
8. Streamlined Management
Using the web portal, you can handle all inbound and outbound calls wherever you like at the touch of a button.
Depending on which upgrades or add-ons you have, you can manage accounts, call forwarding, call reports, and so much more via the user interface, all without having to contact a technician.
One of the drawbacks of traditional telephony infrastructure is that they are very difficult to scale. This is a serious impediment for small businesses that plan on expanding in the future.
Scaling traditional telephony takes up a lot of money, space, and manpower. Scaling with UCaaS, on the other hand, is as easy as adding users and devices to your system using the user interface. No need for expensive engineers.
10. Remote Working
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, being in a lockdown has forced businesses to resort to remote working solutions to resume their business.
That’s why in 2020 moving forward, remote working is considered to be more valuable than ever. Businesses who used legacy systems before the pandemic have been hit the hardest because inaccessibility has rendered their on-premises systems completely useless. UCaaS allows businesses to seamlessly communicate with each other and continue business as usual in the comfort of their own homes.
UCaaS for Your Home
Although the functionality of UCaaS is maximized in a business setting, it can also be used at home. Here are a few points that explain why unified communications can still be useful outside of the business setting.
In a household, there is no shortage of tasks.
Instead of buying pads of sticky notes every month and leaving them on the fridge or wasting ink laying tasks out on the whiteboard (where they’re sometimes not seen), you can opt to use UCaaS solutions like Microsoft Teams to assign tasks.
The features that come with Teams makes communicating with each other and assigning tasks a breeze. You can easily update each other on a task’s progress and get notifications when a task is accomplished.
Easily Installed on Any Device
It doesn’t matter whether it’s dad’s work computer or mum’s smartphone—UCaaS products are available on any device.
After downloading the client, all you have to do is log-in and start getting things done. Instructions are clear and concise and it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to set-up. If you’re using Microsoft Office on your computer, Microsoft Teams usually comes with the package, installed and ready for use. You can easily download Teams on your mobile device via the app store.
Easy to Use
One of the best things about Microsoft Teams and other UCaaS products is that the user interfaces are very user-friendly and easy to navigate. If anyone in the family does not have any technical know-how, the instructions are very clear and easy to follow. By reading the instructions alone, you’ll be ready in no time.
Using the Features & Maintaining Your System
Perhaps one of the greatest things about UCaaS products is that they don’t need any maintenance.
The provider does all the heavy lifting and will upgrade and maintain the software for you through the cloud. There’s zero hardware required.
This means system administrators don’t need to worry about any lengthy updates or long instruction manuals. The provider keeps everything up-to-date to make sure you always have the latest features and updates. This way, technical staff can be more smartly allocated to more important projects without focusing much on communications.
In the case of Microsoft Teams, advanced features suitable for bigger organizations are unlocked through purchase and are effective as soon as the transaction is clear.
Small to medium businesses can do pretty well using the free version of Teams. It provides up to 10 GB of shared storage and can support 500,000 maximum users.
Improving User Experience
The basic interface for most UCaaS products usually allows flexibility for users to collaborate effectively. It has all of the basic functionality without restricting the user. However, if you think that you need extra functionality or flexibility, you can integrate a variety of productivity apps with your base UCaaS interface.
Microsoft Teams allows you to personalize and upgrade your user experience by integrating different apps from your favourite services. App integrations come as simple as improving communication through helpful features like video chat and visual planning, or enhancing your collaboration with project management apps.
Using these app integrations will help you when your team is already used to different productivity tools because chances are those tools can be added directly into Teams, allowing you to maximize its functionality.
In truth, there is no better time than to switch to UCaaS. It’s a direct upgrade to legacy phone systems. By upgrading to a cloud-based communication system, not only will you make business collaboration easier, but also home collaboration.
Not only does it give you access to more and better features, but it also gives you an easier way to control everything through a single interface. It’s easy to implement and easy to use.
You can purchase a monthly subscription to VoIPTech’s cloud unified communications packages. Just visit this link to check our price plans.
If you want to learn more about our IP Telephony and UC solutions for your business, send us a ticket or give us a call right now at 0203 745 0201. Our experts at VoIPTech will help you figure out what you need.