Business communication and collaboration tools have come a long way since the days of Palm Pilots and pagers. Thanks to cloud-based technologies, businesses now have several tools at their disposal to help workers connect more effectively.
Cloud communication services, such as unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and contact center as a service (CCaaS) platforms, are rising in popularity as the need for fast, secure remote access to corporate resources increases. Gartner analysts believe 85% of organizations will adopt a cloud-first strategy by 2025,1 so if you haven’t invested in cloud communications yet, you’re likely already falling behind the competition.
In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about cloud-based business communication and collaboration tools, from an overview of UCaaS and CCaaS to how to choose the right solutions for your business.
Overview of Cloud Communications Solutions
Digital transformation has been a hot topic for some time now. However, the demand for remote and hybrid work environments has accelerated the need for more agile business technologies. That’s where cloud communication solutions come in.
Over 47% of organizations have already replaced their traditional telecom services with a UCaaS solution, and experts expect this number to reach 70% in 2023.2.On-prem call centers are also getting edged out by the cloud, with the CCaaS market projected to hit $11.7 billion by 2028.3
These cloud-based solutions are made possible by the “as a service” model, which refers to the delivery of computing services via the internet. This delivery model allows third-party providers to connect businesses with services like voice, software, and infrastructure through the cloud.
UCaaS vs. CCaaS: What’s the Difference?
UCaaS and CCaaS solutions provide users with features that improve productivity and offer more flexibility, scalability, and cost savings than traditional on-premise solutions. Both provide businesses with cloud-based voice and other communication tools, such as messaging and video, that users can connect to remotely.
The biggest difference between these two solutions is what they help organizations do. UCaaS solutions improve internal communication and collaboration, while CCaaS platforms create better external digital experiences.
Overview of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
UCaaS is a delivery model for communication and collaboration services. An important distinction between UCaaS and other cloud collaboration solutions is the support for phone services, which platforms like Zoom and MS Teams didn’t offer until recently.
Prior to the pandemic, small businesses drove the adoption of UCaaS platforms. However, the adoption of this technology has grown among large companies over the past few years as on-premises voice infrastructures failed to meet the needs of remote workers.
The primary benefits for businesses switching to UCaaS include:
Lower Costs – UCaaS systems require little to no infrastructure installation and the provider handles ongoing maintenance costs, so businesses that switch to UCaaS save $304 per user each year on average.4
Flexibility and Scalability – Businesses can scale users up or down as needed and provide employees with reliable voice, messaging, and video conferencing tools they can access from any device or location.
Increased Productivity – 84% of companies saw increased employee productivity after adopting UCaaS,5 likely because employees no longer have to switch between multiple platforms to collaborate when out of the office.
Overview of Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)
CCaaS is a delivery model for cloud-based contact center infrastructure and applications. This can include interactive voice response (IVR) systems, chatbots, workforce management, and other tools designed to improve the customer experience.
The pandemic led to a demand for better customer experiences, with one in three consumers stating they would switch to a competitor after only one bad experience.6 CCaaS solutions range from simple to complex, but generally, they make it possible for work-from-anywhere employees to connect and provide better customer service.
A few business benefits of CCaaS include:
- Ease of Integration – Many CCaaS options can integrate with an organization’s existing customer relationship management (CRM) system or other tools to streamline business operations.
- Greater Consistency – Multi- and omnichannel CCaaS solutions enable teams to provide a consistent customer experience, which is important considering 76% of customers expect consistency across every interaction.7
- Flexibility and Scalability – CCaaS platforms enable teams to provide service from any device or location. Additionally, businesses can typically add features and services to their solution as they grow.
Which Cloud Communications Solution Is Right for Your Business?
As with all business technologies, determining whether a UCaaS or CCaaS solution is the right fit for your business will depend on your current goals.
Organizations looking to provide flexible work options to employees without compromising on collaboration, productivity, and security should consider moving to a UCaaS system. However, if your team is small and works exclusively in-office, you may get some use out of a traditional PBX system for a few more years.
If your goal is to improve the digital experience for both your customers and employees, CCaaS is the way to go. The right CCaaS solution will help you take your call center out of the office for greater flexibility, efficiency, and cost savings. Additionally, CCaaS enables agents to meet customers where they are (SMS, messaging, etc.) and provide more consistent customer service.
For businesses that want to enhance internal collaboration and external communications, a solution that integrates UCaaS and CCaaS features may be the right option. An expert technology advisor can guide you to a best-fit solution for your business, simplify your cloud migration, and ensure you receive optimal pricing and support.
Find a Best-Fit Cloud Communications Solution With OnDemand
If you’re ready to experience the benefits of cloud communications for yourself, OnDemand can help. We provide vendor-agnostic guidance and expertise to help businesses choose the right cloud providers and solutions to meet the needs of the modern workforce.
Rely on OnDemand for:
True Partnership – Our team will sit on your side of the table – and do what’s right for your business.
Custom Recommendations – We’ll listen to your unique needs and put together effective solutions.
An Expert Resource – We’ll save you the stress of identifying, evaluating, and engaging providers.
Quick Guidance – Let us know your basic requirements, and we’ll match you with providers that fit.
Get in touch with OnDemand today to learn more about how we can help you make the right technology decisions for your cloud transformation.