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What is UCaaS
and is it right for
my organization?

Author: Shane Schick

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that employees will always need to be a cohesive team—no matter where or how they work.

Departments are breaking down silos and looking for the means to collaborate more easily. While some members of those cross-functional teams may continue to meet at the office, many others will report in from home or a shared workspace.

In order to usher today's workforce into a new future, many organizations are implementing unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) systems. But what is UCaaS, and is it right for your business?

What is UCaaS?

Instead of treating the different ways we communicate as separate tools, UCaaS can merge them so they function similarly to a central nervous system. In other words, no matter where an employee resides, they get the same user interface to handle everything from voicemail and instant messages to enterprise mobile devices like smartphones. At the same time, your UCaaS systems will include presence technology that will identify the moment a device logs onto the network from any location, keeping track of all users.

As the remote workforce gains popularity and new forms of communication develop, UCaaS offers a streamlined way to implement them throughout your organization. Verizon's acquisition of BlueJeans, for instance, means videoconferencing, screen-sharing and video calls can be integrated with and delivered from the same platform.

If you anticipate a need for some customization in what you offer employees, you can also choose the communications-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) route. This can provide many of the benefits that UCaaS offers, but you'll have to work with application programming interfaces as well as maintain and modify the platform over time. That's why the key to an effective CPaaS strategy is to work with a trusted partner that can help you navigate this.

Unified communications and the cloud

Cloud computing is the natural delivery mechanism for unified communications because a company's communication and collaboration needs could increase or decrease without any advanced warning.

That said, there are different approaches to cloud computing. While some firms might willingly share their UCaaS platform with other companies (otherwise known as multi-tenancy), others will need to deeply integrate UCaaS with their on-premises applications, in which single tenancy may make more sense. Others will opt for a hybrid.

Talk to us about what's possible. Verizon UCaaS uses a global IP network with flexible options that include private, hosted or managed cloud service data centers.

Why UCaaS

The business case for UCaaS can best be made by answering the following questions:

Do you want to see value more quickly?

Setting up unified communications on-premises can be expensive and requires significant project management. Cloud-based services like UCaaS can be activated without the same upfront investment, shifting communications and collaboration from a capital expenditure to an operational one.

Do you want to control your costs?

Managing a separate budget for voice, video and chat doesn't make sense when they are often used interchangeably. UCaaS has primarily one cost variable: the number of licenses required. That means monthly budgeting can become both consolidated and predictable.

Do you need peace of mind around availability and data protection?

No one can afford to suffer the consequences of a communications failure, and UCaaS provides the continuity and security features that build business confidence and customer trust. This includes 100% uptime in the case of Verizon's UCaaS and its robust capabilities such as data encryption and user authorization to protect mission-critical information.

Do you want an empowered, engaged workforce?

As a business leader, you need to be prepared for situations that require a rapid shutdown of normal operations. Whether due to a global pandemic or a more localized natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado, can your employees work remotely and keep your company going without a workplace to operate in?

The reality is that remote work is not simply a luxury but, sometimes, a necessity. And, companies are considering adopting more remote working options post COVID-19. UCaaS not only allows your team to work from anywhere but also outfits your employees with reliable and secure technology—helping them to be more productive and efficient and help maintain business continuity.

Next steps

By equipping your workforce with advanced collaboration tools, your employees are able to take productivity on the road with virtually any device they prefer to use. This level of agility is what will lead to business growth and help maintain your competitive advantage. UCaaS can deliver this with affordability, security and manageability.

Get started by exploring Verizon's guide to a successful UCC migration.