The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work for good. It has made it amply clear that companies can work from home effectively, and staff can even permanently work through remote arrangements without affecting daily operations. This revelation means that even post the pandemic; many companies are contemplating sticking to the WFH model. However, one of the significant bottlenecks in remote working is how communication between teams is enabled. Spotty networks, low-quality service are common issues while working from home. It has led to Unified Communications-as-a-Service UCaaS solutions emerging as a need for most midsize to large teams. 

In this blog, we look at how UCaaS can help remote teams collaborate and whether your business should be considering a switch. 

What is UCaaS?

Unified Communications-as-a-Service is an enterprise communication approach that relies on the cloud and offers accessibility to a connectivity suite to businesses of all sizes. It can incorporate voice calls, instant messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, team management and collaboration. The best part about UCaaS is that a provider fully manages it, and you don't need to worry about infrastructure while getting started. As a result, it is an excellent option for bootstrapped companies that don't want to acquire expensive communications architecture. 

How does UCaaS work?

UCaaS helps organisations opt for a unified solution to all of their communications woes. So you don't need to invest extra in VoIP hardware or even staffing to ensure security, uptime or configuration; UCaaS providers ensure that the services are fully managed, and you don't have to worry about communications infrastructure. 

How can UCaaS help remote teams?

Voice & Telephony

UCaaS systems come with high-quality voice services and features such as intelligent call routing, high-quality audio, call recording, and more. As a result, it allows for higher productivity, especially in customer-facing teams. 

Instant messaging

From real-time conversations to asynchronous chats, messaging has made collaboration between teams much more effortless and convenient. It also gives an excellent way for organisations to convert leads that come on to their website or social media handles. It ensures that customers can choose an omnichannel way of interacting with your company. 

Video conferencing

UCaaS offers video conferencing solutions or meetings, which ensure more facetime between remote teams; this makes it easier to collaborate with teammates no matter where they work. Whether it's an internal or client pitch or sharing presentations, video conferencing makes it all more personable. 

Tracking and availability

How do you know who is available for a quick chat and who isn't? It's easier to gauge this at the office, but when you're WFH, how do you navigate workplace etiquette? Using the correct statuses on your IM channels, such as (Available, Busy, Offline, Out for lunch etc.) can help your teammates reach out when it's convenient for you. 

Mobility

Since remote workers are on the move, they'll need the ability to log in and work from everywhere. A UCaaS solution can ensure that your teams can work from their tablets and mobile phones as the need arises. In addition, since all tools and access is on the cloud, they don't have to download heavy software on their devices either. 

Benefits of adopting UCaaS

Better customer service

The customer experience journey is impacted due to connectivity issues between teams and between teams and end customers. UCaaS solutions allow you to enable excellent connectivity at each point on the customer journey. With monitoring and tracking systems such as call recordings, you can also ensure that customer experience is optimised and can pinpoint issues in your customer flow. Whether they communicate with you on phone, email, social media or messaging, UCaaS can help streamline the experience. 

Reduced costs

Businesses report reduced costs of up to 50-60% when switching to a cloud communications system. From service contracts to vendors to phone systems, hardware and more, you'll end up saving exponentially over time. In addition, you don't need to pay extra for systems such as ticketing/ helpdesk, SMS, video conferencing, telephony separately as you'll get one simplified bill for the entire gamut of services when you choose a UCaaS solution. 

Consolidation of tools

In a modern business environment, you may use separate communication tools based on the team's needs. For example, customer service may need telephony and call recording. Sales teams may require a CRM pipeline. Product teams need instant messaging and collaboration; UCaaS addresses your team's connectivity needs with one comprehensive solution.

Ensuring security

When teams move into remote configurations, the probability of leaks increases and endpoint security becomes a concern. UCaaS solutions use encrypted channels to ensure that data breaches; unauthorised access is prevented. You can also look into call recordings, past messages for suspicious activity to act proactively to avoid compromising your security posture. 

Scalability

UCaaS helps businesses that are in expansion mode scale up their infrastructure faster without incurring additional costs. You won't need to have on-site servers, no private telephone lines or equipment, just an internet connection, and you're good to go. You can scale up operations in any country without thinking about setting up an infrastructure footprint at the location. In addition, based on the unified communications managed solution provider you're partnering with, you can avail plenty more growth opportunities. So, do take your time to find a reliable partner that brings you limitless capabilities.

What to consider before switching to UCaaS?

Look at your existing infrastructure

Do a complete audit of how your teams communicate with each other, from phone to instant messaging apps like Whatsapp or Skype. Get into every team's process and ask them about the tools they use and how they use them so that you can ensure that your UCaaS solution meets all these needs.

Figure out what you need

Sometimes if you adopt a tool with too many features and functions, it's easy to get lost in the chaos. It would help if you did the audit to understand what functionality is required. Write down all the functionality you need and is critical to your business. Also, get this list vetted by your stakeholders. 

Make a business continuity document

Ask your team about the breaks in the processes or parallel processes that may run if you adopt a new system. Figure out what is needed to help your team members switch over. Outline a projected timeline for your team's transition, and make sure you share it with everyone. 

Get buy-in from the team

If your team uses WhatsApp groups or ends up using email instead of the tool you've chosen, it's a failure. Such a situation arises when company management forces teams to adapt without getting buy-in from them. Ensure that you keep your team in the loop and consider their needs while choosing a unified communication and collaboration tool. 

What to look for in a UCaas service provider?

Different businesses have different needs and requirements. So, it’s essential to do a thorough assessment and consider all the essential factors when picking a unified communications managed solution provider.

Engagement or deployment models

While looking for a UCaaS provider, ensure that they can provide cloud solutions and look at how you can integrate your existing infrastructure for a hybrid migration. Look at how you can work out a model that is comfortable for your team. 

Features they offer

Look at their feature stack and how it has evolved. Ensure that the solution checks off all the requirements you have or need any other ad hoc solutions. Ensure that you have all the features that you've shortlisted in your checklist. 

Support and brand

Whether it's having a 24/7 helpline or an issue-based ticket service, you need to ensure that your vendor will support you with configuration and migration to their solution. Unless they can prove that they have excellent support infrastructure and track record, don't sign the dotted line. 

Third-party integrations

Does your CRM or ticketing system work well with your UCaaS? In addition, there must be easy to integrate APIs or SDKs that enable these systems to talk to each other. 

Security 

Your data security is most important for your business. Look into the kind of encryption and endpoint security that the solution provides. Also, look at how the vendor stores your business's data, whether there is a local data centre and how the backup and business continuity is ensured. 

Switching to UCaaS FAQ:

What is included in a UCaaS solution?

UCaaS solutions will include solutions for video conferencing, instant messaging, SMS, and contact centre capabilities. In addition, UCaaS is a completely managed solution, so you don't need to have a separate infrastructure in terms of VoIP hardware to enable connectivity. 

What's the difference between VoIP and UCaaS?

VoIP is a service provider primarily for voice connectivity for outbound and inbound calls. UCaaS, on the other hand, involves different aspects of connectivity such as chat, video conferencing, scheduling and more. 

Are UCaaS and CCaaS different? 

UCaaS is generally used for internal communication and collaboration, while customer-facing departments generally use CCaaS. 

Speak to a UCaaS provider 

Unified Communication and Collaboration Solutions (UCaaS) is a comprehensive solution from Tata Communications that ensures higher efficiency and borderless growth while boosting your business to new heights.
With flexible, resilient, customisable and open solutions, our UCaaS network helps your business through deployment, bridging, scheduling, call launching or reporting. The added advantage of our Unified Communications managed services is the seamless synthesis with the existing framework, thus improving the user experience.

Learn more about how our UCaaS solutions enable your digital transformation.

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