In the world of business communications today, technologies including desktop phones and Private Branch Exchange (PBX (News - Alert)) networking are quickly becoming obsolete. What used to be standard across a variety of industries is now being pushed out, as work from home (WFH) and remote work drive the technological capability needs of the modern-day business.
To handle these new growing digital needs, more businesses are continuing to turn to Unified Communications (News - Alert) as a Service technology (UCaaS) as one of the biggest trends in the move to cloud, beyond cloud computing and into cloud voice, video, and messaging applications.
UCaaS blends internet-based phone and messaging into a full-featured communications platform. Companies adopt UCaaS to provide staff with collaboration tools to work anywhere, as these solutions function across a user's computer, desk phone, smartphone, or any other devices that may be used for work today.
UCaaS solutions, such as Microsoft (News - Alert) Teams, are being leveraged more frequently to deal with the digital and physical divide that plagues most companies in the remote work era.
Microsoft Teams isn't the only UCaaS' flourishing. Overall, the UCaaS market size was USD $47.64 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.6 percent over the next seven years. These projections put the UCaaS global market size at USD $210.07 billion by the end of 2028. These numbers aren't surprising, as more companies look for a one-size-fits-all solution for their digital needs.
"Largely driven by mobility and cloud economics, businesses are making the switch to UCaaS solutions after realizing the benefits they have to offer, and the advantages the technology holds over legacy approaches," said Nick Heddy, Chief Revenue Officer, Pax8, a "born in the cloud" Denver-based company that simplifies the way MSPs buy, sell, and manage cloud solutions.
"One of the most noticeable benefits is the flexibility it gives a company with their workforce," Heddy explained. "With UCaaS, remote workers can transfer calls or send and receive SMS messages from their mobile devices to their desk phones, to colleagues, or contact centers. And through a new level of connectivity with on-demand videoconferencing, teams can collaborate from anywhere at any time."
Sophisticated UCaaS platforms supply real-time analytics that let a business spot trends in their communications data, like when contact center volumes tend to spike, what times customer complaints occur the most, or where bottlenecks form.
"UCaaS solutions also help with customer experience satisfaction, as after being transferred to multiple reps, most customers hang up and take their business elsewhere," Heddy said. "With UCaaS, however, a company can find a solution, for example, adding a virtual receptionist that can route calls directly to the specific department or individual and cut wait times."
With UCaaS growing at the rate it is and the expectation that it becomes essential technology moving forward, some software companies are developing enhanced features and functions to complement UCaaS' solutions like Microsoft Teams.
"Enhanced contact management is a coveted feature, as this addresses one of the biggest areas that companies struggle with when adopting a new communications platform," Heddy explained. "A worthwhile UCaaS solution will come with some form of a contact management feature, but One Identity Manager or other Azure ID like leading contact management solutions help streamline this entire process for more ease and efficiency. We are in the business of bringing the best options to MSPs to sell to their customers, with a neutral but curated marketplace."
Another notable software-developed feature for UCaaS solutions is the integrated newsfeed. The newsfeed is a highly customizable feature that allows managers to choose which information they want to share with employees and is adaptable to almost any use case you can think of.
Integrated newsfeeds can give employees real-time progress updates from their team, display new tasks for the employee as they come in, provide a general overview of overall completion status on a project, allow teams to comment on a news story, and even create chat rooms that include everyone tagged to a specific bulletin or story. Slack is one example of this.
"UCaaS has proven itself as an extremely resilient enterprise communication service," Heddy said. "Unlike old-world analog phone systems, UCaaS operates in the cloud, which withstands natural disasters and is becoming even more powerful as broadband speeds pick up with the rollout of enterprise 5G and other wireless and wired advanced networks. UCaaS makes teams more productive, dramatically reduces costs for organizations, is endlessly flexible, and above all supports the new way of remote working, with a new approach to the perimeter in a 'work from everywhere' world."
Edited by Luke Bellos