UCaaS is a delivery model in which a variety of communication and collaboration applications and services—all of the regular integrated apps associated with UC—are outsourced to a third-party vendor and delivered over an IP network, most often the Internet. So, the main difference between standard UC and UCaaS is that the latter offers UC as a hosted service, which usually provides higher levels of availability, flexibility and scalability and greater cost savings (most UCaaS users invest to avoid the capital and operational expenditures of deploying UC on their own).
You’ve probably heard the phrase “everything is going to the cloud,” which refers to a global trend towards cloud-based services, also known as digital transformation. Well, UCaaS is part of this transformation. UCaaS is not a single service, but rather a variety of communication applications and services using cloud-based software services to store and transmit information. The “UC” refers to the communications channels we use every day, while the “aaS” simply refers to “as a service,” such as “software as a service (SaaS).”
Why is Now the Best Time to Invest?
According to research firm MarketsandMarkets’ comprehensive 2013-2018 UCaaS report, 2018 represented the beginning of the technology’s widespread adoption. The report describes UCaaS as “a rapidly growing market” that is generating a lot of interest, and “one of the key enabling factors that will drive the market for unified communication.” All in all, the UCaaS market was projected to grow from its current $2.52 billion revenue to $7.62 billion in 2018.
The reason for this tremendous growth is due to the need for businesses to support an increasing number of communication channels and interactions, without committing to a corresponding increase in investment. If you can answer “yes” to any of the following, then UCaaS is right for your business.
- Do you need access to the latest communications, but don’t have the capital budget or in-house resources to implement an on-premises solution? This may be underpinned by a need to improve productivity or customer service, or by a time-limited event such as a merger, acquisition or the opening/closing of an office.
- Is agility key to your business? A cloud-based communications solution frees up capital to invest in core operations and provides you with the flexibility to grow your business.
- Do you need the flexibility to connect offices and mobile workers? Blending an existing on-premises solution with a move to the cloud can enable headquarters locations to support branch offices and mobile workers. UCaaS provides the flexibility to slowly migrate away from legacy systems, while facilitating better communications between your offices and reducing IT complexity where there are little or no support resources.
Now is the time to consider the flexibility and easy scalability of a cloud-based solution or UCaaS. It may help your business to improve communications, while cutting costs.
- “The Rise of UCaaS: Moving Communications to the Cloud,” Mitel.com Blog, November 24, 2014.
- “What is UCaaS – Unified Communications as a Service?” Mitel.com Blog, April 4, 2013.